Water Polo Day 11: USA, ROC, HUN, ESP reach women's semis

Posted at 5:26 AM, Aug 03, 2021

Team USA

USA def. CAN

It wasn't a "duel in the pool" between two North American powerhouses. The United States blew Canada out of the water in a jaw-dropping 16-5 quarterfinal bloodbath at the Tatsumi Water Polo Centre.

The score marked the largest margin of victory in a women’s Olympic knockout round match, though the U.S. did destroy Brazil 13-3 in a Rio 2016 quarterfinal. Three players -- Maggie SteffensMakenzie Fischer, and Alys Williams -- scored three points each. With 52 career goals, Steffens now holds the record for highest total in women's water polo history.

The Americans took home gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016 -- and are certainly strong contenders for a three-peat in Tokyo.  


ESP def. CHN

Spain established a big lead in the first half of their quarterfinal match against China, scoring nine points to their opponent's five. They kept up a strong defense during the last two quarters, with each team boosting their totals by two points. 

The Spaniards took home water polo silver at London 2012, but -- like the Chinese -- fell in the quarterfinals of Rio 2016. This go-around, they advance to the semifinals. Final: 11-7.

HUN def. NED

Hungary claimed a 4-3 lead after one quarter and did not look back, sealing a semifinal berth with a 14-11 win over the Netherlands. Dora Leimeter's four goals paced the victors. Hungary finished fourth in 2016, 2012, and 2008 but it is now one win away from playing for gold.

ROC def. AUS

Three players scored two goals as the Russian Olympic Committee delivered a tight 9-8 win over Australia. ROC took bronze in 2016 by beating Hungary and now could face the Hungarians for gold with if they can surprise the United States.