venerdì 1 maggio 2015

Top four emerge at FINA Women’s Intercontinental Tournament

Auckland, May 1.— Four teams have qualified for the FINA World League Super Final in Shanghai next month, winning their quarterfinals on day four of the FINA Women’s Water Polo Intercontinental Tournament at West Waves Aquatic Centre today.
Canada beat Kazakhstan 11-3, reigning World League champion United States of America dropped Japan 17-0, Australia had by far the better of Brazil 17-4 and China came from behind to defeat New Zealand 14-6.
With Super Final berths wrapped up for four teams, there is still one berth to be decided from this tournament as China is the host.
The team to finish fifth on Sunday will be the final qualifier to meet up with the three European qualifiers — Netherlands, Italy and world champion Spain (although there is a rumour that Spain has withdrawn and Russia might fill the position).

Saturday’s semifinal programme:
15:00    Match 17    Round 5-8        NZL    v    BRA
16:30    Match 18    Round 5-8        KAZ    v    JPN
18:00    Match 19    Round 1-4        CHN    v    AUS
19:30    Match 20    Round 1-4        CAN    v    USA

Match Reports:

Match 14: 16:00, KAZAKHSTAN 3 CANADA 11
Quarters: 0-2, 0-4, 2-2, 1-3
Referees: Andrew Carney (AUS), Diana Dutilh-Dumas (NED).
Extra Man: KAZ: 2/6. CAN: 2/4.
Pens: KAZ: 0/1. CAN: 1/1.
KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova (1), Kamila Zakirova, Irina Svinarenko, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk, Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina (1), Assem Mussarova (1), Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic.
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (1), Katrina Monton (1), Emma Wright, Monika Eggens (1), Jacqueline Kohli, Joelle Bekhazi (1), Shae Fournier (1), Carmen Eggens (2), Christine Robinson (3), Stephanie Valin (1), Dominique Perrault, Claire Wright. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.

Match report:
Canada became the first team through to the FINA World League Super Final in Shanghai, China, with a win built on a 6-0 first half. It was never in question for Canada as tight defence proved critical, only opening up slightly early in the third period before heading into the final quarter 8-2 ahead. Kazakhstan had a penalty attempt blocked late in the second quarter as Anastassiya Mirshina could only watch as Jessica Gaudreault rose to take the pluck the ball from the air. Canada moved to 10-2 before Mirshina scored from the top at 2:48 in the final quarter. Carmen Eggens scored either side of Mirshina’s goal, closing out a comfortable match against a Kazakhstan team that did not lift for the occasion.

Flash quotes:
Johanne Begin (CAN) — Head Coach
“It’s good, our objective was to win our quarterfinal so we’ve taken the first step. We play the winner of USA and Japan and we know both teams. I’m new to the team and step by step we’re growing as a team.”
Claire Wright (CAN)
“We feel pretty good. We’ve being working hard and it’s paying off. We’re going to China!”
Miroslav Trumbic (KAZ) — Head Coach
“Terrible. We are on the second level, not at the level of Canada, America and the like. The players should be very disciplined and not make mistakes like a small child. They played today like this.”

Photograph: Russel McKinnon.

Quarters: 4-0, 8-0, 2-0, 3-0
Referees: Cory Williams (NZL), Shihao Li (CHN)
Extra Man: USA: 5/10. JPN: 0/6.
Pen: USA: 1/1.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Carlee Kapana, Colleen O’Donnell (1), Melissa Seidemann, Makenzie Fischer (2), Caroline Clark (2), Madeline Musselman (2), Courtney Mathewson (1), Aria Fischer (2), Madison Berggren, Kaleigh Gilchrist (1), Paige Hauschild (1), Kameryn Craig (6), Elizabeth Armstrong. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.
JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue, Yuri Kazama, Shino Magariyama, Moe Nakata, Ayaka Takahashi, Yumi Nakano, Mitsuki Hashiguchi, Kana Hosoya, Tsubasa Mori, Midori Sugiyama, Kotari Suzuki, Yoko Umeda. Head Coach: Hideo Kato.

Match Report:
USA did what it does best and that is winning matches. Head Coach Adam Krikorian would have been wanting more from the match, but it gave him a chance to use his bench, sort out combinations, moves and take advantage of situations. It also secured a berth in China, not that this was ever in doubt. Kami Craig had little trouble at centre forward and five of her six goals came from action play at two metres and the other on extra-man attack. USA countered, successfully utilised the six on five and generally tuned up for the semifinal clash with Canada. Japan struggled to penetrate obviously, getting few shots to the cage and had to rely on guile to deny USA some attacking ball. Japanese goalkeeper Yuko Umeda reveled in the avalanche of balls heading her way, gaining her fair share of saves. The good Japanese press defence worked well in the second half, restricting USA to just five goals.

Flash quotes:
Adam Krikorian (USA) — Head Coach
“I’m happy, obviously. Defence was really good, sometimes when you get a lead like that you tend to relax so we were consistent on the defensive end. We’re looking forward to Canada in the semifinals; they’re looking strong. It will be a good experience for us as there are a lot of young players on the team.”
Hideo Kato (JPN) — Head Coach
“We were completely lost. We could not play our own game. The USA kept bringing non-committed defenders into the centre position. As instructed, the girls played a hard press, but the major difference was in the centre position. Our best players stayed too close to the centres (and were being grabbed) and should have stayed looser.”

Photograph: Russel McKinnon.

Match 16: 19:30, BRAZIL 4 AUSTRALIA 17
Quarters: 1-4, 2-6, 1-2, 0-5
Referees: Svetlana Dreval (RUS), Steven Rotsart (USA).
Extra Man: BRA: 0/7. AUS: 3/10.
Pens: Nil. 
BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith, Marina Canetti (1), Lucianne Baroncass, Izabella Chiappini, Amanda Oliviera, Luiza Carvalho, Melanie Dias (2), Flavia Fernandes, Mirella Coutinho, Mariana Duarte (1), Manuela Canetti . Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth (2), Hannah Buckling, Isobel Bishop  (3), Bronte Colenso (2), Rowena Webster (2), Ellodie Ruffin, Zoe Arancini, Bronte Halligan (1), Keesja Gofers (3), Nicola Zagame (4), Lillian Hedges. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

Match report:
Australia breezed into the Super Final with an edgy win over an agile Brazil. Brazil’s chance of qualifying might come on Sunday and its energetic play today was evident all around the pool. However, the Aussie Stingers had plenty of zest themselves and the penetrative firepower to secure an excellent victory. Both teams had sharpened their game after three days of rusty play and the Stingers proved that they are capable of going to the final in Auckland. Australia, like in its match with Canada the previous day, rattled in three quick goals. Unlike Thursday, the goals kept coming as Brazil tried to stay in the reckoning. Brazil did this by trailing just 6-3 midway through the second quarter. However, Australia scored three more by halftime and two in the third for 12-3.  Brazil, after 11 and a half minutes of inactivity on the scoreboard, netted through Mariana Duarte in the closing seconds. Australia maintained the rush in the final period with five goals, three on counter. 

Flash quotes:
Greg McFadden (AUS) — Head Coach
“Our plan was to work on being dangerous in attack and we did that. Defence was strong with only 4 goals so I’m happy. Only problem was our extra man play but overall we rose to the occasion. Quarterfinals are always hard no matter who you’re playing.”
Gemma Beadsworth (AUS) — Centre Forward
“It was our most consistent game yet. We had good counter-attacks and we were finishing a lot more, which was our problem in other games.”
Pat Oaten (CAN) — Brazil Head Coach
“It was a bad start and with this format we are playing for the next day (alluding to finishing fifth and grabbing the final qualification berth). Australia had a great game, especially defensively. They’re (Brazilians) going to give it their all, whom ever they play. Our backup goalie (Manuella Canetti, who played the second half) was probably our best player. We have got to learn to come out right from the beginning. We’re very inconsistent, but we will just get better.”

Match 13: 14:30, CHINA 14 NEW ZEALAND 6
Quarters: 2-3, 3-0, 5-2, 4-1
Referees: Fabio Toffoli (BRA), Marie-Claude Deslieres (CAN).
Extra Man: CHN: 4/7. NZL: 1/6.
Pens: CHN: 2/2. NZL: 1/1
CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian (2), Zhujia Wang, Xiao Chen, Guannan Niu (3), Xiohan Mei, Donglun Song, Cong Zhang (3), Zihan Zhao (3), Dunhan Xiong (1), Xinyan Wang, Jing Zhang (2), Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo.
NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis, Kelly Mason, Hannah Klein (1), Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry, Miranda Chase, Ricci Ferigo, Emma Stoneman (1), Liana Dance (1), Kirsten Hudson, Jasmine Myles (3), Katherine Curnow. Head Coach: Attila Biro.

Match Report:
China became the fourth qualifier after having to come from behind against New Zealand, a team buoyed by its 8-4 win over Japan the night before. So boosted was the Kiwi team that it led 3-2 after the first period thanks to two goals from Jasmine Myles, who also scored twice against Japan. China regained the lead it had in the first four minutes with three extra-man goals from Cong Zhang twice and Guannan Niu once. The margin stretched to 9-3 before the Kiwis struck back with two goals, including a Hannah Klein lob four seconds from the final break for 10-5 down. Three of the four goals either side of the break were from the penalty line with China converting twice and new Zealand once. Heading the honours for New Zealand would have to be goalkeeper Brooke Millar, who is having a fantastic tournament. For the youthful China team, Cong Zhang and Zihan Zhao were potent.

Flash quotes:
Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach
“We’re still adjusting to this style of game. We’re frustrated with the offence. Our defence did very well and we have been holding teams to a very low percentage. Our centres are being called a lot on contra fouls, which we haven’t seen all year. We’ll get back (to China) and get our other players and that will improve our team. We’re doing what we’re supposed to do, using young players. However, we’re very frustrated at time. Our defence is good, our counter is going well and our six on five, we’re understanding the rotations.”
Attila Biro (NZL) — Head Coach
“We started very well. After the second quarter that’s when the differences came out between the teams in terms of training and funding.”
Jasmine Myles (NZL) — Three-goal hero
“The first quarter was really strong, we went up 3-2, and our defence was very good in the first half. But the third quarter they kind of got away from us.”

Photograph: Russel McKinnon.

By Russel McKinnon - FINA

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