BARCELONA (Reuters) - Hosts Spain came from behind to edge a thrilling contest with Hungary while Australia saw off Russia to book a place in Friday’s women’s final at the water polo world championships in Barcelona on Wednesday.
The Spanish side, known locally as “the warriors” and silver medalists behind the United States at last year’s London Olympics, thrilled the home supporters at the hilltop pool on Montjuic when they came through 13-12 after trailing by a goal going into the final quarter.
Australia, who finished third in London ahead of the Hungarians, were 2-1 down after the first quarter before coming through 9-6 as they seek a repeat of their triumph at the 1986 world championships in Madrid.
“We knew that Russia plays really fast and we had to stop their counter-attacks, so we did,” Australia coach Greg McFadden told reporters.
“Russia played excellent water polo, but we did what we do best and it worked.
“We talked about concentrating on quick movements on the attack. We decided to play hard against their weakest players.”
Russian player Olga Beliaeva said she and her team mates would try to make sure they did not go home empty handed when they play the United States, who lost 9-6 to Spain in the quarter-finals, in Friday’s bronze medal match.
“It was a really difficult game for us,” she said. “Australia was stronger and faster, so we couldn’t win the match.”
Reporting by Iain Rogers; Editing by John Mehaffey