Five days of the preliminary play of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Intercontinental Tournament ended on April 29 and determined the four national teams which will play in the 2017 World League Men’s Water Polo Super Final.
Australia water polo players defeated China to claim the top spot in the table. Their opponent in the gold medal match will be the USA squad that triumphed over New Zealand. Japan water polo players overpowered Kazakhstan for their third victory in the Tournament resulting in finishing the preliminary play as 3rd. China suffered four losses, while New Zealand lost all five. The classification matches will be played on Sunday, April 30.
Australia collected 14 points, the USA has 12 in total. Japan is third with 10 points, while Kazakhstan has 6. China has only 3 and New Zealand has 0, and as a result, they failed to qualify for the Super Final.
Australia, the USA, Japan and Kazakhstan will face the European qualifiers — defending champion Serbia, Croatia, Italy and host Russia. The Super Final will take place on June 20-25 in Ruza, Russia.
AUSTRALIA HOLDS OFF CHINA
Aussie Sharks justified the role of a favorite in the game against China. Shark John Cotterill scored six goals in total. He netted three out of four Australia’s goals in the first quarter (4-1), and his fourth came in the second period when he was the only one who scored increasing Australia’s lead to four at halftime (5-1).
At the beginning of the third period, the hosting water polo team’s advantage grew after Hollis scored. Cheng Hao Chu netted China’s second goal when it was clear how the match will end. After Gilchrist and Kayes netted a goal each, Australia had a six-goal lead before the final period (8-2). China squad had no strength to fight back, and Aussie Sharks had their foot on the gas netting five more by the end.
On April 30, Australia water polo players will play the gold medal game against the USA team whom they defeated on Day Four of the Tournament. China will play for 5th place against New Zealand.
UNBLEMISHED USA DROWNS NEW ZEALAND
Dejan Udovicic’s team can be satisfied after four triumphs in the preliminary play. His young water polo players gave a remarkable performance at Gold Coast and will compete for the gold medal in the International Tournament.
The USA water polo team recorded a convincing victory against the winless Kiwis, 20-6, netting five goals in each period. Although Small netted the opener for New Zealand’s lead, the USA responded strongly scoring seven out of eight upcoming goals. In the second quarter, when the Americans accomplished a five-goal advantage, Bryant scored the third goal for New Zealand (7-3). The USA went on a break with a nice six-goal lead (10-4).
Hooper gave another outstanding performance scoring six goals for the second time in the Tournament. Four of his goals came during the third quarter in which the USA left New Zealand scoreless. They continued to excel in extra-man situations and easily held off their opponent. Small and Paterson only managed to bring down the deficit to fourteen.
In spite of the defeat from Australia yesterday, the USA water polo team is confident and expects to win the gold on Sunday. After five losses, New Zealand water polo players are hoping to defeat China tomorrow and end as 5th.
JAPAN PREVAILS OVER KAZAKHSTAN
Japan emerged as a winner of the clash between two Asian water polo powers beating Kazakhstan. The top scorer Mitsuaki Shiga netted three leading his team to a comfortable victory, 14-6. Japan achieved a three-goal advantage in the first quarter (4-1), and scored twice as many goals as his rival did in the other three periods.
Japan and Kazakhstan will play again tomorrow in a bronze medal match. Both teams have their hopes high due to the fact that they have met on many occasions and know each other pretty well.
FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Intercontinental Tournament
Day 5 Results (April 29)
Australia vs. China 13-3 (4-1, 1-0, 3-1, 5-1)
Australia scorers: Joe Kayes (1), Andrew Ford (1), Jarrod Gilchrist (2), John Cotterill (6), James Fannon (1), Lachlan Hollis (2)
China scorers: Cheng Hao Chu (1), Zhong Xian Chen (1), Yun Ji Wang (1)
New Zealand vs. USA 6-20 (2-5, 2-5, 0-5, 2-5)
New Zealand scorers: Matthew Small (2), Anton Sunde (1), Liam Paterson (1), Matthew Bryant (2)
USA scorers: Nolan McConnell (1), Hannes Daube (2), Johnathan Hooper (6), Maxwell Irving (4), Nicholas Carniglia (1), Jacob Ehrhardt (1), Ashworth Molthen (2), Alex Roelse (3)
Kazakhstan vs. Japan 6-14 (1-4, 1-2, 2-4, 2-4)
Kazakhstan scorers: Yevgeniy Medvedev (1), Roman Pilipenko (1), Miras Aubakirov (1), Alexey Shmider (1), Murat Shakenov (1), Bolat Turlykhanov (1)
Japan scorers: Seiya Adachi (1), Shuma Kawamoto (1), Mitsuaki Shiga (3), Takuma Yoshida (1), Atsuto Iida (2), Mitsura Takata (1), Atsushi Arai (2), Kohei Inaba (1), Keigo Okawa (1), Kenta Araki (1)