Water Polo World Championship

Russia upsets Spain, while Italy, Australia and Greece go easily to quarter-finals

Figlioli, Italy

Russian water polo team staged the biggest result of the day at FINA World Championship in Budapest by eliminating Spain in the knock-out round and securing a spot in the quarter-finals. Also, national water polo teams of Italy, Greece, and Australia easily secured their places among the world’s eight best teams.

Russians and Spaniards were last to go into the pool on Sunday, but they staged the biggest drama in the end. La Roja started good, took 2:1 lead, but then the Russians answered with three consecutive goals and overturned to 2:4.

Merkulov, Nagaev, and Lisunov were especially good in the first half and Spain could not find a way to stop them in the pool. With three goal advantage at the half time, it seemed Russia is secure, but then Spain answered thanks to Espanol and Tahull.

On the other side of the pool, Merkulov and Dereviankin remained concentrated to give back a three goal lead to Russia – 10:7. And the Bugaychuk scored the 11th goal for Zbornaya. It was over, no matter that Spain did all to come back. In the last attack, they scored for the 10th time, but that was not enough.

Russia now faces the host team, Hungary in the quarter finals.

ITALY COULD EVEN RELAX IN THE LAST QUARTER

Italians didn’t let Kazakhstan surprise them and won 12:7. Azzurri started the game furiously and took a 3:0 lead. That kind of the result put Italy totally in control of the game.

Not to forget to mention some good saves from Italian goalkeeper Tempesti. Fondelli, Mirarchi, and Figlioli scored first three goals for Italy.

In the second quarter, Azzurri had some problems with converting extra man situations. But those problems did not last for long.

Di Fulvio continued the scoring streak, then Aicardi picked up in front of the Kazakhstan goal. In the third quarter, Renzuto started his show and scored three goals.

Only in the last period of the match, Italians relaxed a little bit and let Kazakhstan water polo players win a quarter with 4:3. But it is obvious that Italy will have to play better in the quarter-final where they will clash with Croatia.

AUSSIES ON TOP LEVEL

Australian water polo team dominated the game against Brazil – 8:3. Obviously, head coach Elvis Fatovic prepared well his players for one of the most important games for Aussies in this tournament. What was especially good for Australia is defensive play as the final result shows.

Only three goals that Aussies conceded are a result of great teamwork and effort. After a balanced game in the first quarter, Australians started to play great pressing and scored three consecutive goals to take a 5:2 lead.

When Andrew Ford found the net for 6:2, it was more than obvious that Brazil is going to have to say goodbye to all hopes about the place in the quarter final. Now the Aussies will have to deal with defending champion, Serbia in the quarters.

GREECE DID ALL THE WORK IN THE FIRST HALF

Greece water polo team dealt with Japan easily tonight – 14:4. Greeks managed to stop Japan quick tempo, while Vlachopoulos, Gounas, and Fountoulis produced some great shots from the distance.

When the first quarter was finished, Greece already had a comfortable 5:2 lead. In the second quarter, it was even better for them as they scored five again, but did not concede any.

Theodoros Vlachos team remained in control of the game in the third and fourth quarter and let the opponent to score just two more goals until the end.

In the quarter-final, Greece will face Montenegro.

The United States easily beat South Africa – 13:4, but it was more a consolation win. Dejan Udovicic’s team will face France on Sunday in a duel for 13th place at this tournament. Frenchmen beat Canada 10:6 mostly thanks to Crousillat who netted a hat trick.

KNOCK-OUT ROUND

July 23

Brazil – Australia 3:8 (2:2, 0:2, 1:2, 0:2)

Brazil: Grummy 2, Cruz 1.
Australia: Kayes 3, Fannon 2, Ford 1, Gilchrist 1, Power 1

Kazakhstan – Italy 7:12 (1:3, 1:2, 1:4, 4:3)

Kazakhstan: Shakenov 3, Ruday 2, Turlykhanov 2
Italy: Mirarchi 3, Renzuto 3, Bodegas 2, F. Di Fulvio 2, Fondelli 1, Figlioli 1

Greece – Japan 14:4 (5:2, 5:0, 2:2, 2:0)

Greece: Fountoulis 4, Gounas 3, Vlachopoulos 3, Gennidounias 2, Mourikis 2.
Japan: Adachi 2, Kawamoto, Shiga 1, Okawa 1.

Spain – Russia 10:11 (2:3, 2:4, 3:3, 3:1)

Spain: Tahull 4, Espanol 2, Munarriz 1, Minguell 1, Barroso 1, F. Fernandez 1
Russia: Lisunov 3, Merkulov 3, Nagaev 2, Dereviankin 2, Bugaychuk 1,

QUARTER-FINALS

July 25

Montenegro – Greece
Hungary – Russia
Serbia – Australia
Croatia – Italia

13th-16th place

Canada – France 6:10 (4:3, 1:2, 1:2, 0:3)

Canada: Thomwood 2, Patterson 1, Constantin-Bicari 1, D’Souza 1, Soleimanipak 1.
France: Crousillat 3, Marzouki 3, Kovacevic 1, Dino 1, Piot, Simon 1, Crousillat 3, Peisson 1.

South Africa – USA 4:13 (0:1, 2:6, 1:3, 0:3)

South Africa: E. Le Roux 1, Badenhorst 1, Rodda 1, P. Le Roux 1.
USA: Obert 3, Irving 3, Roelse 2, Hooper 1, Carniglia 1, Cupido 1, M. Vavic 1, Ramirez 1, Irving 3.

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