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LONDON, England, August 3. SPAIN and Australia finished at the top of their respective groups after the final day of preliminary matches of the women's water polo competition at the 2012 London Olympics. All eight teams move into the quarterfinals on Sunday.
Spain v Hungary
– Spain finished top of group A with a 13-11 victory over Hungary. They needed to win by a two-goal margin to better the one-goal winning margin of the United States over Hungary in the second tiebreaker. Spain and USA had tied 9-9 and finished on equal points, necessitating the second tiebreak.
– The group win came in the last two seconds thanks to Annia ESPAR (ESP) when, after dominating throughout. Spain had three-goal leads on four occasions before Hungary struck back twice in the last 81 seconds of the match.
– Spanish head coach Miguel OCA was suspended for one match (the quarterfinal) for receiving a red card in the dying seconds of the match.
– Spain plays fourth in group B, Great Britain, in the quarterfinals on Sunday. Hungary, who finished third, plays group B's second-ranked team, Russia.
Russia v Australia
– Australia beat Russia 11-8 to wrap up group B with a third consecutive victory, leading 6-4, 8-5 and 8-6 at the breaks.
– Australia is the only women's team with three victories at London 2012, but the scenario of Beijing 2008 has been thrown up again with the Aussie Stingers destined for a semifinal showdown with world cup and world league champions USA should they both win their quarterfinals.
– Australia takes on fourth-ranked China from group A and Russia will play group A's third-ranked team Hungary in the quarterfinals on Sunday.
Great Britain v Italy
– Italy gained their first win and third spot on the group B ladder after beating Great Britain 10-5 and will play world cup and world league champions United States on Sunday.
– Great Britain, without a win, automatically goes to the quarterfinals of the eight-team competition, having to face group A winners Spain.
– Athens 2004 Olympic champion Tania DI MARIO scored three goals and Giulia EMMOLO was deadly down the right wing with another three goals. Great Britain's Ciara GIBSON-BYRNE scored twice.
China v United States
– United States recovered from 3-2 down at half-time to beat China 7-6 in the last of the preliminary round matches.
– The group A positions were decided before the match with USA guaranteed second position and a quarterfinal clash with Italy, while China will play Australia on Sunday.
– World No.2 China, still without a win, played far better than in the previous two matches, but still allowed USA to overhaul them.
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