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Day 5 woman’s junior WP Worlds: 2000 celebrate Greece’s win over the USA, Netherlands, Spain, Russia make SF, too

by ZwemZa on September 8th, 2017

The Netherlands reached the semi-final round first after a convincing win over Canada, next came Russia after beating Italy 5-4 in the clash of defences. Spain downed Hungary in a one-sided contest, taking commanding lead already in the in the first period. Greece was the last one to join the party after a thrilling 4-3 win over the United States in front of an absolute capacity crowd, 2.000 enthusiastic locals.

The Dutch dominated the game against Canada, especially with their excellent defending – they shut out their opponents for 22:04 minutes while scoring seven unanswered goals, and towards the end of the contest their offensive potential was also shining (10-2). Then Russia and Italy offered their very best of defending but the Russians scored two fantastic action goals in the fourth period which sent them to the semi-finals.

Spain did a splendid job against Hungary, a 5-1 rush in the first period did the damage, the Spaniards never looked back, though the flood of goals in the remaining part of the match served as a fine entertainment to the evening crowd.

The evening game was a real coronation of the day as every available space was filled with spectators around the pool. The vast majority cheered for the Greeks who played a thrilling match with the USA. Brilliant goaltending, extreme tension, missed opportunities made the match the lowest-scoring one in the tournament. At the end of the day it was Eleni Xenaki who made the difference, Greece’s best player netted 3 goals, quite a feat when your team wins 4-3. This also means that after two successive triumphs, the US team won’t retain its title.

Defences did a tremendous job at both ends in the evening QF

Australia and China overcame their disappointment for not making the best eight this time and came up with fine performances in the crossover matches, beating Serbia and New Zealand respectively. At the bottom, Japan clinched the 13th place with ease (they should have finished higher), while in the battle of the two winless teams South Africa managed to beat Croatia and finish 15th.

A nice scene from the game China v New Zealand – Credit: Apostolos Zacharakis

Schedule for Friday

10.00 For places 11/12: New Zealand v Serbia

11.20 For places 9/10: China v Australia

12.40 For places 5/8: Canada v United States

17.20 For places 5/8: Italy v Hungary

18.40 Semi-final: Russia v Spain

20.00 Semi-final: Netherlands v Greece

Match report

Game 31, 9.00 – For places 15/16: South Africa v Croatia 8-6

Quarters: 3-2, 3-1, 1-2, 1-1

Referees: Megan Perry (NZL), Fernando Varela (PER)

SOUTH AFRICA

NIXON Lauren, PENNEY Amber 1, MEECHAM Chloe 3, VAUGHAN Ashleigh 2, MULLER Hanna, ABRAHAMSE Christine, CALVERT Hannah, MCLEAVY Casey, SMIT Zandre 1, MACLEOD Nicola 1, MOIR Gerogia, THOMPSON Megan, MAARTENS Meghan. Head coach: MANSON Bevan

CROATIA

RATKOVIC Alexandra, GEGIC Lea, CRNICKI Lidlja, VINCEK Magdalena, BARISIC Bruna, SKELIN Matea, BADZIM Gloria 2, BUTIC Domina, BUKIC Petra 4, GALIC Matea, PAVIC Leondarda, TOPIC Mia, ERAK Franka. Head coach: SIMUNIC Mia

Extramen: 0/6 and 2/9

Penalties: 1/2 and none

Perhaps the first experience on the world stage will not go down as the most pleasant ones for the Croatian team, still, as Lolo Ibern, the new TWPC Chairman highlighted in his speech in the gala dinner Wednesday evening, it’s really important that such great water polo nations as Croatia, Serbia and Slovakia have their respective female teams present at the FINA World Championships for the first time ever.

An event like this with at least five games is a great learning experience for the young players and the Croats already showed some great signs here in Volos. Their great fight against New Zealand in the last round of the group phase was something they could bring home as a fine memory.

In their last game they couldn’t reach the same level they were two days ago. Lower ranked teams sometimes find it really challenging to play five matches in as many days – and this was also true for the South Africans. They had a better spell in the second period when they jumped to a 5-2 lead, from that point they could maintain that gap and they could achieve that despite missing a penalty before the middle break, at 6-3. Though the last eight minutes started at 7-5 after the 3rd and 4th goal of Petra Bukic in the third (she is the daughter of legendary Olympic champion Perica Bukic), the Croats missed a crucial man-up for 7-6, and a bit later Moir’s action goal decided the outcome. The last Croatian hit came too late, 31 seconds from time and the South Africans could celebrate their first win.

Gergely Csurka | FINA Media Committee

 

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