Gold Medal Game | Greece 13 Czech Republic 9 

Czech Republic blew a 5-2 advantage midway through the second quarter to lose to Greece by four goals. It was there for the taking. Greece led twice in the first quarter only for the Czechs to rebound each time for 2-2 at the break.

Three quick Czech goals, including one from 11 metres — not bad in an 18m pool — and another on counter had the match at 5-2. Then Greece restructured, scored twice from eight metres — a feature of its game in Somabay — and the middle goal on extra-man attack to have the score at 5-5 by halftime.

Four goals in four minutes took Greece to 9-5 with goals traded for an impressive 10-6 final-break scoreline. The final period was even with the Czechs unable to produce consecutive goals, coming to within three at 1:40 before giving up the final goal to Greece.

Match Difference Makers

Dionysia Koureta was the star of the match with five goals for Greece with Evdokia Tsimara chiming in with three while four Czechs scored twice — Nikola Busauerova, Karolina Javurkova, Josefina Hola and captain Karolina Hlavata.

The Decider

The eight-metre missile in the second period that started the Greek revival at 5-3 down.

Stats Critical

Greece was excellent on extra-man attack with five from nine to Czech Republic’s two from seven. Amazingly, there were no penalties called.

What They Said

Alexandra Kalaitzi (GRE)
The Czech team was really good today; they brought their best. We tried a lot of different things with our offence; not all of it worked as we had planned. Eventually, though, we found a way and now we’re on our way to Bali for the World Beach Games.”

On the difference in the gold-medal game: “We showed our strength, especially on the defensive part. At first, we made some mistakes. But quarter after quarter, we did better and better.”

Lydia Mavrota (GRE) – Captain and named top women’s goalkeeper of the tournament

“Having played against the Czechs before, we knew the team. We know some things from when we played earlier here in this tournament, and we saw some things in their other games. We were prepared and we had a plan. This morning, we had a training that helps us relax, because we knew we wanted to win very much. We know we are a good team, but we needed to prove it. And we did.

Where Greece saw their special advantage against the Czech Republic:Our result started with playing good defence. We had some great defensive plays.”

Karolina Hlavata (CZE) —Captain
It’s great. Playing for the first time at the beach is nice. It’s tough, but we qualified here for the World Beach Games in Bali. It’s a little bit sad that we lost in the finals to Greece as it was a tight match, and we had a chance. Overall, though, it’s been a great tournament and a great experience. “

On beach water polo: “It’s much faster, much better for spectators. For us, it’s much quicker – lots of goals, lots of exclusions. It’s way more fun than the normal water polo. I know I should not say that, but it’s true!”

Bronze Medal Game | South Africa 9 Zimbabwe 4

South Africa had a repeat victory over Zimbabwe to take the bronze medal, thanks to mainly to a 5-0 third quarter. South Africa won the first period 2-0 with the second goal on counter. Zimbabwe was on top in the second with an extra-man goal and a penalty conversion for 2-2 at the changeover.

When Keira van der Loosdrecht backhanded in a centre-forward goal early in the third period, it set off a deluge of goals with two on counter and two on extra for South Africa. The fourth quarter gave heart to Zimbabwe with Dayna Bond slotting two centre-forward goals and South Africa closing the scoring with a penalty goal.

Match Difference Makers

Van der Loosdrecht with her four goals, the same number she scored against Greece the day before. Bond, who scored three goals, finished with an incredible 18 for the week, boosted by her nine-goal haul in the opening clash with Greece.

The Decider

That centre-forward spark in the third period.

Stats Critical

South Africa struggled on extra with just two from 11 to Zimbabwe’s one from four. South Africa missed one of its two penalty attempts and Zimbabwe nailed its sole shot.

What They Said

Kierah van de Loosdrecht (RSA) – Four goals
“It’s really exciting and I know we all really enjoyed it. We played for each other as a team and we’re just really proud of one another. We gave each other the confidence to play that well together.”

Kendall de Beer (RSA)
“Every time we play them, it’s going to be a good game to watch. We played well, but more importantly, we played well together as a team.”

Paige Tancrell (RSA)
“It feels unbelievable, honestly. All of us are way too excited to go to Bali. I’m so stoked we came out with the win.”

Dayna Bond – Zimbabwe Captain and Tournament’s Top Scorer Award Winner
“I’m proud of myself, but I’m also proud of my team because I couldn’t have done it without my team. Obviously, water polo is a very team-oriented sport and I managed to capitalise on all my team’s hard work. I really appreciated all of them and our time here on the international stage. Each and every one of them made us very proud. We’re going to take motivation from this and come back even harder in Bali. We’ve got three months. We’ll get there.”

Final Tournament Results

Check out the box scores and final results from the women's beach water polo tournament in Somabay here