Aussie Stingers through to second round of World Championships
21 July 2017
WATER POLO: The Aussie Stingers are through to the second round of the FINA World Championships despite a narrow 11-8 loss to Greece in final preliminary game.
Wins against Kazakstan and Russia was enough to see Australia finish second on the ladder in Group D, and they will now face France on Sunday where they will need to win in order to progress through to the Tournament in Budapest, Hungary.
Celebrating her 150th game for Australia, Rio Olympian Keesja Gofers was the leading goal scorer for the Aussies in what she admitted was a hard fought contest.
“It was a really tough game. In the second half we slowed down a little, and Greece did a really good job,” said Gofers.
“Now, we are going to regroup and think about the knockout stage. Take the good things and then work on those areas we need to improve on.
“Every game playing for Australia is amazing, I’m just really happy to be part of this team,” she said.
The match up against Greece was highly anticipated with new Australian Head Coach Sakis Kechagias going up against his former team.
While he has been pleased with the Aussie Stingers progress he admitted there are areas they need to work on for the quarter finals.
“I think today we weren’t good enough in our defence. Every day here is different though, some days are better than the others, so we are just going to move on, and give our best from now on,” he said.
The game was close from the outset, with the scores locked 2-2 at the end of the first and 5-5 at half time.
Rio Olympian Lea Yanitsas was vital in goals for the Aussie Stingers, with 11 saves throughout the game.
The Aussies were still in with a fighting chance in the third quarter trailing by just one goal at the end of the third.
But a strong defensive Greek outfit and a tiring Aussie side saw them steam home with three goals to the Aussies one in the final quarter to finish 11-3.
Australia iwill play France on Sunday 23 July at 6:00am (AEST).
AUSTRALIA 8 GREECE 11
Quarters: 2-2, 3-3, 2-3, 1-3
Penalties: GRE: 0/1.
Extra Man: AUS: 1/9. GRE: 1/10.
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Keesja Gofers (3), Hannah Buckling (2), Bronte Halligan (1), Isobel Bishop (1), Amy Ridge, Rowie Webster (1), Jessica Zimmerman, Zoe Arancini, Lena Mihailovic, Morgan Baxter, Madeleine Steere, Lilian Hedges. Head Coach: Sakis Kechagias.
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala, Vasiliki Diamantopoulou, Nikoleta Eleftheriadou, Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou (1), Alexandra Asimaki (3), Ioanna Chydirioti (1), Christina Kotsia, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (2), Eleftheria Plevritou (3), Eleni Xenaki (1), Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.
Water Polo Australia