Greece was beaten 19-18 by Australia in a penalty shootout, but it was enough to gain one point and get across the qualification line on the second day of the World Aquatics Women’s Water Polo World Cup Division I competition in Athens on Thursday.
Australia came from three down to lead 14-12 in the fourth period, needing a four-goal margin for any chance of making the finals series.
Greece drew level at 14 and 15 to force the shootout, which it lost 4-3. In the other Group 2 match, Spain defeated China 17-11. In Group 1, United States of America rose to the top with a 10-6 win over Italy as previously unbeaten Netherlands fell to Hungary 12-11.
Stats dont lie:
Both teams were deadly on extra-man attack with Australia converting seven from 10 and Greece seven from 12. Greece made the most of two penalty shots in regular time, as well. However, the biggest test was the shootout where one Greek shot hit the right upright and the other sheared away to the upper left.
Australia is one of the leading teams in the world and tried to prove that today. However, with no World Cup finals to contest, the Stingers need to regroup for the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka this July. Greece might be deemed lucky to be in the finals, but that is not so, as the three-goal victory in Rotterdam attests. It’s where Greece made its luck.
Group 1: USA 13, Netherlands 12, Hungary 9, Italy 6.
Group 2: Spain 11, Greece 7, Australia 2, China 0.