Shanghai, China, June 9.— Hungary slipped into the semifinals with just three hundredths of a second to spare in pipping Netherlands 8-7 on quarterfinal day of the FINA Women’s World League Super Final at the Match Natatorium in Shanghai.

Hungary, after being two down early, led for most of the match, but gave up a three-goal advantage in the final quarter to allow Netherlands back into contention with 18 seconds left. However, Hungary managed to win with a long shot well inside the final second.

Reigning champion United States of America had little difficulty against Australia in the second quarterfinal, winning 13-4 and will now face Hungary in one semifinal.

On the other side of the draw, Canada had to come from two down against Japan to chisel out a 9-5 success.

Canada will meet Russia in the other semifinal, after it blasted past China 16-8.


June 10 schedule:

Semifinal round 5-8

Match 18, 15:00, NED v AUS

Match 17, 16:20, CHN v JPN

Semifinal round 1-4

Match 19, 17:40, RUS v CAN

Match 20, 19:00, HUN v USA


Today's matches:


Match 13. 15:00, NETHERLANDS 7 HUNGARY 8


Quarters: 3-3, 0-1, 1-2, 3-2

Referees: Marie-Claude Deslieres (CAN), Amber Drury (USA).

Penalties: NED: 1/1.

Extra Man: NED: 6/16. HUN: 5/12


NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Miloushka Smit (1), Dagmar Genee (1), Catharina van der Sloot (2), Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis, Brigit Mulder, Maud Megens, Laura van der Graaf, Lieke Klaassen (3), Kitty-Lynn Joustra, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

HUNGARY: Edina Gangl, Dora Czigany (1), Dora Antal, Dorottya Szilagyi (1), Gabriella Szucs (1), Orsolya Takacs, Anna Illes (1), Rita Keszthelyi (1), Ildiko Toth, Barbara Bujka (2), Dora Csabai (1), Noemi Somhegyi, Orsolya Kaso. Head Coach: Attila Biro.


Two goals in the final 18 seconds (or three, if you ask Netherlands) and a spectacular, high-fouling match produced a dynamic finish equal to USA’s win over Russia on day three. The problem, though, was that this is a quarter-final and any goal is vital. Hungary clinched victory with three hundredths of a second remaining in the match! For a match where there was everything — a player red-carded during an injury stoppage; a multitude of players on two fouls; coaches screaming for support from the referees and then that magical final minute. Hungary trailed 2-0 and levelled at three by quarter time before scoring the only goal of the second period. The Dutch levelled only for Hungary to go two up by the final break and three ahead early in the fourth. Then the Dutch controlled the attack as the fouls were mounting and scored three goals on extra for 7-7 at 0:18. Netherlands had been knocking strongly on the door all match against the agile Orsolya Kaso in the Hungarian goal. It was Dagmar Genee who converted from the near post at 0:18 to send the Dutch into raptures. Hungary was having nothing of the celebrations and went on attack and the ball reached Gabriella Szucs who was unmarked. She pontificated as to what to do and since she was unmarked and the clock had reached the final second, she shot from 8m into the top right for 8-7 and those miserable nano-seconds that said the Dutch could not score. However, the Dutch did score from what appeared to be the restart only for the ball to be called back despite huge protestations from the bench. The referee had not blown her whistle but the clock started and the buzzer sounded after the shot. At the restart it proved impossible for Lieke Klaassen to shoot, thus not adding to her three-goal haul. It was theatre all the way and the final curtain came down on a Hungarian winning performance. It was Dutch captain Miloushka Smit who remonstrated with the referee when Catharine van der Sloot was injured in the head and dragged from the water. Nomi Stomphorst (NED) even received a yellow card as did Hungarian head coach Attila Biro. This match had everything.


Picture: Russell McKinnon 




Quarters: 3-1, 5-2, 3-1, 2-0

Referees: Martina Kunikova (SVK), Rajmund Fodor (HUN).

Penalties: Nil

Extra Man: USA: 5/6. AUS: 3/5.


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Gabby Stone, Maddie Musselman (1), Melissa Seidemann (2), Rachel Fattal (3), Mary Brooks (1), Maggie Steffens (2), Jordan Raney, Kiley Neushul (4), Aria Fischer, Jamie Neushul, Makenzie Fischer, Alys Williams, Mia Rycraw. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

AUSTRALIA: Lilian Hedges, Amy Ridge, Elle Armit, Bronte Halligan (2), Julia Barton, Alice Williams, Rowie Webster (1), Jessica Zimmerman (1), Kelly O’Leary, Chloe Barr, Morgan Baxter, Madeleine Steere, Lea Yanitsas. Head Coach: Sakis Kechagias.


USA, as a group winner, beat Australia, winless this week, for a semifinal berth. It was a far cry from a month ago when Australia inflicted USA’s first defeat since winning a second Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro, but those were different teams from today and Australia has been struggling with just two Olympians while USA has that determined look it always has, no matter what the competition. The match was sealed in the second quarter when USA had a 6-1 advantage and then stretched it to 10-3 four minutes into the third period. Australia kept trying but it was the small things that USA did well and any space given by the Aussie Stingers was exploited to the maximum. USA will once again go far in the tournament and is only two matches short of maintaining its incredible record.

 Picture: Russell McKinnon


Match 15, 17:40, JAPAN 5 CANADA 9


Quarters: 3-1, 2-4, 0-2, 0-2

Referees: Marcela Mauss (GER), Adil Aimbetov (KAZ).

Penalties: CAN: 1/1.

Extra Man: JPN: 1/3. CAN: 1/6.


JAPAN: Miyuu Aoki, Yumi Arima (2), Yuri Kazama, Shino Magariyama, Chiaki Satanoue (1), Minori Yamamoto, Akari Inaba (1), Yuki Niizawa, Kana Hosoya, Misaki Noro, Marina Tokumoto, Kotori Suzuki (1), Minani Shioya. Head Coach: Makiko Izuo.

CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (1), Axelle Crevier, Emma Wright (1), Monika Eggens, Kyra Christmas, Joelle Bekhazi, Elyse Lemay, Hayley McKelvey (4), Christine Robinson, Gurpreet Sohi, Shae Fournier, Claire Wright. Head Coach: Haris Pavlidis.


Canada rightfully went through to the top four with a hard-fought victory over Japan. To think that Japan could lead 2-0 against a group winner seemed an improbability before the match, but that is what happened. Japan stunned Canada and it took nearly six minutes for the Maple Leafs to level, take the lead by two and then slip up and allow Japan to level at five before halftime.  With Hayley McKelvey on fire, and veteran Monika Eggens scoring from the deep, Canada had a two-goal advantage by the final break. A pair of goals in the last, with McKelvey netting her fourth, Canada was through to the semifinals in what has been a stellar week. Japan can pat itself on the back for a forceful effort, considering the height and weight difference  — much like bantamweight versus heavyweight in boxing. Yumi Arima scored twice and continues to impress in Shanghai with her agility, speed and shooting prowess. Japan goes to the play-offs for 5-8 and can taken much confidence into that series.


Picture: Russell McKinnon 


Match 16. 19:00, RUSSIA 16 CHINA 8


Quarters: 4-2, 5-0, 5-3, 2-3

Referees: Diana Dutilh (NED), Nicola Johnson (AUS).

Penalties: RUS: 1/1.

Extra Man: RUS: 4/8. CHN: 0/9.


RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Daria Gerzanich, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (1), Elvina Karimova (3), Maria Borisova (2), Olga Gorbunova (3), Alena Serzhantova (1), Anastasia Simanovich (2), Anna Timofeeva (1), Tatiana Tolkunova (1), Veronika Vakhitova, Daria Ryzhkova (1), Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Aleksandr Gaydukov.

CHINA: Lin Peng, YaNan Bi, XiaoHan Mei, DunHan Xiong (1), GuanNan Niu (1), Ning Guo, YiWen Lu, Cong Zhang, ZiHan Zhao (1), SanFeng Nong, Xiao Chen (4), Jing Zhang (1), YuTing Xie. Head Coach: DaLi Gong.


Russia needed six minutes to get the better of China and went on a calculated scoring mission for victory. Russia was constantly hammering the Chinese cage and made it hard for the host team at the other end of the pool. China was kept scoreless in the second quarter, a period in which Russian goalkeeper Anna Karnaukh sent up a long pass to a breaking Ekaterina Prokofyeva to score a spectacular goal. China came back in the third, matching Russia for goals at 11-4 and then turning that to 11-5 before three goals from Russia had the match sealed by the final break at 14-5. China was not out of the picture entirely with Xiao Chen scoring her third goal from centre forward and then moments later her fourth on counter-attack thanks to a pass from captain ZiHan Zhao. The teams swapped goals and China’s efforts were being rewarded. In fact, China won the final quarter 3-2.



Picture: Russell McKinnon