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09.09.2018
Canada finishes in sixth place after a heartbreaking loss in shootout

(Surgut, Russia, September 9, 2018) – In another hard-fought battle, the Canadian women’s team played a good second half and came from behind in the fourth quarter to tie the score 10-10 and send the game into penalties. Despite taking an early advantage in the first round of the shootout, Canada was unable to edge its opponent. After two rounds, the Chinese capitalized on their opportunity to defeat the Canadians 20 -19 (10 - 9) to claim the fifth spot at the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup.

The Chinese had a strong start in the first quarter as they took advantage of their extra-man opportunities twice. Joelle Bekhazi also tallied one on the Canadian power play to put the score at 2-1. China added one goal on the counter-attack to take a 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Bekhazi netted her second of the match to put Canada within one at the beginning of the second quarter. China answered back on the next possession to regain a two-goal lead. Both teams exchanged goals to put the score at 5-3 halfway through the period. Krystina Alogbo found the back of the net on the power play after a nice setup by Axelle Crevier to put back the Canadian squad within one goal. However, two late goals by the Chinese gave them a three-goal lead after the first half (7-4).

Trailing by three with two quarters to go, the Canucks had to find a way to come back into this match. China gave them quite the challenge, scoring two quick goals at the beginning of the third quarter to extend their lead to 9-4. Despite the score, the Canadian women kept going looking to create something on offense. Bekhazi completed her hat trick on the power play while Emma Wright scored her second goal of the match after a steal by Alogbo to put Canada within three goals (9-6). China’s Ying Zhai added one for her team a minute later to regain a four-goal lead. Monika Eggens and Elyse Lemay-Lavoie found the back of the net in the last minutes of the quarter to put back Canada into the game at 10-8.

The Canadians looked determined heading into the final quarter. Eggens beat the goalkeeper with a powerful skip shot early in the fourth period. Still behind in this match, Canada’s defense had to be sharp and alert. It was a steal by Crevier that started the offensive sequence leading to the equalizer for Canada. Emma Wright fired one from outside to even the score 10-10 with 3:51 to go in the game. The last minutes of the game were highlighted by great defensive plays and fabulous saves from both goalkeepers, and after thirty-two minutes of play, the fifth place had to be decided in a penalty shootout.

The Canadian team was up first in the shootout; Emma Wright converted the penalty to take the early lead. Up 2-1 in the first round, Canada’s goalkeeper Claire Wright stopped China’s second shooter to give her team an edge. The next four shooters were successful giving the Canadians the opportunity to put the game away on their fifth shot, but China’s goalkeeper stepped up and made the save. The Chinese were able to even the score with their last shooter (14 -14). The tension reached new heights in Surgut; the game was going into the second round of shootouts. Wright, McKelvey, Eggens, McKee, and Fournier found the back of the net for Canada while China’s shooters all converted their opportunities to go into the third round of shootouts. It all came down to the eleventh shooter; China’s Lin Peng saved Canada’s attempt and Ying Zhai capitalized on her opportunity to help her team record a 20-19 win.

The disappointment was palpable in the Canadians’ entourage after the match. "The outcome is not what we were expecting, and we are very disappointed in our overall performance in the tournament. However, I'm proud of our team, we were down by five goals and came back to tie the game. We showed real resilience, and we fought until the very end. We had some breakdowns on defense, but that didn't stop us. We have struggled with our offense against the US and Australia, and in this game, we showed that we could be a threat by scoring ten goals in regular time. We have some work ahead of us, and we are ready to put in the efforts and perform next summer for the Olympic qualifiers " commented Joelle Bekhazi of the women’s national team.

After the match, the Canadian coaching staff acknowledged the team had work to do in the coming year to prepare for the Olympic qualification events next summer. “It’s hard to lose in a shootout, but I am proud of how our team came back after a five-goal deficit. We have lots to work on in the coming year ” said David Paradelo, Assistant coach with the Canadian women’s team.

Canada finishes in sixth place at the 2018 FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup. In the final game of the tournament, the United States edged Russia 8-5 to win the gold medal.

CHN 20 – 19 CAN

(3 - 1, 4 - 3, 3 – 4, 0 – 2) / (10 – 9 Shootout)

Goals: Joelle Bekhazi (3), Emma Wright (3), Monika Eggens (2), Krystina Alogbo, Elyse Lemay-Lavoie

Statistics & Play-by-Play

Video Replay

Final standings

1. United States of America

2. Russia

3. Australia

4. Spain

5. China

6. Canada

7. New Zealand

8. South Africa

 
 
 
 

 


 
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