Women’s Water Polo: Greece, USA, Italy and Hungary Top Groups

first_imgBUDAPEST, Hungary — Shanghai 2011 world champion Greece is back to the glory days, qualifying for the quarter-finals with a group-winning 11-8 margin over Australia.Greece had the all-round game, a match-winning captain in centre forward Alexandra Asimaki — three goals — and precise shooting on the deep positions. Greece looked the better team with tight teamwork, while Australia was tiring and struggling to keep in touch. Australia led 2-1 in the first quarter, the only time in the match.Greece went to 4-2, thanks to two Asimaki goals, and then Keesja Gofers scored twice for three goals to bring the Aussie Stingers to within one goal at 2:06. Bronte Halligan provided the extra-man goal with five seconds left for 5-5 at the long break.Greece went out to 8-6 with Hannah Buckling pulling one back before the final recess.Defending champion United States of America has romped into Monday’s women’s water polo quarterfinals after day-three action at the FINA World Championships at the Alfred Hajos Pool.It will be joined by Group D winner Greece, Group A victor Italy and, to the delight of the host nation, Hungary completed the quartet with a stirring 10-8 Group C decider over Netherlands in front of 8000 screaming fans in the night’s feature match. Captain Rita Keszthelyi received a bloody nose in the encounter, was sidelined for a spell and then came back with two last-quarter goals for the stunning victory. Dutch captain Yasemin Smit was valiant in the jaws of defeat with four second-half strikes.USA’s quarter-final charge, with Maddy Musselman notching four goals, came at the expense of a defiant New Zealand, winning 22-7. Spain, with  Judith Forca a five-goal hero, sent off a determined South Africa 17-3 and settled for second spot in the group.Group D proved to be the hardest to separate. Eleftheria Plevritou scored three goals as Greece had an exciting 11-8 victory over Australia, leaving Australia second after both finishing with two wins and a loss. Russia also finished with four points, beating Kazakhstan 15-6. However, goal differential proved king in the tiebreaker between the three — Greece +1, Australia 0 and Russia -1.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more