Italian city Siracusa hosted a six-nation tournament Citta di Siracusa which took place on July 6-9, 2017. Apart from host Italy, the participants were also the USA, Australia, Croatia, Greece, and Russia. This was another chance for the teams to train and prepare for the upcoming FINA World Championships in Budapest (16th – 29th July). Italy emerged as the winner after beating Croatia. Greece defeated Australia and finished 3rd, while Russia won the 5th place after triumphing over the USA.
On day one, Greece and Australia recorded their first victories.
Greece water polo players easily overpowered their rivals (12-8) allowing them to net only one goal in the first half (6-1). After falling behind by five at halftime, Russian squad stepped up its game in the second half. However, the difference was insurmountable, they only brought down the deficit to four.
Australia recorded a narrow victory over the USA (9-7). The Sharks were in control during the first half after which they went on a break with a three-goal lead (6-3). Udovicic’s squad woke up in the second half, but only managed to cut the deficit to two. Kayes and Ford scored two goals leading the Sharks to what will turn out to be their only win in the group play. Bowen and Cupido also netted two each for the USA team.
The second day of the Tournament saw first triumphs of Italy and Croatia.
Hosting team stormed past Russia (10-4) without problems. Italian squad gave an impeccable performance leaving its rival no chance for a win. The game’s top scorer was Russian Lazarev with three goals, while Di Fulvio and Bodegas netted two for Italy.
The USA also suffered another loss, this time to Croatia (10-9). After Croatia’s dominance in the first half (8-3) and a tied third quarter, team USA stroke back in the final period. In spite of five goals netted, they failed to equalize and lost by one.
After day three of group play in Siracusa, Italy secured the 1st place in Group A, while Croatia clinched the top spot in Group B.
Greece water polo players were close to securing another win and had their hopes high after the first half which ended in a tie (2-2), as well as the tied third quarter. However, Italy stroke back in the final period leaving Greece scoreless for a nice win (7-3). Figlioli was the top scorer with three goals.
Croatia proved too strong for Australia (14-3). The game was far from balanced with Kayes being the only scorer for the Sharks. Setka and Garcia also netted three for Croatia.
Italy and Croatia faced off in the exciting final match. Croatian squad had a one-goal lead at halftime (4-5), but the hosting team scored three unanswered goals in the third quarter which made it impossible for Tucak’s team to come back. Italy increased the advantage by the end and won the Tournament (9-6).
Greece and Australia collected only one win before the last day of the Tournament and played against each other for the 3rd place. Greece had a one-goal lead after the first quarter, and netted three unanswered goals in the second. This brought them a four-goal advantage which they kept until the end and won the satisfying 3rd place (10-6).
The 5th place went to Russian water polo players who were better than the USA (10-6).
Citta di Siracusa – Six Nations Tournament (Siracusa, Italy)
July 6-9, 2017
Thursday, July 6
Greece vs. Russia 12-8 (3-1, 3-0, 5-4, 1-3)
USA vs. Australia 7-9 (1-2, 2-4, 1-1, 3-2)
Friday, July 7
Italy vs. Russia 10-4 (3-0, 1-1, 3-2, 3-1)
Croatia vs. USA 10-9 (4-1, 4-2, 1-1, 1-5)
Saturday, July 8
Greece vs. Italy 3-7 (0-1, 2-1, 1-1, 0-4)
Australia vs. Croatia 3-14 (0-3, 1-4, 1-4, 1-3)
Sunday, July 9
5th/6th place: Russia vs. USA 10-6 (2-1, 3-3, 2-2, 3-0)
3rd/4th place: Greece vs. Australia 10-6 (5-4, 3-0, 1-1, 1-1)
1st/2nd place: Italy vs. Croatia 9-6 (2-3, 2-2, 3-0, 2-1)