Women’s FINA Water Polo SuperfinalFINA Notes on Bronze Medal Game; Russia v. Italy

LONG BEACH, June 27.

Game Nineteen: RUSSIA vrs. ITALY
RUSSIA, 15 – ITALY, 14
( 0:1, 2:3, 3:2, 5:4 )
( 3:3 penalty shoot-out )
( 1:2 sudden victory penalty shoot-out)

TEAM STANDINGS:
ITALY wins BRONZE MEDAL
RUSSIA finishes in FOURTH place

GAME NOTES:
Italy survived sudden-death, penalty shootout to beat Russia for bronze
medal.

The game was locked at 10 by full time and 13 after the mandatory five
penalty shots. Italy then won the sudden-death phase 2-1 and collect $20,000
US while Russia took home $15,000.

No side gave anything away in the opening quarter until Tania Di Mario
scored off deep left-hand catch with her right arm at 1:27. Pressure was
everywhere and shots were pushed off target.

The second period was far different with the floodgates opening. Silvia
Bosurgi began the tidal wave with a score off extra from the top at 7:20.
The Russians responded with an identical shot less than a minute later
through Maria Yaina. Alexandra Araujo pushed Italy out to a 3-1 lead on the
power play, receiving the ball from the point down to her right-hand
postposition. Yaina responded three minutes later but Miceli made certain of
an Italian lead at halftime with a simple power-play goal from four metres.

Ekaterina Salimova on action and Yaina with her third, this time on extra,
had the game level at 4-4 by 7:40. Yaina¹s smile said it all. Italy drew a
penalty at the other end and Di Mario converted for 5-4. Yaina nailed her
fourth with a deft lob from deep right-hand catch and the game was locked at
5-5. Italy went to a timeout and Manuela Zanchi converted, tipping in a
cross pass with just 47 seconds left in the period for 6-5 up. At the other
end of the pool Zanchi gave up a penalty foul but Olga Turova had her
bottom-right shot blocked by Francesco Conti.

Di Mario moved the margin to two at 6:50 of the final quarter but that
marvellous woman Yaina scored her fifth from deep right-hand catch on the
bounce. Turova scored one from the other side and Italy¹s lead was
eliminated. Martina Miceli shot to the left but the ball deflected off a
Russian defender and bounced across goalkeeper Valentina Vorontova¹s chest
into the goal for 8-7. Yaina scored her sixth from the penalty line and
Maddalena Musumeci received a long cross pass from her skipper Carmella
Allucci. Then the Yaina train steamed in with a goal on extra ­ her seventh.
Then Russia had the break on its next attack with the lob shot tipped away
by Conti. However, Ekaterina Vasileva followed up and pushed the ball into
goal for 10-10 at 0:33. No more goals and the game went to a penalty
shoot-out.

Yaina scored first and Bosurgi missed in the first two shots. Anastasia
Zubkova and Di Mario scored. Vasileva converted and Miceli missed giving
Russia a 13-11 lead. Natalia Shepelina missed, hitting the post and Allucci
converted for 13-12. Tatiana Petrova hit the right post and it was left to
Melania Grego to tie the game after the regulation five shots each. She did,
sending it into sudden death. Yaina scored her ninth goal, obviously a World
League record, which might take some time to be beaten. Bosurgi made it
14-14. Zubkova had her shot saved by Conti on an outstretched had. Di Mario
took time to shoot but when she did it went in for a 15-14 victory and the
bronze medal.

FLASH QUOTES:
ITALY (15)
COACH: PIERLUIGI FORMICONI
ON OVERALL PERFORMANCE: “We win many, many matches, and we lose many, many matches. I hope my team will be good in 1 month and 15 days (Olympics).”
PREFER REGULAR GAME OR OVERTIME: “I prefer overtime, because that’s when you must play. You must shoot. I know my girls. They are like ice. No problem.”

PLAYER # 1 FRANCESCA CONTI (GOALIE)
ON OVERALL PERFORMANCE: “Before, we played OK, after the last two games, OK.
ON INSTINCT TO GO TO THE LEFT IN SHOOT-OUT: “The last two times (shots) during the match, she (unknown Russian player) went to the left.”

RUSSIA (14):
COACH: ALEXANDER KLEYMENOV

PLAYER # 4: SOFYA KONUKH
RESULTS OF GAME: “It is like a lottery. Anyone can win.”
NEXT FOR TEAM: “We will have a week off and then start practicing again.”

PLAYER # 10: OLGA TUROVA
ABOUT GAME: “It was frustrating because the 1st three goals we scored were not counted. We’re upset about that.”

COMPOSITION OF TEAM AND SCORERS:

RUSSIA: 14
Valentina VORONTSOVA (GK), Natalia SHEPELINA, Ekaterina SALIMOVA (1), Sofya
KONUKH, Elena SMUROVA, Galina ZLOTNIKOVA, Anastasia ZUBKOVA (1) , Svetlana
BOGDANOVA, Tatiana PETROVA, Olga TUROVA (1), Ekaterina SHISHOVA, Ekaterina
VASIL'EVA (2), Maria YAINA (9), Natalia KUTUZOVA
HEAD COACH: Alexander KLEYMENOV

RESULTS SINCE 2000: Third place 2000 Olympic Games; sixth place 2001 World Championships; fourth place 2002 World Cup, third place 2003 World Championships, fourth place 2004 World League Super Final.

RESULTS OF THE FINA WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE SUPER FINALS:
Day One: (1-0) – RUSSIA defeated GREECE, 11-9
Day Two: (2-0) – RUSSIA defeated USA, 10-5
Day Three: (3-0) – RUSSIA defeated KAZAKHSTAN, 10-6
Day Four: (3-1) – RUSSIA lost to HUNGARY, 7-8
TODAY: (3-2) – RUSSIA lost to ITALY, 14-15

TOP RUSSIAN SCORERS IN FINA WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE SUPER FINAL:
KONUKH (10), YAINA (10), SALIMOVA (7), SMUROVA (6), BOGDANOVA (5), TUROVA (5)

COMPOSITION OF TEAM AND SCORERS:

ITALY: 15
Francesca CONTI (GK), Martina MICELI (2), Carmella ALLUCCI (1), Silvia BOSURGI (2), Erika LAVA, Manuela ZANCHI (1), Tania DI MARIO (5), Cinzia RAGUSA, Giusi MALATO, Alexandra ARAUJO (2), Maddalena MUSUMECI (1), Melania GREGO (1), Noemi TOTH, Simona ABBATE
HEAD COACH: Pierluigi FORMICONI

RESULTS SINCE 2000: First place 2001 World Championships; fifth place 2002 World Cup; second place 2003 World Championships, third place (bronze medal) 2004 World League Super Finals.

RESULTS OF FINA WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE SUPER FINALS:
Day One: (1-0) – ITALY defeated HUNGARY, 6-4
Day Two: (2 -0) – ITALY defeated AUSTRALIA, 11-8
Day Three: (3-0) – ITALY defeated CANADA, 13-8
Day Four: (3-1) – USA defeated ITALY, 9-10
TODAY: (4-1) – ITALY defeated RUSSIA, 15-14

TOP ITALY SCORERS IN FINA WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE SUPER FINAL:
GREGO (12), DI MARIO (12), ZANCHI (8), BOSURGI (7), ARAUJO (5)

POWER PLAYS:
RUSSIA: 5/6
ITALY: 5/7

REFEREES: Stephane ROY – (CAN) & Atilla NEMETH – (HUN)

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