Water Polo Men: Day 6, GRE 11 AUS 9

BCN2013 - Water Polo

GRE vs AUSGreece upstaged Australia 11-9 and earned a shot at fifth place with a solid effort against a team that could not emulate its recent performance. Greece had lost to Hungary 9-3 and Australia drew 9-9. It was expected Australia would emerge victorious but it was not to be as the defence seemed missing in action in the first half.

Greece had control of the first period as the normally reliable Australian goalkeeper, James Clark, appeared to have an off day and was switched for Joel Dennerley at 3:20 of the second quarter. Either that or the Aussie Sharks’ defence had dropped a huge step on the ladder.

Greece had control of the first period as the normally reliable Australian goalkeeper, James Clark, appeared to have an off day and was switched for Joel Dennerley at 3:20 of the second quarter. Either that or the Aussie Sharks’ defence had dropped a huge step on the ladder.

The quarter-time score had Greece happily in front with two extra-man goals.

Richard Campbell and Aidan Roach scored either side of an Ioannis Fountoulis penalty goal for 4-3. Evangelos Delakas, Angelos Vlachopoulos and Kyriakos Pontikeas stretched the score to 7-3 and Australia had a goalkeeper change.

Richard Campbell, with his second and 10th for the championship, stopped the slide on extra-man attack for 7-4 at halftime.

More goals came Australia’s way with Jarrod Gilchrist from the right post on action and Aaron Younger on extra narrowing the margin to 7-6. Australia called a timeout and, after the suspension had expired, captain Rhys Howden equalised at 7-7 by 4:14.

The intensity continued with two more Greece goals coming to Australia’s one for a 9-8 Greece lead heading into the final quarter.

Younger equalised on counter for 9-9 but there the match died for the Australians as Greece was in fine fettle.

Delakas scored on extra; both teams took timeouts and finally the youthful Vlachopoulos scored on extra at 3:26. Three errors by Australia inside the final three minutes denied the Sharks any chance to shoot and, as the clock ticked down, Gilchrist and Greece’s Christos Afroudakis had a violent exchange for which both were red-carded — the second for Afroudakis this championship.

The game was over and Australia’s magnificent run at these championship came to a halt in a manner in which it will be bitterly disappointed. Greece, however, played up to the occasion and deserved a wonderful victory and advancement to the play-off for fifth and sixth.

Historically, Australia had the edge over Greece with four victories at World championships, excluding Greece’s victory in the last time they clashed in 2005.


Match 37: 15:30, Semifinal Round 5-8, GREECE 11 AUSTRALIA 9
Quarters: 3-1, 4-3, 2-4, 2-1
Referees: Nenad Golijanin (SRB), Mario Bianchi (ITA).
Extra Man: GRE: 4/5 (4/13). AUS: 4/7 (4/11).
Pens: GRE: 1/1.

Teams:
GREECE: Konstantinos Tsalkanis, Emmanouill Mylonakis (1), Konstantinos Gouvis, Konstantinos Genidounios, Ioannis Fountoulis (2), Kyriakos Pontikeas (1), Christos Afroudakis, Evangelos Delakas (3), Konstantinos Mourikis, Christodoulos Kolomvos (1), Alexandros Gounas, Angelos Vlachopoulos (3), Konstantinos Galanidis. Head Coach: Athanasios Kechagias.
AUSTRALIA: Joel Dennerley, Richard Campbell (2), Matthew Martin, John Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist (2), Aidan Roach (1), Aaron Younger (3), Joel Swift, Tyler Martin, Rhys Howden (1), William Miller, James Clark. Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic.

FLASH QUOTES:

Evangelos Delakas (GRE):
“The reason we lost concentration in the third quarter was because we are the youngest team in this tournament and we need more experience.”

Christos Afroudakis (GRE):
“Every match is important to gain experience and this one has helped us a lot.”

Angelos Vlachopoulos (GRE):
“The team was more relaxed today because we did not need to worry about the medals. It was a very intense game against Australia and we had bad defence. Our goal is to try and finish the championships in fifth place.”

Konstantinos Tsalkanis (GRE goalkeeper):
“I feel OK; this game was a special one for us. As we are not in the top four we would like to get fifth place. I would give myself a seven  out of 10 for this game and this championship.”

John Cotterill (AUS):
“This is the biggest disappointment of the tournament. We have played to a plan all tournament and today it failed. We lost our composure, started rushing and dropping balls — this is the first time we have not played our best.”

Richard Campbell (AUS):
“We allowed them to have too big a lead by halftime. We only really started playing in the third quarter but by then it was too late.”