Water Polo Men, Day 5: HUN 9 GRE 3
Hungary shut down the Greece extra-man attack and swam away with the first quarterfinal 9-3 at Bernat Picornell Pool. The normally reliable Greek man-up play was not to be seen as it converted just two from 15 chances. It must be said that Hungary was pressured heavily as well, but the five-from-13 catch was what killed Greece’s chances to progress to the medal round.
Gaining superiority is what the game is all about and Hungary firstly and then Greece gained the eye of the referees too often and it became a revolving door to the corner of the pool.
The foul count was high but even. The only silly moment was when Greece’s Christos Afroudakis was ejected for his third major foul and he continued to tussle with Balasz Harai gaining a misconduct foul inside the final two minutes. By then the game was over as a contest. Both teams had three players not see the match out.
Greece’s efficiency at shooting was nothing short of a disaster after such a great championship. At 11.1 percent with 27 shots it matched poorly against Hungary’s 39.1 percent, something Hungary would want to improve on. There was little in the first half with Greece levelling at 1-1 and 2-2.
Hungary scored on extra through Adam Decker to take a 3-2 advantage at halftime. The margin stretched to 5-2 before Angelos Vlachopoulos scored from a short pass on the near-post on extra for 5-3.
Greece hardly looked like scoring in the second half as Victor Nagy improved his defensive number to 12 saves from 15 shots on goal.
Norbert Madaras on extra, Krisztian Bedo at centre forward and Denes Varga fro match penalty line sewed up the match.
Many people expected Greece to win and in doing so would have broken a string of no wins going back to the World Cup in Athens in 1997. Hungary now has 19 wins and a draw. Greece has yet to beat Hungary at World Championships with nine defeats.
Match 33: 15:30, Quarterfinal, GREECE 3 HUNGARY 9
Quarters: 1-2, 1-1, 1-2, 0-4
Referees: Nenad Golijanin (SRB), Axel Bender (GER).
Extra Man: GRE: 2/11. HUN: 5/9.
Pens: HUN: 1/1.
GREECE: Konstantinos Tsalkanis, Emmanouill Mylonakis (1), Konstantinos Gouvis, Konstantinos Genidounios, Ioannis Fountoulis (1), Kyriakos Pontikeas, Christos Afroudakis, Evangelos Delakas, Konstantinos Mourikis, Christodoulos Kolomvos, Alexandros Gounas, Angelos Vlachopoulos (1), Konstantinos Galanidis. Head Coach: Athanasios Kechagias.
HUNGARY: Viktor Nagy, Miklos Gor-Nagy, Norbert Madaras (1), Bence Batori, Marton Vamos (1), Norbert Hosnyanszky (2), Adam Decker (1), Marton Szivos, Daniel Varga, Denes Varga (2), Krisztian Bedo (2), Balazs Harai, Attila Decker. Head Coach: Tibor Benedek.
Angelos Vlachopoulos (GRE):
“I am very sad, we did not play well in this match and because of this the coach is very angry with us. We played the first four matches better, but in this game we made a lot of mistakes when we had one man up. I gave six points out of 10 to my team in this championship, so overall I am still pleased.”
Christos Afroudakis (GRE):
“We were always down on the score. Clearly it hasn´t been a good day today. That´s life. We can´t be satisfied.”
Emmanouil Mylonakis (GRE):
“In many occasions during this match we had an extra man, but it was impossible for us to score with that advantage. Probably the reason for our defeat has been that we were really nervous because of that. As the match was going on and that situation was getting worse and worse we got more nervous and lost concentration.”
Daniel Varga (HUN):
“This seemed like an easy win but it was very tough. We were clever, powerful and we played perfectly in every area.”
Viktor Nagy (HUN):
“We felt the pressure of the match, we wanted to win and defence was the most important part. We have had good scores in the last four matches and I am happy with that. We hope that in the next match we hope we can win without pressure. We are happy to be in the top four.”
Tibor Benedek (HUN Head Coach):
“Of course I am happy with our victory against Greece. Especially because we lost in our two previous meetings. We changed our tactics, especially in the defence, and today it worked very well. We have to improve some aspects of our attack. We are ambitious, but I don’t want to think about any medal right now, just about our next match.”
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