Magnificent battles, turns and surprises were seen on Day 2 of the men’s water polo tournament at the 17th FINA World Championships. Titleholder Serbia did a clean job against Spain, Greece beat South Africa with ease. Montenegro blew away Brazil. In all other matches, rivals fought in big battles. Hungary and Italy played a 9-9 draw in the match of the day. Croatia came from three goals down to beat Russia. Surprise of the day is Japan’s victory over the USA team.
Montenegro (A group), Serbia (C group) and Croatia (D group) are very close to the quarterfinals. They have big chances to stay in top positions in their groups. Hungary and Italy are in the race for the 1st place in group B.
Kazakhstan defeated Canada (10-9).Kazakhstan led 5-3 in the 2nd quarter, but Canada had a minimal advantage (8-7) before the last period. In the fourth quarter, Ukumanov and Medvedev pulled Kazakhstan which scored three straight goals and went to 10-8 up (02:16 by the end). Robinson scored for 10:9, but it was too late.
Montenegro water polo players proved today that the match against Canada (8-8) in the first round was only their bad day. They played brilliantly against Brazil today. They defeated the best South American team 14-5! Vladimir Gojkovic’s squad took a flying start. Montenegro led 4-0 after the first quarter. Brazil trailed 2-5 in the 2nd period, but Montenegro soon started new series, jumped to a 7-2 lead and never looked back.
The Montenegrins hold the 1st place in the group, but they should be cautios. Kazakhstan, their next rival, is a team which can surprise.
Thriller in derby
Italy and Hungary shared the points (9-9) today and the goal difference will decide who will take the 1st place in the group. Hungary has +10, Italy is on +9. The hosts will play against France in the last round, Italy is going to clash Australia.
Italy was the team which controlled the results in the first half of today’s derby. The Italians had a minimal advantage from the beginning (1-0, 2-1…). Hungary took the lead for the first time when Denes Varga netted for 6-5 (04:15 by the end of the 2nd quarter). That was the result on the scoreboard at the halftime. Both teams tightened their defences in the second half. Goalkeepers Viktor Nagy and Stefano Tempesti, who replaced Goran Volarevic at halftime, did a great job. Hungary led 7-6 in the middle of the 3rd quarter, but then Italy scored three unanswered goals for a 9-7 lead (04:05 on the clock). Vamos scored twice to equalise 9:9 (02:15). In the remaining time, both teams had their chances, but there were no goals anymore.
In the first today’s match in Group B Australia had a 3-1 advantage, but France led 5-4 after the 1st period. At halftime, rivals were equalled (6-6). Australia captain Aaron Younger made a hat-trick in the first four minutes of the second half for 9-6. The Franch had a few chances to equalise, but at the end, Australia celebrated the victory with a minimal margin (11-10).
Serbs unstoppable again
Serbia beat Spain 11-5. Title holders collected four points after two rounds and they are very near to quarterfinals. The Serbs couldn’t find a good solution in their attack at the start of the game. Spain scored the first goal of the match (2:56 before the end of the 1st period). The Olympic and World champions „got angry“ after that. They scored three goals in a span of 1 minute and 18 seconds (!). By the end of the first eight minutes, Serbia had a 3-1 lead. From that point, there was no way back for Spain. Dejan Savic’s side controlled the match in the remaining three periods. The Spaniards their second goal scored at the start of the third period (2-5), but until the end of this quarter, Serbia’s advantage grew to 8-3. The champions had a seven-goals lead (11-4), Spain scored the last five seconds before the end.
As expected, the Greeks had an easy job against South Africa. Led by Fountulis (6 goals), they won by 18-2.
The Greeks secured the 2nd place. They still have a chance for the top positions. But, they have to make a miracle in the 3rd round. They will be the first if they beat Serbia.
Russia played excellent in the first half of the match against Croatia. But, the Croats won both points, despite they were three steps behind the rival. Russia led 6-3 (0:37 from halftime). But Sandro Sukno’s goal (10 seconds before the end of the 2nd period) was an initiator of a big turn. The Olympic vice-champions continued the series in the second half. They added three goals for their first lead (7-6, 2:16 in the 3rd period). Russia captain Sergey Lisunov equalised in the next attack, but that didn’t stop the Croats, who earned a two-goal lead in the third minute of the last period (9-7). Merkulov scored for 8-9 (03:04), but Luka Loncar responded 1:22 minutes by the end and set the final score (10-8).
Croatia will play against Japan in the 3rd round. With a single point, they will keep the 1st place and a ticket for the quarterfinals.
Japan made a big surprise, by beating the USA (15-7). The team from Asia complicated the situation in the Group D. Croatia probably will be the first, but all other teams are in danger. All of them have chances for the 2nd place, but also they are not far away from the 4th.
The USA had a slim lead after the first quarter (2-1). Fast Japanese players turned a minimal deficit to a 6-4 lead at halftime. The Americans came close at the start of the 3rd period (6-5), but they didn’t have a strength to catch very unpredictable rival. Japan jumped to a 10-6 lead (1:23 before the last rest). The Asians, led by fantastic Seiya Adachi (6 goals), demolished the USA in the last quarter.
SCORES AND STANDINGS
Canada – Kazakhstan 9-10 (2-2, 3-3, 3-2, 1-3)
Canada: Thomwood 4, Constantin-Bicari 2, Soleimanpik 2, Robinson 1.
Kazakhstan: Medvedev 4, Ukumanov 4, Ruday 1, Turlykhanov 1.
Brazil – Montenegro 5-14 (0-4, 2-3, 2-4, 1-3)
Brazil:Guimaraes 2, Silva 1, Couthinho 1, Carrulo 1.
Montenegro: A. Radovic 3, Petkovic 2, Da. Brguljan 2, Cuckovic 2, Banicevic 1, Dj. Radovic 1, Misic 1
1. Montenegro 2 – 3
2. Brazil 2 -2
3. Kazakhstan 2 – 2
4. Canada 2 – 1
Hungary – Italy 9-9 (4-4, 2-1, 1-3, 2-1)
Hungary: Varga 3, Vamos 3, Mahhercz, Zalnaki 1, Harai 1.
Italy: Iodice 3, Di Fulvio 2, Bodegas 1, Prescuitti 1, Mirachi 1, Nora 1.
France-Australia 10-11 (5-4, 1-2, 1-3, 3-2)
France: Crousillat 3, Simon 2, Marzouki 2, Camarasa 1, Kovacevic 1,Izdinsky 1.
Australia: Younger 2, Hollis 3, Brooks 2, Kayes 1, Edwards 1, Ford 1.
1. Hungary 2 – 3
2. Italy 2 – 3
3. Australia 2 – 2
4. France 2 – 0
South-Africa–Greece 2-18 (0-5, 2-3, 0-5, 0-5)
South Africa: E. Le Roux 1, Molyneux 1.
Greece: Fountoulis 6, Kolomvos 3, Gounas 3, Argyropoulos 2, Genidounias 1, Pontikeas 1, Dervisis 1, Kapotsis 1.
Spain-Serbia 5-11 (1-3, 0-2, 2-3, 2-3)
Spain: Sanchez 2, Mallarach 1, Macarro 1, Espanyol 1.
Serbia: Filipovic 2, Prlainovic 2, Ubovic 2, S. Mitrovic 1, Mandic 1, Cuk 1, Pijetlovic 1, Aleksic 1.
1. Serbia 2 – 4
2. Greece 2 – 4
3. Spain 2 – 0
4. South Africa 2 – 0
Russia-Croatia 8-10 (3-1, 3-3, 1-4, 1-2)
Russia: Lisunov 2, Lazarev 1, Merkulov 1, Nagaev 1, Bugaychuk 1, Ashaev 1, Suchkov 1.
Croatia: Jokovic 4, Sukno 3, Loncar 1, Setka 1, Fatovic 1.
United States-Japan 7-15 (2-1, 2-5, 2-4, 1-5)
United States: Hallock 2, Dunstan 2, Hooper 1, Cupido 1,Ramirez 1.
Japan: Adachi 7, Shiga 2, Shimizu 2, Arai 1, Okawa 1, Yoshida 1, Araki
1. Croatia 2 – 4
2. Russia 2 – 2
3. Japan 2 – 2
4. USA 2 – 0