domenica 2 agosto 2015

Kazan 2015: Greece, Netherlands, USA, China complete quarterfinals - Kazan day 7

New Zealand will play for a 13th place finish at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan after having won the semifinal against South Africa with a convincing score of 11-3 on Saturday. In the win the Kiwis managed to keep South Africa scoreless in the entire first half. In the final period, when fatigue let the number of turnovers rise for the Africans, the winners could walk away to their first triumph of the tournament. Now on Monday the classification match for 13th place will determine their ranking at the 2015 worlds. For South Africa, the same wille be on the programma, only for 15th/16th place. The New Zealand women will play for France for 13th place after the French came back from 3-0 deficit to beat Japan 6-9. Carried by top scorer Louise Guillet, who netted 5 on Saturday, the French overcame a slow start and grabbed control of the game agains the physically infernior Japanese side in the second period. That already proved decisive as the squad could consolidate in the remainder, despite Japan trying hard for the equaliser in the final eight minutes. The young French side is now up for a possible nice 13th place ranking, playing New Zealand on Monday. Japan will try to avoid finishing last in Monday's match-up with South Africa.

The first match-up in the crossover round saw Greece qualifying for the quarterfinals, where they will meet Italy, after overcoming Canada in the second half on Saturday. The Canadians looked ready to play in the game's first two quarters keeping up with Greece up to the 4-4 score at half-time. The difference then was made by Greece who got their stops on defence and finally saw the shots starting to fall. As centre forward Alexandra Asimaki, targeting by Canada and mainly focusing on defence, and veteran Alkisti Avramidou remained scoreless, several youngsters of the talented Greece side stepped up, with Stefania Charalampidi finishing as top scorer with 3. The Greek women grabbed hold of the game in the third period scoring a pair of unanswered goals which put them in the driver's seat, especially after Manolioudaki netted the 4-7 goal with over 6 minutes remaining in the game. In the second half Canada eventually went scoreless for 21 minutes before Joelle Bekhazi decided the final score with over a minute left to play. The Georgios Morfesis coached side is now up for a daunting task in facing Italy in the quarterfinals while Canada will go on to play for 5th place.

The second side to make it into the quarterfinals was the Netherlands who overrun Kazakhstan 1-21 in a blowout win whose highlight came late in the fourth quarter when the Kazakh squad finally managed to score, much to the delightment of the crowd. The Dutch side now faces home team in Russia in the quarterfinals on Monday.

Arno Havenga (NED) - Head Coach
''This was basically a game we had to play. I could practice some minor tactical details but mainly told the girls to go have fun, try not to concede a goal and avoid injuries. We're already busy analysing Russia and will continue to work towards that big game.''

Also in the quarterfinals are USA who put up a convincing performance by dominating Hungary for three quarters in a 12-7 win on Saturday in Kazan. Superior in both defence and attack the American women quickly jumped out to 3-1 lead at quarter time and extended it in the next two periods silencing the crowd at the Water Polo Arena. A comfortable 11-3 lead going into the final period it was Hungary who stormed back scoring four consecutive goals but knew a complete turnaround was out of reach. USA now faces Spain in the quarterfinal on Monday while Hungary takes on Canada in their quest to finish at least in 8th place.

Maggie Steffens (USA) - Captain
''We want to come in to this match with a lot of heart since from this game onwards, it's do or die. The tournament ends with the next game, is how we look at it. In the fourth quarter our defence let up a little bit, but we were also trying to play a different sort of game, being a bit more protective. But that can also get you into trouble so moving forward we got to adjust that a bit. Now Spain in the quarterfinals but I think it's not a rematch (of Barcelona 2013). It's two years later and a completely new team and you got to go into it that way.''

Courtney Mathewson (USA) - Three Goals
“We knew it was do or die game after finishing second in our bracket. We know we have to win every game from here. We definitely have things to work on. We have a chance in two days to get better.” On playing in heavy rain: “The rain was a shock, but we train in outdoor pools all year so it was not too big a factor.”

Andras Meresz (HUN) -  Head Coach
“The US are very, very strong at World Championships; they lost to Italy and they know they must play to get into the best eight. Against Hungary the USA always plays press and that style is not good for my team. It was awful for us.”

The final team that made it to the quarterfinals was China who did not played its best water polo, allowing Brazil to come close in the second half, but eventually hung on to beat the young opponents 8-10. China goalkeeper Jun Yang put up a solid performance in the first half but as the game went on was more and more thrown off by the lob shots that went in from Brazil. The Pat Oaten coached side gave it their all even scoring more lobs but in the end got troubled by their errors not allowing them to make the final jump in the score to a possible tie or more. With 3.26 to go left-hander Zihan Zhao delivered the dagger scoring for China who got up 7-10. Amanda Oliveira did score with over a minute left but two turnovers before had limited Brazil's chances of an upset as China now advances to play Australia in the quarterfinals on Monday.

Rick Azevedo (USA) - China Head Coach
''It was not a very good game; an ugly game. Brazil came with a very good game plan, jamming us. I’ve got to give credit to Brazil, also coming back to a one-goal game. Our goalie (Jun Yang) did not have a good game tonight. Perhaps it was all the lobs that threw her off. Ugly or not, a win’s a win, so now we get ready for Australia (in the quarterfinals).''

Pat Oaten (CAN) - Brazil Head Coach
''I don’t think anyone expected a great game, however, we are improving game by game. We have got to get into pressure situations and convert. When we make an error it seems a big error. We’ve got to cut down on the errors.''

2015 FINA World Championships
Kazan (RUS)

Saturday, 1 August (women)

13th-16th place classification semifinals

New Zealand (A4) vs. South Africa (B4) 11-3 (2-0, 2-0, 4-3, 3-0) - W25
New Zealand scorers: Jasmine Myles 3, Danielle Lewis 2, Kirsten Hudson 2, Nicole Lewis, Miranda Chase, Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance.

South Africa scorers: Kieren Paley, Kimberly Kay, Kelsey White.

Japan (C4) vs. France (D4) 6-9 (3-2, 1-4, 1-1, 1-2) - W26
Japan scorers: Yumi Nakano 2, Moe Nakata, Ayaka Takahashi, Kana Hosoya, Kotori Suzuki.

France scorers: Louise Guillet 5, Estelle Millot, Lea Bachelier, Geraldine Mahieu, Marion Tardy.

Round of last 16

Canada (A2) vs. Greece (B3) 5-8 (3-3, 1-1, 0-2, 1-2) - W27
Canada scorers: Stephanie Valin 2, Emma Wright, Joelle Bekhazi, Christine Robinson.

Greece scorers: Stefania Charalampidi 3, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki 2, Christina Kotsia, Antigoni Roumpesi, Eleftheria Plevritou.

Kazakhstan (A3) vs. Netherlands (B2) 1-21 (0-4, 0-7, 0-6, 1-4) - W28
Kazakhstan scorer: Anastassiya Mirshina.

Netherlands scorers: Yasemin Smit 5, Isabella van Toorn 4, Maud Megens 3, Dagmar Genee 2, Marloes Nijhuis 2, Vivian Sevenich 2, Sabrina van der Sloot, Amarens Genee, Lieke Klaassen. 

USA (C2) vs. Hungary (D3) 12-7 (3-1, 4-1, 4-1, 1-4) - W29
USA scorers: Rachel Fattal 4, Maggie Steffens 3, Courtney Mathewson 3, Melissa Seidemann, Ashley Grossman.

Hungary scorers: Rita Keszthelyi 3, Dora Czigany 2, Dora Antal, Kata Menczinger.

Brazil (C3) vs. China (D2) 8-10 (1-2, 1-3, 4-3, 2-2) - W30
Brazil scorers: Izabella Chiappini 5, Mariana Duarte, Amanda Oliveira, Melani Dias.

China scorers: Guannan Niu 2, Zihan Zhao 2, Donglun Song 2, Yating Sun, Weiwei Zhang, Xinyan Wang, Jing Zhang. 

Sunday, 2 August (men)

10.50: China (A4) vs. Russia (B4) - M25
12.10: Argentina (4C) vs. Japan (4D) - M26
13.30: Canada (2A) vs. Italy (3B) - M27

17.30: Brazil (3A) vs. USA (2B) - M28
18.50: Kazakhstan (2C) vs. Montenegro (3D) - M29
20.10: South Africa (3C) vs. Australia (2D) - M30

Quarterfinal round

Monday, 3 August (women)

09.30: South Africa (L W25) vs. Japan (L W26) - W31 (15th/16th place classification)
10.50: New Zealand (W W25) vs. France (W W26) - W32 (13th/14th place classification)
12.10: Canada (L W27) vs. Hungary (L W29) - W33
13.30: Kazakhstan (L W28) vs. Brazil (L W30) - W34

17.30: Spain (1A) vs. USA (W W29) - W35
18.50: Russia (1D) vs. Netherlands (W W28) - W38
20.10: Australia (1B) vs. China (W W30) - W36
21.30: Italy (1C) vs. Greece (W W27) - W37

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.

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