Water Polo Women, Day 5: AUS 9 GRE 5
Greece relinquished its World Championship crown in losing 9-5 to world No 3 Australia in a match where the Aussie Stingers dominated throughout. Greece is the team Australia has trouble with the most so today it went to a 3-1 lead within two minutes and kept Greece at bay for the rest of the night.
In the setting sun, Greece’s ambitions for retention of the crown won in Shanghai two years ago, also set. Its ambitions must now be for fifth place. Australia needed to win strongly to show its semifinal opponent — Russia — that it has the overall game to thrust itself into the gold-medal final. Both teams had excellent defence and when the match hit 3-1, it looked like it would be a high-scoring match.
Water Polo Women, Day 5: RUS 17 CAN 9
Russian pair Evgeniya Ivanova and Ekaterina Prokofyeva steered their team to a 17-9 quarterfinal over Canada at the Bernat Picornell Pool today. The pair scored the first four Russian goals and went on to score twice more as Russia took the 5-2 quarter-time score to 8-3 at halftime and 12-6 at the final break.
It was Russia’s natural progression in the championship and try as it might, Canada could not overcome the early 3-0 deficit. Joelle Bekhazi kept her team on the scoresheet with two of her four goals in the third quarter, including a penalty strike.
Water Polo Men: Day 4: AUS 8 GER 4
Australia completed the list of quarter-finalists by defeating Germany 8-4 and will now look forward to Tuesday when it must front Olympic champion Croatia for a semifinal berth. Australia had the better defence, the better goalkeeper and better strike power and thoroughly deserved a quarterfinal match.
Australia controlled the opening quarter through power shots from captain Rhys Howden and Aaron Younger with a rifle shot. When Heiko Nossek scored the first goal for Germany at the start of the second quarter, it was a touch of Australian infamy as the 700th goal conceded at World Championships, second only to Canada’s 742.
Serbia going head to head with Montenegro in quarterfinals
Serbia will face Montenegro in what will be a hotly contested quarterfinal on Tuesday following the qualification round of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World Championships at the Bernat Picornell Pool today. Serbia sent Romania packing for home with a 13-5 scoreline and Montenegro defeated Canada 12-4 to set up a tantalising encounter.
The qualifiers were decisive, unlike the women’s matches the day before where European champion Italy and World League champion China departed the scene. The other quarterfinals have Greece facing Hungary, Croatia against Australia and Spain playing Italy.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: ITA 11 CHN 3
Italy has booked a quarterfinal appointment with Spain after beating China 11-3 in the qualifiers at Bernat Picornell Pool. It was a vast improvement on the previous meeting of the two at last year’s World League when Italy won 10-9 — the smallest winning margin in all eight encounters between each other at major tournaments.
Italy scored twice before Zhang Chufeng (CHN) plastered the ball into the back of the net from two metres. Matteo Aicardi scored the first of two amazing centre-forward, backhand lobs against Weiqing Ge for 3-1.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: HUN 16 KAZ 7
Hungary defeated a defiant Kazakhstan 16-7 and created history in bringing up 1000 goals at World Championships, en route to Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Newcomer centre forward Krisztian Bedo, just turned 20, was the person to claim this slice of Hungarian history, netting on a cross pass on extra-man attack for 13-5. The man who made it possible was Kazakhstan scorer Ushakov, who gained the exclusion that led to the goal.It was unusual to watch Hungary behind for the second consecutive match (in Friday’s draw with Australia) as Kazakhstan shot to a 4-2 lead at quarter time, only to see Hungary grab the lead at 5-4. Sergey Gubarev equalised with his third goal from his favoured deep-right position and the game was still keeping the fans on the edge of their seats.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: SRB 13 ROU 5
Serbia continued its unbeaten run against Romania in all championships and progressed to the quarterfinals with a 13-5 decision. The win record is now 11 plus one draw.
Romania opened the scoring through Andrei Busila — the only time it held the lead. Serbia lifted to 2-1 at the quarter break and 4-1. Nicolae Diaconu broke the Serbian surge that re-continued to halftime for 7-2. Diaconu and Ramiro Georgescu scored consecutive goals for 8-3 but it was not until the final quarter that it scored again for 11-4 and 13-5.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: USA 6 ESP 10
Spain sent United States of America crashing out of the championship with a 10-6 victory in the quarterfinal qualifiers. Spain had a more balanced team and USA relied heavily on first-team newcomer Janson Wigo, who scored three goals.
Spanish folk do not like their team trailing and when USA veteran and captain Tony Azevedo scored with a lob shot on counter for 2-1, they were unhappy. It took Felipe Perrone with his second Guillermo Molina for 3-2 to get the crowd excited. Molina urged them to stand and cheer, which they did. The crowd was clearly behind Spain.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: CRO 21 NZL 4
Olympic champion Croatia scored a comfortable 21-4 victory over New Zealand to breeze into the quarterfinals. Playing the quarterfinal qualification round, Croatia opened a 6-0 lead to set up the victory in a match where Sandro Sukno and Petar Muslim led all scorers with five each. Sukno is the son of 1984 Yugoslavian Olympic gold medallist Goran Sukno.
Three of Sandro’s goals came in the first quarter and it should have been four except his penalty attempt was blocked.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: MNE 12 CAN 4
A five-goal burst spanning the first and second quarters helped Montenegro beat Canada 12-4 and advance to the quarterfinals. Playing the qualification round at Bernat Picornell Pool, Montenegro was held to 2-1 at the quarter before expanding the margin to 5-1 at halftime and 6-1 in the third, which was tied at 3-3. A 4-0 final quarter rounded out the victory.Canada struck some form with Constantin Kudaba scoring twice from well outside and Kevin Graham finishing off what was formerly a sloppy extra-man play. At 7-4, Canada was well placed to drill further into the deficit.
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