Water Polo Men: Day 1: GER 9 KAZ 8
When more than 200 yellow-shirted German junior water polo players are urging you on behind the team bench, you must perform. This urging helped Germany to stave off Kazakhstan in a final-quarter thriller for a 9-8 Group D victory and gave the Germans a 2-1 edge in clashes at this level.
The win looked assured when 9-4 ahead at the third break. However, in a little over two minutes Kazakhstan scored an incredible four goals with 1:44 still left on the clock.
The German youths travel each World Championships to support their national team and were most vociferous with beating drums and waving flags, especially as Kazakhstan was on the warpath.
Both teams carried a lot of
experience with Kazakhstan captained by the 41-year-old Nikolay Maximov
who just refuses to retire and puts in maximum effort.
While three players from Kazakhstan were born in the 1970s, Germany provided an “age” record of its own with Erik Miers scoring his first international goal in his first international tournament at the age of 29.
The opening quarter was tied with firstly Kazakhstan leading, Germany coming back at 2-2 and Kazakhstan levelling at 3-3. Three unanswered goals in the second quarter gave Germany a more-than-useful lead at the long break.
Left-hander Sergey Gubarev proved he is still useful at 35, netting the 6-4 goal for Kazakhstan with a sneak shot into the bottom right at the top of the third period. Then Germany rammed home three goals for 9-4, including a Marko Stamm point-blank shot when found open in front of goal.
The game was rolling to the inevitable German victory when Vladimir Ushakov, who scored Kazakhstan’s two opening goals, drilled a shot from the top. At 2:56, Gubarev slammed one in from the deep right. At 2:28, Roman Pilipenko repeated the effort from the same spot. At 1:44, Rustam Ukumanov scored the goal of the tournament with a counter shot, lifting to ball from his left to his right hand and pushing it over the goalkeeper’s head.
Kazakhstan took a timeout at 0:32 and it was left to Gubarev, who shot a heavily pressured shot, not bringing a much-deserved draw.
Match 8: 20:10, Group D, GERMANY 9 KAZAKHSTAN 8
Quarters: 3-3, 3-0, 3-1, 0-4
Referees: Doriel Terpenka (CAN), Mark Koganov (AZE).
Extra Man: GER: 1/4. KAZ: 1/4.
GERMANY: Roger Kong, Erik Bukowski (2), Erik Miers (1), Julian Real, Till Rohe, Maurice Juengling, Heiko Nossek (3), Paul Schueler (1), Marko Stamm (1), Moritz Oeler (1), Andreas Schlotterbeck, Dennis Eidner, Moritz Schenkel. Head Coach: Nebojsa Novoselac.
KAZAKHSTAN: Nikolay Maximov, Sergey Gubarev (2), Yevgeniy Medvedev, Roman Pilipenko (1), Murat Shakenov, Alexey Shmider, Vladimir Ushakov (3), Anton Koliadenko, Rustam Ukumanov (1), Mikhail Ruday, Ravil Manafov, Branko Pekovich (1), Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.
Moritz Schenkel (GER):
“It was a difficult game, we made silly mistakes. The fourth quarter was really equal. German fans were great, it was like playing at home.”
Erik Miers (GER):
“We are happy to win because we knew it was a hard game, but in the last quarter we took it too easy and we thought that we were going to have an easy win. It is a good start, we did everything we wanted to and we will need to prepare better in order to play well in all the quarters.”
Vladimir Ushakov (KAZ):
“We expected to play better, but we had some problems, that’s why we lost. In the final quarter we came back, but it was unfortunately too late. We should play better next match.”
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