SURGUT, Russia — Canada's women's water polo team narrowly lost out on a world championship berth on Sunday.
Needing a top-five finish, the Canadians dropped a 20-19 decision to China in a penalty shootout to finish sixth at the FINA women's World Cup.
Joelle Bekhazi and Emma Wright had three goals apiece to lead Canada, who rallied to tie the game 10-10 at the end of regulation.
"The outcome is not what we were expecting, and we are very disappointed in our overall performance in the tournament," Bekhazi said. "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 defence, but that didn't stop us. We have some work ahead of us, and we are ready to put in the efforts and perform next summer for the Olympic qualifiers."
The game came down to the 11th shooter. China's Lin Peng saved Canada's attempt and Ying Zhai capitalized on her opportunity to help her team record the win.
"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, but we are determined to reach our goal," said assistant coach David Paradelo.
The United States edged Russia 8-5 to win the gold medal.
The Canadian Press