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16th FINA World Championships

July 24 - August 9, 2015

Team Italy takes bronze in women’s water polo tournament at FINA Worlds

R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya
07.08.2015, 21:44 Sport
The match for third place in the women's water polo tournament in the 16th FINA World Championships has just ended. In a bitter fight, the Italian water polo team won on penalties against the opposing team from Australia.

Italy came, in fact, to the last match never having experienced the bitterness of defeat for themselves at the tournament. The only time the Italians gave their opponents a chance was when the main part of the match ended in a draw and only in a penalty shoot-out against the Netherlands did they fail to get to the final. So from that perspective, the 2004 Olympic champions and 5-time European champions looked somewhat better before the match.

The collection of titles from Team Australia is more modest, but its main pearl is victory at the Olympics 15 years ago.

But in water polo, it is not titles, but people that play, and the Australians proved this in the opening minutes of the match, twice beating their competitors. But this early, stunning, and at the same time unexpected success had the opposite effect on the leaders. The Australians seemed to not expect so much zeal from themselves, and allowed the Italians to not only level up before the end of the first quarter, but even get ahead.

Feeling the easy prey, the Italian water polo team played dangerously and attacked the opponents. It seemed that in the course of the game's first half advantage swung like a pendulum movement from side to side, but such tactics of the Italians has always been distinguished in team sports. Like playing cat and mouse, the Italian water polo team allowed the opponents to approach the minimum distance, and then again went forward.  The score was 3-5 at half-time, in favour of the 'blue squadron', as all national teams from Italy are known.

But if one of the teams in the bronze medal match managed to create a mini sporting feat and win back the deficit of just 2, why might the rival team not do this? These could well have been the words at half-time to the team from the Australia coach, Greg McFadden. They coped with this task in the third period of the match, not only having two unreciprocated goals, but, more importantly, gaining psychological advantage.

In the final quarter, the rivals exchanged two goals, tearing at the nerves of fans and amazing impartial observers, but the winner of the bronze medal was not found.

In the penalty shoot-out, the Italians went on a tactical ploy, replacing the goalkeeper before the third attempt, which eventually brought them a result. The reserve goalkeeper took one of the strikes, although her team-mates were relentlessly precise. Implacably for the Australian national team, they completed the tournament in the top four, but without medals.

FINA Worlds 2015. Water polo.

Women. Bronze final.

Australia vs Italy – 7-7 (2-3, 1-2, 2-0, 2-2) (3-5 – on penalties)

Water Polo Arena. August 7.  

Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships