Dutch water polo players were unable to pull off an upset in their second World Cup match in Hungary on Wednesday. Orange lost to the defending champions of the United States (7-11) and must now reach the quarter-finals by a detour.
The Americans have won the title at the last three World Cups and the last three Olympics. The team are also heavy favorites in Hungary and were the first real test for the Netherlands since last year’s Games in Tokyo, where the orange team found themselves in the quarter-finals.
The Netherlands, which started the World Cup on Monday with a monster victory against Argentina (29-6), was already trailing the United States by 3-6 at the halfway point. In the fourth and final quarter, the team of Greek national coach Evangelos Doudesis reduced the gap to two goals (7-9), but otherwise the six-time world champion did not give up in Debrecen.
Due to the fourteenth consecutive defeat against the United States, the Netherlands will have to play an intermediate round to reach the quarter-finals. Only the winner of the group qualifies for the quarter-finals and Orange can no longer overtake the American team. Numbers two and three of the four groups advance to the intermediate round.
The Netherlands will close the group stage on Friday with a game against South Africa. The last of Group B has lost its first two matches and is normally no match for the Orange Women.
Group B position
- 1. United States: 2-4 (+26)
- 2. Netherlands: 2-2 (+19)
- 3. Argentina: 2-2 (-22)
- 4. South Africa: 2-0 (-23)
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