Water Polo Men: Day 3. USA 8 CAN 7
The incredible North American rivalry between the United States and Canada continued in Barcelona with the USA winning 8-7 and taking second place in Group B. Canada was on the verge of levelling the game when the wing player inexplicably did not shoot for goal, instead passing to the far side of the pool as fulltime sounded.
Canada won the final quarter 4-3 and looked the better team but the gap appeared too much to bridge.
USA started strongly with two Alexander Bowen goals, followed by Canada’s Jared McElroy’s pair, the second a slider on extra-man advantage. The high-performing John Mann scored the only goal of the second quarter, giving USA a one-goal lead at the major break.
Bowen and Mann stretched the margin to 5-2 within three minutes of the second half. Canada replied through Nicolas Constantin-Bicari on counter, receiving a huge pass, rolling over and sending the ball over the head of Merrill Moses.
McElroy scored on the first attack of the fourth and the game was electric. Matthew De Trane and left-hander Janson Wigo took it out to 7-4 only for John Conway on a short drive and Constantin Kudaba, with a six-metre bounce shot, closing the gap.
USA captain Tony Azevedo made a rare appearance to the scoresheet with a penalty conversion. Canada went to a timeout with no joy, USA had a shot blocked and then Kevin Graham scored from the deep right at 0:50. It proved to be the last goal.
It was the sixth victory for USA over Canada at World Championships.
Match 24: 20:10, Group B, CANADA 7 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 8
Quarters: 2-2, 0-1, 1-2, 4-3
Referees: Nenad Golijanin (SRB), Daniel Flahive (AUS).
Extra Man: CAN: 2/4. USA: ¼.
Pens: USA: 1/1
CANADA: Robin Randall, Constantine Kudaba (1), Oliver Vikalo, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (1), Justin Boyd, Scott Robinson, Alec Taschereau, Kevin Graham (1), Devon Diggle, John Conway (1), Luka Gasic, Jared McElroy (3), Ivan Marcisin. Head Coach: Alex Beslin.
USA: Merrill Moses, Janson Wigo (1), Alexander Obert, Alexander Bowen (3), Matthew De Trane (1), Chancellor Ramirez, James Krumpholz, Tony Azevedo (1), Shea Buckner, Timothy Hutten, Michael Rosenthal, John Mann (2), Andrew Stevens. Head Coach: Dejan Udovicic.
Merrill Moses (USA):
“I´m happy with the victory; we made a few small mistakes that we will review with the video to learn what things to change to get ready for Sunday’s match. Canada played very strongly; it is a World Championship and everybody plays their best. Barcelona is great and we hope to stay in the championship as long as possible.”
Alexander Bowen (USA):
“The game was more balanced than expected even though we knew we were the stronger team, we have had some ups and downs. We are feeling good and now we need to wait to know who is in our next game, although Spain is very tough, we hope to be against them.”
Dejan Udovicic (USA Head Coach):
“This kind of game and win is exactly what we needed at this point in the tournament.”
Jared McElroy (CAN):
“This was a very frustrating game, we are not happy. But we now need to forget about this game and move on to the next one.”
Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (CAN):
“I´m pretty disappointed, it was a bad result. We did many good things but also made some important mistakes. The following cross-group game will be crucial.”
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