On April 26, three more matches were played in FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Intercontinental Tournament held at Gold Coast, Australia. Day Two saw the USA and Australia win their second match in the Tournament. China collected the first victory in the Tournament, and Kazakhstan suffered their first loss, while New Zealand and Japan still have no wins recorded.
IMPECCABLE FIRST HALF LED USA TO VICTORY
Dejan Udovicic’s squad continued with successful performance in the Tournament. On April 26, they defeated Kazakhstan, 15:10. The USA men’s national water polo team played an unblemished first half, during which they scored ten goals and were 100% successful in extra-player attacks.
The USA water polo players netted six goals in the first quarter and achieved a two-goal advantage (6:4), which they kept until the break (10:8) as the second period ended in a draw. The Americans even had a five-goal lead in the middle of the second half, but Kazakhstan’s Shmider scored two and Aubakirov one goal to bring down the deficit to two at halftime. Murat Shakenov had a remarkable performance scoring all four goals for Kazakhstan in the first quarter, and one more in the second.
At the beginning of the second half, neither of the teams managed to score for more than two minutes. Hooper finally netted a goal giving the USA water polo team a three-goal lead. Berbelyk later returned one bringing Kazakhstan again two goals behind, but after Carniglia’s goal, three seconds before the end of the third quarter, the USA went into the last one with plus three (12:9). Powerless Kazakhstan was able to net only one in the final period, while the USA scored three to win by five and record another significant triumph in the Tournament.
Kazakhstan’s next rival is Australia.
AUSSIE SHARKS CELEBRATE PENALTY SHOOTOUT-WIN
The most exciting game of Day Two was the one played by the host Australia that overpowered Japan after a penalty shootout. Japan opened the match with two consecutive goals, and the Sharks were trailing the result during the entire first period which ended with 3:2. The hosting water polo team left Japan scoreless, led by Gilchrist who scored two goals. Australia went on a break with a two-goal advantage (5:3).
Kayes increased the advantage to three at the beginning of the second half. Aussie Sharks had a brilliant defense allowing Japan to net only one in the third quarter. Eight minutes before the end, the hosts had their hopes high, giving the fact that they were leading by four (8:4). Persistent Japan made an unbelievable comeback in the final period scoring five goals to equalize the result. Okawa netted the equalizer with 16 seconds left on the clock, making it clear that the winner will be determined after penalties.
Australia finally triumphed after being more successful in the penalty shootout (4:2). Both teams had success in the first two shots, while they also both missed the third one. After Ford scored for 12:11, Inaba hit the left post. Pavillard’s successful penalty shot set the final result, 14:11.
Japan will tomorrow face New Zealand.
FIRST WIN FOR CHINA
China men’s national water polo team played one more match which was a close contest. Unlike yesterday when China water polo players were in lead until the very last minute of their match against Kazakhstan, at eight minutes before the end of today’s match they were down by one. New Zealand’s defense was on point during the first three-quarters, and they had 6:5 before the last period. Captain Matthew Small then increased it to two. However, China water polo players did not surrender. Wen Hun Li netted three goals, and China recorded the first win at Gold Coast (9-7).
On April 26, China will play against the USA water polo team.
FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Intercontinental Tournament
Day 2 Results (April 26)
China vs. New Zealand 9:7 (2:2, 1:1, 2:3, 4:1)
China scorers: Cheng Hao Chu (2), Zhong Xian Chen (1), Wen Hui Lu (3), Yi Min Chen (2), Yu Liu (1)
New Zealand scorers: Matthew Lewis (2), Ryan Pike (1), Matthew Small (1), Anton Sunde (2), Liam Paterson (1)
USA vs. Kazakhstan 15:10 (6:4, 4:4, 2:1, 3:1)
USA scorers: Nolan McConnell (1), Alexander Obert (3), Matthew De Trane (2), Johnathan Hooper (3), Nicholas Carniglia (1), Jacob Ehrhardt (1), Marko Vavic (3), Hannes Daube (1)
Kazakhstan scorers: Yevgeniy Medvedev (1), Egor Berbelyuk (1), Miras Aubakirov (1), Alexey Shmider (2), Murat Shakenov (5)
Australia vs. Japan 13:11 (2:3, 3:0, 3:1, 1:5 – 4:2)
Australia scorers: Luke Pavillard (1), Joe Kayes (5), Nathan Power (2), Andrew Ford (1), Jarrod Gilchrist (3), Nicholas Brooks (1)
Japan scorers: Seiya Adachi (3), Mitsuaki Shiga (4), Takuma Yoshida (2), Keigo Okawa (2)