Water Polo Men: Day 2: MNE 7 ESP 5
Spanish fans went home empty as Montenegro kept the host nation scoreless in the second half of this Group A match. The main protagonist was Mladan Janovic with five of Montenegro’s goals — the same number Spain scored — a hugely dominating effort.
Throw in the excellent defence of Aleksandar Ivovic and his teammates and Montenegro was never going to let Spain back in the match once it wrested the lead halfway through the third quarter.
Spain had the support, took the lead at 2-1 and 3-2 by the quarter, went 4-3 and 5-4 up in the second period. Albert Espanol’s two goals were shot from the deep left, a position many teams are using to great advantage in Barcelona.
Janovic snared a pair in the third, one on penalty and the other driving into space.
So tight was the match by both sides in the final quarter that Janovic’s goal came from the penalty line.
It leaves an interesting scenario in the group with the key match on Friday Spain’s matchup with Greece. Montenegro will face the inexperienced New Zealand.
It was the first match between Montenegro and Spain at the FINA World Championships. They have already met at European Championships (won by MNE), World League (won by MNE) and Olympic Games (won by ESP), all in 2008.
Match 16: 21:30, Group A, MONTENEGRO 7 SPAIN 5
Quarters: 2-3, 2-1, 2-0, 1-0
Referees: Gabor Vogel (HUN), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU).
Extra Man: MNE: 0/2. ESP: 1/7
Pens: MNE: 2/2. ESP: 1/1.
MONTENEGRO: Zdravko Radic, Drasko Brguljan (1), Vjekoslav Paskovic, Antonio Petrovic, Darko Brguljan, Ugo Crousillat, Mladan Janovic (5), Nikola Janovic (1), Aleksandar Ivovic (1), Sasa Misic, Filip Klikovic, Predrag Jokic, Milos Scepanovic. Head Coach: Ranko Perovic.
SPAIN: Inake Aguilar, Alberto Munarrez, Ruben Do Lera, Ricard Alarcon, Guillermo Molina (1), Marc Minguell, Balazs Sziranyi, Albert Espanol (2), Xavier Valles (1), Felipe Perrone, Pere Estrany, Xavier Garcia (1), Daniel Lopez. Head Coach: Rafael Aguilar.
Mladjan Janovic (MNE):
“We are very experienced players and the crowd did not affect us much. We know Spain is very strong at swimming, but today we swam better and they did not expect it. We are physically stronger and that allows us to surprise them. We came here for the medals, and in the next game we just need not to get any injuries and keep playing like this.”
Nikola Janovic (MNE):
“This was our game, we knew it was very important and that Spain is a very strong team. We had to play 100 percent all the time to achieve this victory. Now we can play the last game with no pressure and think on the next phase.”
Zdravko Radic (MNE):
“This was a hard game. We had suffered in our game against Greece and needed to regain our confidence. Thanks to the boys for doing their best and keeping the two-goal difference. We are ready to keep up this rhythm in the following games. Also it was much nicer to play in the evening!”
Ranko Perovic (Head Coach):
“We need to keep this level of play up for the rest of the tournament. We will play New Zealand next and we hope there are no surprises.”
Alberto Munarríz (ESP):
“We failed in the last two quarters, we defended well, but we didn’t score many goals. We received three goals during play and we were not able to correct this. We have to work on the moments when we have an extra player and adjust the defence. We made a good overall match.”
Felipe Perrone (ESP):
"We rushed too much, we were unlucky on the attack. This match is a very good lesson for us for the future and now we just need to concentrate on the next game against Greece.”
Guillermo Molina (ESP):
"We haven't swam enough to free ourselves from the Montenegrins, but still the team is playing well. We have to focus on winning against Greece and to play better as a team to avoid defensive mistakes as we did today."
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