Olympic champion USA beat world champion Netherlands (10-8) in World Cup opener.

Olympic champion USA beat world champion Netherlands (10-8) in World Cup opener.

The Dutch water polo women opened the World Championships in Doha with a 10-8 loss against the United States. World champions started strongly with two goals from Simone van de Graats. After 2-1, the Olympic champions took advantage of their strong surplus situations. In addition, goalkeeper Laura Artz was surprised twice with a curved ball.

The Dutch scored again when they were 5-2 down. Nina den Broek made a nice pass to center forward Kitty Lynn Joustra, who turned and shot the ball under the arm of the American goalkeeper. A tying goal by Ligue Rog (5-4) meant the two teams gave up little to each other. The score was 6-4, but van de Kraats narrowed the deficit in the last minute (6-5).

After a shaky start to the third period, the U.S. scored two goals in a row. From the surplus, captain Sabrina van der Sloot reduced the margin (8-6) to two goals. It was at that stage that goalkeeper Laura Ards kept a clean sheet with good reflexes. Down a player until two minutes before the end, the U.S. made it 9-6 with a goal from the second row. On the other hand, the Netherlands could not break down the defence. No luck getting shots on target. Kohli was on his way to victory or hit the woodwork.

It took just over four minutes to score the first goal in the last quarter. This is due to the excellent performance of both the goalkeepers. Eventually, the United States broke the embargo after excesses. With the scoreboard at 10-6, national coach Evangelos Dudesis called a time-out. It had an immediate effect. Justra grabbed the rebound to center forward to make it 10-7. This gave the Netherlands renewed energy. After Iris Wolves was stopped illegally, the Netherlands were awarded a penalty. It was shot accurately by 'Banna' (10-8) who was unstoppable by van de Kraats.

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With 23 seconds left on the clock, Dudesis took his second. Goalkeeper Artz joined the attack, but the extra attacker's shot hit the crossbar. USA also took a timeout in the last six seconds. However, it no longer changes the score.

USA-Netherlands: 10-8 (3-2, 3-3, 3-1, 1-2)
Scorers: Simone van de Kraats 4, Kitty Lynn Justra 2, Leigh Roge 1, Sabrina van der Sloot 1.

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