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LONDON, England, August 1. AFTER upsetting second-ranked China, Spain put together another impressive outing with a 9-9 draw with gold-medal favorites Team USA in the second round of group matches in women's water polo at the 2012 London Olympics.
Hungary v China
– Hungary upset world No.2 China 11-10 in a Group A match, gaining the lead for the first time two minutes from the final whistle.
– Three goals by Gabriella SZUCS in the third period brought Hungary to one goal down at 10-9, sparking the revival that led to Barbara BUJKA's winning goal.
– Hungary will play Spain in their final group match on Friday, and China, with two losses and staring at bottom spot on the ladder, will clash with world league champions the USA.
Italy v Russia
– Three goals from Ekaterina LISUNOVA and two penalty saves by goalkeeper Anna KARNAUKH inspired Russia to a 7-4 victory over European champions Italy in a Group A encounter.
– In a low-scoring first half, Russia held one-goal advantages at each break, but a 3-1 third period had Russia sitting comfortably at 6-2, moving to 7-4 before KARNAUKH produced her brilliant penalty stops.
– Both teams have one win from two outings and will be hoping for victories on Friday – Russia play Australia and Italy take on Great Britain – to secure better group positions ahead of Sunday's quarterfinals.
Spain v USA
– Olympic qualification tournament winners Spain continued the upset theme of London 2012 water polo when they drew 9-9 with gold-medal favourites United States in a Group A clash.
– USA gave up a hard-won three-goal lead in a match where Spain dominated for the majority of the match's first three quarters. Jennifer PAREJA (ESP) and Kami CRAIG (USA) scored four goals each.
– USA plays China in their final group match on Friday, while Spain facse Hungary in a scenario where goal difference will play a huge part in who wins the group.
Great Britain v Australia
– Australia gained their second group B victory with a 16-3 rout of Great Britain, built on the powerful shooting of Rowie WEBSTER (five goals) and Ash SOUTHERN (three) as Australia led 3-1, 6-2 and 11-3 at the breaks.
– Great Britain, riding a wave of praise after going down 7-6 to medal hopefuls Russia on Monday, could not match the counter-attacking, fast-passing Australians who have a wealth of experience on the Olympic stage.
– Australia has tough opponents in Russia on Friday, in a match which will decide the group. Great Britain will play Italy to decide who finishes third.
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