The team of USA won the 2018 edition of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup, held in the Russian city of Surgut, from September 4-9. In the decisive match, the North American squad beat the host team by 8-5. Maggie Steffens and Ashleigh Johnson, playing for the winning squad, were named the Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper of the tournament, respectively.
En route to their third consecutive title in the competition, the US team managed to have a decisive advantage over Russia, at the end of the second period, winning then by 5-2. Despite a more balanced second half of the game, the Russians, heavily supported by the crowd in Surgut, could not recover and had to content for the silver medal.
In the match for the third position, Australia was slightly better than Spain, triumphing by a tangential 9-8. It was a thrilling match, with a 4-4 tie at halftime. On the third quarter, Australians were slightly better (3-2), while the last period was again quite balanced (2-2).
Still more undecided was the game for the fifth place, where China narrowly beat Canada by 20-19! After a 10-10 outcome in the end of the regular time, the penalty shootout session was quite intense, with the Asian squad winning the battle by 10-9.
Finally, in the fight for the seventh place, New Zealand had no difficulties in overcoming South Africa by a comfortable 14-3.
Final placings: 1. USA; 2. Russia; 3. Australia; 4. Spain; 5. China; 6. Canada; 7. New Zealand; 8. South Africa
The FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup will be held from September 11-16, 2018 in Berlin (GER).