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Women’s water polo: Italy won thriller against Australia

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In the women’s water polo tournament of the 17th FINA Worlds Championships placement matches and two semi-finals are held on Wednesday. France and the Netherlands won the first two placement matches for the 11th and for the 9th place. Italy played a very exciting game against Australia, which went on penalty shoot-out.

We got some new answers durint the 6th matchday of the women’s tournament at Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex.

W39 – for 11th place

New Zealand – France 7-9 (1-0, 2-2, 1-5, 3-2)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Garibaldi (ARG) Kajiwara (JPN).
New Zealand: Milicich - Mason 2, Lopes da Silva 2, Stoneman, Bowry, Hudson 1, Pye 1. Subs: Lewis, Ferigo, Boyd, Doyle, Houghton1. Head coach: Angela Winstanley-Smith.
France: Counil – Millot 1, Bachelier 1, Guillet 2, Mahieu, Valverde 2, Daule 2. Subs: Ad.Sacre, Battu, Barbieux, Au Sacre 1. Head coach: Florian Bruzzo.

Photos: Máté Balogh/Bp2017

Two relatively disappointed teams, who have been defeated in the last games, met today to figh for the 11th place. They were only 'relatively' disappointed because it has been a success for both teams that they could manage to be among the 12 best teams and could play against the best ones of the world. It has been 19 years for the team of New Zealand and more than 20 years for the French team since they achieved such a good placement at the World Championships.

At today's game, the New Zealand team started off better and were in the lead thanks to Lopes de Silva. In the first quarter there were not much scores, the teams payed more attention to their defense. In the second quarter, the team of New Zealand was also quick to score, but the French equalized within a few minutes. However, at the end of the second quarter, Counil, the excelent French goal keeper, seemed to drift a little bit off, which was used by Kelly Marson well, and at the end of the quarter the New Zealand team was in the lead again.

After the break however, there was a huge turn of events and the French team has taken the lead. The pool became a real battle field at the end of the last quarter, but the French team kept their advantage, winning the 11th placement.

For flash quotes click here. 

W 40
For the 9th place
Netherlands-China 14-7 (2-2, 5-2, 2-1, 5-2)

Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Florestano (BRA), Willis (RSA). 
Netherlands: Aarts – Smit, D. Genee, A. Geene, Stomphorst 3, Sevenich 1, Megens 3. Subs: Van der Sloot, Nijhuis 4, Koolhaas, Klaassen 2, Joustra 1. Head coach: Arno Havenga.
China: Peng – Bi 1, Niu 2, Guo, Zhang C. 2, Zhao 2, Chen. Subs: Nong, Mei, Xiong, Zhang D., Zhang J., Shen. Head coach: Gong Dali. 

China scored the first goal and the Dutch offense was successful only after more than five minutes. The European team equalised again at the very end of the first quarter by the second goal of Lieke Klaassen. Nijhuis’ goal meant the lead for the Dutch ladies for the first time during the match (4-3), and the vice European champion built a three-goal advantege. The Chinese team ’woke up’ and tried to get closer to its opponent for the second break, but after missing a clear goal-opportunity, the Netherlands could shoot a penalty, Megens was successful, holding the comfortable lead for her team (7-4). 


The Dutch team played the better water polo on this placement match, and the difference could be even bigger after the third period. Marloes Nijhuis scored twice in the final quarter, which decided the game and the Netherlands took the 9th position in tournament with a well-deserved victory. 

For flash quotes click here. 

W41
Fort he 5-8th place
Italy-Australia 18-17 (5-3, 2-3, 1-3, 3-2, 7-6) – on penalties

Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Naumov (RUS), Rotsart (USA). Italy: Gorlero – Garibotti 2, Queirolo, Radicchi 2, Aiello 2, Bianconi 5, Emmolo. Subs: Palmieri, Cotti, Dario, Lavi, Tabani, Picozzi. Head coach: Fabio Conti.
Australia: Yanitsas – Gofers, Buckling 2, Halligan 1, Bishop 2, Ridge, Webster 4. Subs: Zimmerman, Arancini, Mihailovic, Baxter, Steere, Hedges. Head coach: Athanaios Kechagias.

The match began with fast goals on both sides, then Bianconi scored her second from penalty. Australia seemed weak in defense, Italy scored five times within the first 300 seconds, Bianconi was the queen of Italians with four goals. Girls ’down under’ made the match more exciting, and the difference was only one goal after the second period (7-6). 
Italy had a ’long sleep’, Australia took the lead with the goal of team captain Webster in the third minute of the third quarter. Italy equalised at the beginning of the final period, and the teams had a big fight to collect the victory. The first ace was Hannah Buckling from the Aussies, then Italy missed a man-up situation, but then scored from another extraman-shot by Roberta Bianconi (10-10). The European team took the lead again from penalty 100 seconds before the end of regular playing time. Australia missed a 2-meter shot in the last minute, but equalised from man-up by Halligan 4 seconds before the end (11-11), and the match went on penalty shoot-out.    

Bianconi scored, Webster missed in the first round. Garibotti made it 2-0, and Bishop scored first for Australia in the shoot-out. Emmolo hit the bar, then Arancini equalised (2-2). Queirolo’s shot was saved by Yanitsas, Halligan scored, Australia led, but Picozzi made it 3-3. Buckling could decidet he match but Lavi saved for her team. Player of the match, Bianconi scored, just like Webster (4-4), the drama continued. Garibotti scored in the seventh round, Bishop was calm enough again. Emmolo made it 6-5, Arancini equalised. Queirolo took the lead again for Italy, then Halligan was unable to even shoot, which meant an Italian victory. The European team can play for the 5th place on Friday, with the winner of the match between Hungary and Greece.  

For flash quotes click here. 

For the 5-8th place

Hungary-Greece 10-9 (2-4, 1-2, 5-0, 2-3)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Franulovic (CRO), Mercier (FRA)
Hungary: Kasó – Czigány, Szücs 1, Keszthelyi 3, Bujka 2, Csabai, Szilágyi 2. Subs.: Gangl (kapus), Antal, Gurisatti 1, Takács 2, Illés, Tóth I. Head coach: Bíró Attila
Greece: Diamantopoulou – Tsoukala 3, Diamantopoulou, Avramidou 1, Asimaki 1, Manloioudaki 1, E. Plevritou 1. Subs.: Eleftheriadou, M. Plevritou, Chydirioti, Kotsia. Xenaki 1. Head coach: Georgios Morfesis

The loss againts Canada was a huge disappointment for the host team and Hungary started this placement game really slowly as the score at half time was 3-6 for Greece. Attila Bíró, the head coach for Hungary made a key change before the end of first half as Gangl took the place of Kasó as the goalkeeper. This decision turned out to be crucial.

Hungary stepped up their game on defense and scored some nice goals as well, they won the third quarter 5-0 and turned this game upside down. Hungary lead by three at one point in the beginning of the fourth quarter and their lead was enough until the end and won 10-9 in a really exciting game. On Friday, they will play against Italy for fifth place.

For flash quotes click here.

Semi-finals

20:30 – Russia-United States
22:00 – Canada-Spain