Sydney University’s national women’s water polo representatives Keesja Gofers and Hannah Buckling were among the scorers in Australia’s 10-7 win over Hungary in the opening game of the FINA World Cup Women’s Cup being played in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
Buckling and Gofers each contributed a goal in the Group B win which saw the Stingers gain the better of Hungary with a 4-0 final quarter. Both head coaches were censured during the match, with Hungary’s Andras Meresz being red-carded in the final seconds.
Australia won the World Cup gold in 2006 and finished with the silver medal at the 2010 World Cup, won by the US in Christchurch.
The US warmed up their defence of the trophy with a comfortable 18-1 victory over South Africa, who are involved in their first World Cup. Spain and China were the other winners on day one.
They met the Australians on day two and led from the outset. Although there was no panic in the Stinger’s camp even when the US went 5-2 ahead with two minutes remaining in the first half.
Rowena Webster made the difference for Australia, scoring the 3-2 goal in the second quarter and then both of Australia’s goals in the third quarter as the game narrowed to 6-4. Rachel Fattal took her tournament tally to six goals, 14 seconds from time with a long shot that was deflected off a defender. And Bronte Colenso narrowed it again two minutes into the final quarter, but Melissa Seidemann responded quickly for the US to lead 8-5.
It took nearly three minutes for the Aussie Stingers to reply through Gofers, who is trying to emulate her sister Taniele Gofers, who won a World Cup gold in 2006. There was still time, but both teams closed shop and the US remained unbeaten.