Competition Day 2 of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup, launched the day before in Surgut, Russia, saw another big wins of favorites. Defending World Cup and reigning European bronze medalists Spain met no major issues defeating China, which stood as a problem for Australians’ opener. “Stingers” had another uneasy game to go against host Russia, which turned out to be very tense and kept everyone’s suspense till the last seconds. Diametrically different stories unfolded as North American teams played South Africa and New Zealand. Both rookies had nothing to do but to confirm their good shape and enjoyed scoring, as their rising challengers came away learning experience and conceding a lot of goals.
Game 5. ESP vs. CHN 13-7 (2-2, 4-2, 4-2, 3-1)
Spain marched on defeating China. Scoring two more goals in each quarters except the first, they were happy to celebrate their first win in Surgut. They needed it badly to preserve some chances to avoid Group B leader in the quarters. Perhaps it was not the best shooting game ever seen. The Asian side looked a little stumbled after a sensitive defeat to Australia at their opener. Spain was no way fresh as well, loosing to host Russia the same evening. This is why both teams took their time to adapt and taste their new game, new vibes and each other.
Miguel Angel Oca’s side opened the score first after two and a half minutes after the kick-off. Pilar Pena was hot ready finishing a home-set mode for the man-up, punishing Xinyan Wang occasionally excluded, 1-0. Huan Wang played up for her name-sister, offering her version of the left corner shot, 1-1. Dunhan Xiong shone bring with her backhand power kill, which was duly responded by the Spanish cap, converting another extra-man combination on offer, 2-2. 3 times more hits were greeted in the 2nd period.
There came a long scoring draught for almost 3 minutes, when teams fought hard, pressing each other full court, and were quite efficient defensively. Spanish were a little more persistent offensively, and 4 of their shots reached destination. China’s response was two, 6-4 at the large break. Best scorer of the Day 1 Anna Espar was more than timid or rather Chinese did not let her shine. She could not convert her penalty offer, and was to be sat having upset Yineng Shen in the third quarter just twice (through the man-up and the last hope buzzer). Her efforts however were backed by teammates as Paula Leiton produced a beautiful contra-attack, and Anna Gual Rovirosa worked out her second-chance trial. Zhang and Wang were again the two to respond, which was definitely not enough for revival, 10-6. Chinese never gave up, and did exceedingly well creating moments. They forced opponents to commit faults and earn extra-man chances, which were all the way long today of no fruits to them, 13-7.