The final day of women’s water polo has finally come, where every match is a mini-final because these are the last games for every team. Naturally, the highlight of the day will be the grand final, where Spain tries to surprise the defending champion the USA.
For 7th place:
12:00 – Australia-Greece
Australia arrives at this game after a truly unlucky penalty shootout – where the ball slipped through Halligan’s hand at a crucial moment –, but Greece is also in a bad place mentally, as they lead by a handful of goals at half time against Hungary, but at the end, lost by one.
Photos: Máté Balogh/Bp2017
The question will be whether the teams can stand back up after their last games.
For 5th place:
13:30 – Italy-Hungary
This will be the match of the day for the host country’s crowd, although Hungary’s fans might be a bit disappointed as they were hoping to watch the girls in the evening today. If we only take mathematics into account, Italy is the favourite as they beat Canada in the group stage and Canada beat Hungary in the quarter-finals.
Italy comes to this game after a truly dramatic match, where they were able to come out on top after a penalty shootout against Australia, so they should be tired both physically and mentally. On the other side, Hungary would like to forget the upsetting loss against Canada and celebrate the fifth place at home.
For 3rd place:
15:00 – Russia-Canada
Olympic silver medallist Russia is the favourite, but they shouldn’t take this game lightly, as Canada’s defence is special and unpleasant, which needs extra preparation.
If Canada is able to take away Russia’s confidence at the beginning – just like they did against Hungary – they might come out on top and surprise Russia and the world with a bronze medal.
In the final:
20:30 – USA-Spain
It’s no surprise that USA advanced to the final as they won the last 7 FINA events, so they were the favourites even before the start of this tournament. In the semi-finals, they beat out Russia quite easily and they seemed really confident and seemed to feel no pressure at all.
They face Spain now, who almost lost in the quarter-finals, where they equalized in the last seconds and won in the penalty shootout against Greece. After that, they played against Canada, where they were extremely prepared for their extraordinary defence. The two teams faced off exactly 10 days ago in the group stage, where the USA put on a show in the first quarter (6-1) and was able to hold off the Spanish attacks without giving out all they’ve got.
Naturally, the Olympic- and defending champion USA is the favourite, but there’s nothing given in any final.
Two teams met in the group phase when the United States won by 12-8.
Games of the United States in this World Championships:
- South Africa 24-2
- Spain 12-8
- New Zealand 22-7
- Australia 7-5
- Russia 14-9
Games of Spain in this World Championships:
- New Zealand 10-2
- The United States 8-12
- South Africa 17-3
- China 13-5
- Greece 14-12 (after penalties)
- Canada 12-10