Water Polo Men: Day 2: GRE 24 NZL 4
Greece went on a scoring spree against New Zealand in Group A, winning 24-4 to go with the two-goal victory over Montenegro on day one. New Zealand has now conceded more than 500 goals at World Championships — 518 to be precise — an unenviable record. The only other time the two teams have met at this level was in 1991 when Greece prevailed 14-2.
It was all about major fouls and New Zealand’s inability to either read the referees or get proper body position, proving fatal. The Kiwis gave up nine major fouls in the first half to Greece’s none and the Europeans punished them. Two players failed to see the end of the match and of the 14 New Zealand majors, Greece converted seven.
It wasn’t until early in the third quarter that Greece transgressed for the first time but New Zealand hit the crossbar with the shot.
New Zealand scored at 1-1 and 4-2 and then not until Matthew Lewis sent in a free throw shot from halfway on the halftime buzzer for 13-3. The fourth came on penalty at 21-4.
Greece, who had Ioannis Fountoulis on six goals and Konstantinos Mourikis on five, now looks to the third round matchup with Spain to decide the group.
Match 15: 20:10, Group A, NEW ZEALAND 4 GREECE 24
Quarters: 2-5, 1-8, 0-6, 1-5
Referees: Gideon Reemnet (NED), Hatem Gaber (EGY).
Extra Man: NZL: 0/1. GRE: 7/11
Pens: NZL: ½.
NEW ZEALAND: Thomas Kingsmill, Matthew Lewis (1), Stefan Curry, Finn Lowery, Jonathan Ross, Andrew Sieprath, Daniel Jackson (1), Matthew Small, Eamon Lui-Fakaotimanaua, Matthew Bryant (1), Lachlan Tijsen, Adam Pye (1), Dylan Smith. Head Coach: Jozsef Sike.
GREECE: Konstantinos Tsalkanis, Emmanouill Mylonakis (2), Konstantinos Gouvis, Konstantinos Genidounios (1), Ioannis Fountoulis (6), Kyriakos Pontikeas, Christos Afroudakis (1), Evangelos Delakas, Konstantinos Mourikis (5), Christodoulos Kolomvos (2), Alexandros Gounas (4), Angelos Vlachopoulos (3), Konstantinos Galanidis. Head Coach: Athanasios Kechagias.
Kyriakos Pontikeas (GRE):
“It hasn’t been a difficult game. We have played against a less experienced team, and we’ve played very seriously. It has been good preparation for the next game against Spain, not just today, but the last three or four days.”
Christos Afroudakis (GRE):
“This has been a good preparation game for us, to keep the competition level and get ready for the next game against Spain. We know the game against the Spaniards is a good opportunity to classify first in the group and get a good draw for the next phase, even if it is too early to think about the medals.”
Matthew Small (NZL):
“We are an amateur team and we knew we were playing against a more experienced team.
This is good for us to gain experience for the future as we are a very young team. We are enjoying the championship so much, Barcelona is awesome, I love it.”
Matthew Bryant (NZL):
“We are very disappointed, we gave up too many goals. We know that we can play better.”
Eamon Lui-Fakaotimanaua (NZL):
“We are disappointed because we had a very poor performance. Playing against one of the favourite teams to win the championship is always difficult. We need to perform better in the future.”
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