U.S., defending champ Hungary to meet in semifinals

Updated: March 27, 2007, 10:51 AM ET
Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Brenda Villa scored four goals to lead the United States past Spain 10-6 on Tuesday and into the women's water polo world championship semifinals.

World Championships Medals
 
Gold
Silver
Bronze
Total
U.S.
18
13
4
35
Russia
11
4
6
21
China
9
5
2
16
Australia
7
6
9
22
France
3
2
2
7
Germany
2
4
4
10
Japan
1
3
8
12
Through Saturday (in order of golds won)

The Americans got off to a slow start, trailing Spain 3-1 after the first quarter before tying the score at 3 at the halfway mark. From then on it was all the United States.

"Spain did a good job. We haven't played a match for a while and it just took us a while to get going. The third period was good though and even the second we showed a bit,'' said U.S. coach Guy Baker.

Lauren Wenger scored two goals for the United States, while Natalie Golda, Heather Petri, Alison Gregorka and Kameryn Craig had one each.

Blanca Gil Sorli had all six goals for Spain.

The United States faces its toughest test in the semifinals Thursday when it takes on defending champion Hungary, an 11-9 quarterfinal winner over Canada.

"Our games are pretty similar," Villa said of the Hungarian women. "We are both playing a tight pressing defense and we have both got great shooters. In the end, I think it will come down to the extra player situations."

In other quarterfinals, Russia edged Greece 10-9 and will next face Australia, a 12-8 winner over Italy.

The Australian women got revenge after their male counterparts lost to Italy in the final seconds of overtime Monday to miss out on a quarterfinals spot.

Australia will launch an official complaint after claiming Italy's Silvia Bosurgi bit Australian Kate Gynther on the forearm and broke the skin in the final quarter of their match.

"They just fall over the top and they bite, there's three girls in the team who do it all the time," Australia coach Greg McFadden said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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