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Water Polo Men: Day 2: KAZ 7 ROU 4
Kazakhstan wiped out bad memories of past World Championships when it beat Romania 7-4 in a Group D encounter at Bernat Picornell Pool. The two have met only once before and that was a 19-2 loss for Kazakhstan at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in 2008 in Oradea, Romania. Kazakhstan's biggest World Championship defeat was also by a 17-goal margin — 20-3 against Serbia in 2009 in Rome, Italy.
Kazakhstan started strongly with Alexey Shmider scoring twice either side of the first break. Kazakhstan went 3-1 up and turned at 3-2. Tiberiu Negrean levelled with a Romanian strike early in the third period but goals were hard to come by from then on as Kazakhstan, urged on by its head coach, triple Asian Games champion Sergey Drozdov, scored four goals before the final interval. At 7-3 the match looked sewn up.
That proved the case with nothing eventuating until the last 10 seconds when Alexandru Matei scored from a five-metre shot.
Romania missed the services of former captain Cosmin Radu, the awesome centre forward who led his team by example. Radu competed for the New York Athletic Club, which won the US Open recently and will ply his trade in Rijeka, Croatia next season.
Both goalkeepers — 41-year-old Nikolay Maximov for Kazakhstan and Romanian captain Dragos Stoenescu — made seven saves but Kazakhstan’s 33 per cent strike rate proved the difference.
Match 13: 17:30, Group D, KAZAKHSTAN 7 ROMANIA 4
Quarters: 1-0, 2-2, 4-1, 0-1
Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Georgios Stavridis (GRE).
Extra Man: KAZ: 1/3. ROU: 2/8
KAZAKHSTAN: Nikolay Maximov, Sergey Gubarev, Yevgeniy Medvedev (2), Roman Pilipenko, Murat Shakenov (1), Alexey Shmider (2), Vladimir Ushakov, Anton Koliadenko (1), Rustam Ukumanov, Mikhail Ruday, Ravil Manafov, Branko Pekovich (1), Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.
ROMANIA: Dragos Stoenescu, Petru Ianc (1), Tiberiu Negrean (1), Nicolae Diaconu, Daniel Teohari, Andrei Busila, Alexandru Matei (1), Mihnea Chioveanu, Dimitri Goanta, Ramiro Georgescu, Alexandru Ghiban, Adrei Cretu (1), Mihai Dragusin. Head Coach: Vlad Hagiu.
Yevgeniy Medvedev (KAZ):
“I’m really happy with the result of the game. It was a very important match for us. Now we want to focus on our next games and win them too.”
Branko Pekovich (KAZ):
“I am very pleased with this match, we hope to do well in our group. Even though I am Serbian and have played for the Serbian team before, I would be a professional if we played against them.”
Tiberiu Negrean (ROU):
“Maybe we were not prepared enough for this championships. I think that we failed in the technical and physical preparation. Next game against Germany is very important and we know it could be so difficult.”
Alexandru Ghiban (ROU):
“I don’t know what has happened, we were feeling very bad and not in a good shape. I think that our weak point has been not having the power in attack.”