USA center back Maggie Steffens (6) looks to pass in the first quarter against Australia in the women's semifinal in the London 2012 Olympic Games at Water Polo Arena.
Courtesy of: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
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BARCELONA, Spain, July 21. IN a move similar to when the NBA schedules a marquee matchup on Christmas Day, FINA definitely wanted the fans to have something to sink their teeth into during day one of women's water polo at the World Championships.

Reigning Olympic champion USA downed defending World champion Greece, 12-8, in preliminary competition this morning at the Picornell Pool. Team USA had to charge back from a 2-0 deficit after the first quarter with the teams knotted at 4-4 and 6-6 before the U.S. gained an 8-6 lead. The Stars and Stripes then closed out the show.

Maggie Steffens led the Red, White and Blue with a hat trick en route to the important victory. Meanwhile, Greece collected a pair of hat tricks from Christina Tsoukala and Antigoni Roumpesi.

In other action, Russia squashed Uzbekistan (22-6); Australia thumped New Zealand (15-4); China nearly blanked South Africa (17-2); Canada tripped up Great Britain (14-9); Hungary crushed Brazil (20-6); Italy edged Kazakhstan (9-7) and hosts Spain clipped The Netherlands (14-12).

Results: FINA World Championships, Water Polo: Day One

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