USA and Spain to go for gold

The United States have already seized their fourth Olympic medal in the fourth edition of women's waterpolo. Head coach Adam Krikorian's players gained an 11-9 victory after extra-time in today's first semi-final clash against Australia at the 2012 Games here in London, Great Britain. In the final match to be held Thursday night at the Water Polo Arena the US girls will face the Olympic newcomers from Spain who gained a 10-9 victory in the all-European clash against Hungary. It will be the first final clash between both nations in women's waterpolo.

Goals by top shooter Maggie Steffens (4 goals) and Kami Craig, right before the end of the first half of extra time, sealed the victory for the US as they got the final for the second consecutive time aiming for a better result than four years ago when The Netherlands took a narrow 9-8 win. The Aussie Stingers had levelled the game in regular time in dramatic fashion as Ashley Southern's converted penalty shot with just seconds remaining which caused an 9-9 final score. USA head coach Adam Krikorian called for a time-out when his team had no possession of the ball whereafter consultation by both referees led to awarding a penalty shot to Australia, with Southern scoring her fourth goal of the game.
Spain's Olympic performance is not a simple dream any more. Head coach Miguel Angel Oca's are remained unbeaten here in London and now even made it to the final game. In the second semi-final the Spaniards never looked back, taking a 4-1 lead in the second period. Hungary was not able to tie the result any more tonight, trailing 9-7 before the final swim-off. Both teams looked very nervous in the final period and missed some chances, but at 4'00 Spain's Maica Garcia scored a lucky man-up goal to bring the score to 10-7. Hungary was running out of time now. Key player Rita Dravucz and Dora Czigany still scored twice, but after Hungary's ninth goal tonight the match was over. Spain's Anni Espar netted four balls tonight.
World's number two China can still hope for a second fifth place in their short Olympic history as the Asian representative gained quite a clear 14-10 victory against European champion Italy in the ranking matches for the places 5-8. Like two days before, the Chinese offence seemed to be unstopable again, but in contrast to the Australians who came virtually back from death the setterosa could not strike back this afternoon. Italy's 2004 Olympic gold medallist Tania di Mario scored four goals, but her team did not play on the level to bring the Chinese in trouble today.
The Chinese will face now World's number three Russia who edged out Olympic newcomer Great Britain 11-9 in the second semi-final clash for the fifth place. In the rematch of the preliminary round match, the Russians had to overcome a 5-4 half-time deficit but four goals from Ekaterina Prokofyeva and Sofia Konukh, who netted three each, were finally too much for the hosts who showed another top level game. Russia will play for the fifth place for the second time after 2004 while the local heroes are battling battle Italy for seventh and eight place. 
XXX Olympic Games 2012 at London, Great Britain

Results of today's matches

Day 10: Tuesday, 7 August - WOMEN
17. 14.10 China (L13) vs. Italy (L16) 14-10 (5-2, 5-2, 2-2, 2-4) - Semi-final 5th - 8th place
19. 15.30 Australia (W13) vs. USA (W16) 9-11 (3-3, 2-3, 1-1, 3-2 - e. t.: 0-2, 0-0) - Semi-final 1
18. 18.20 Russia (L14) vs. Great Britain (L15) 11-9 (3-3, 1-2, 4-2, 3-2) - Semi-final 5th - 8th place
20. 19.40 Hungary (W14) vs. Spain (W15) 9-10 (1-2, 4-5, 2-2, 2-1) - Semi-final 2
Upcoming matches
Day 11: Wednesday, 8 August - MEN
31. 14.30 Croatia (1A) vs. United States (4B) - Quarter-final 1
32. 15.50 Italy (2A) vs. Hungary (3B) - Quarter-final 2
33. 18.40 Spain (3A) vs Montenegro (2B) - Quarter-final 3
34. 20.00 Australia (4A) vs. Serbia (1B) - Quarter-final 4

Day 12: Thursday, 9 August - WOMEN
21. 14.30 Italy (L17) vs. Great Britain (L18) - Classification 7th - 8th place
22. 15.50 China (W17) vs. Russia (W18) - Classification 5th - 6th place
23. 18.40 Australia (L19) vs. Hungary (L20) - Bronze Medal Match
24. 20.00 USA (W19) vs. Spain (W20) - Gold Medal Match
N. b: starting times are London local time

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