Water polo champs shine in Perth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Water polo champs shine in Perth

By Tim Clarke 11/12/2002 05:54:15 AM Comments (0)

Australia overcame unfancied Kazakhstan to win its opening match of the women's water polo World Cup 9-6 at Perth's Challenge Stadium.

The Olympic champions were thankful for the experience of Naomi Castle and Jo Fox in helping beat the outsiders of the eight-team event.

But Istvan Gorgenyi, Australia's Hungarian-born coach, would not have been entirely happy with a performance that did not flatter the Australians.

Only three players - captain Castle, Fox and Taryn Woods - remain in the team from their gold medal triumph in Sydney.

And it was skipper Castle who opened Australia's account, skimming the ball into the bottom corner after just under two minutes.

A penalty from Fox allowed Australia to extend the lead in the first quarter, and Jodie Taylor rifled in a third to put Australia comfortably ahead.

In between goals, Emma Knox in goal produced several fine saves, but was powerless to stop Assel Jakayeva's point blank shot.

Melissa Rippon's shot then took Australia to a 4-1 halftime lead.

Four goals in just over a minute - two to either side - kept things even, until a long range effort from Tatyana Gubina brought a few flutters to the home fans.

A blistering nine metre shot from Fox calmed the nerves.

Then Kate Gynther scored her second of the night before her third penalty ruled her out for the rest of the game.

Castle scored the last goal to send the Australians into Wednesday night's clash with Hungary in good heart.

In earlier matches, pre-tournament favourites Italy and Hungary were held to surprising draws.

The tournament's youngest player, 17 year-old Kelina Kantzou of Greece was the star as her team held world champion Italy 8-8.

Kantzou scored three goals in her showdown with the World Cup's oldest player, Italian captain Carmela Allucci, 32.

Allucci also got on the scoresheet but was later excluded for three personal fouls.

Italian coach Pierluigi Fomiconi described the team's performance as its worst for ten years.

A physical encounter between the USA and Hungary ended 5-5.

Two long range goals from Agnes Primasz were matched by two from Coralie Simmons for the United States, the silver medallists at the Sydney Olympics.

In another upset, Russia shocked third seed Canada with a 9-7 victory.

Sofia Konoukh and and Olga Turova scored two goals each for the Russians.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2018 AAP

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