Dutch water polo players have reached the semi-finals with their heels over the ditch at the final of the World League in Tenerife. In the third and final group game, the Orange tied 11–11 against Canada, which had already been eliminated, and then lost the penalty shootout series 4–3.
As a result, national coach Evangelos Doudesis’ team relied on the already ranked USA against Italy. Just before the end, the Italians still led 10-9, but the USA scored two hits in the closing stages.
As a result, the Netherlands finished second in the group. In the semi-final (Saturday, 1.40 pm), awaits the European champion Spain, which after great victories against New Zealand and Hungary, also managed Australia: 12-5.
At the last European Championship in Split, the Spaniards were too strong for Orange in the semi-finals. The USA will face Hungary in the other semifinal.
Canada, which had lost its first two games by large numbers, took a third-quarter lead despite trailing for long periods against the Netherlands. The Orange trailed 11-10 in the fourth quarter, but Canada, a 10-7 winner at the World Cup last summer, rallied.
Canadian goalkeeper Jessica Gautrault became the hero in the penalty shootout series. She turned down challenges from Brigitte Slieking and Florian Bosveld.
“It’s not good,” national coach Doudesis said later in the judgment on the association’s website. “Our lowest game of the three. Fortunately, we pulled away at least by a point. I’m sure we’ll be back on Saturday.”
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