By Camillo Cametti, Fina Media Committee Chairman

On the second day of the FINA Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, underway in Trieste, Italy, there were two very balanced games and four clear victories.

Once again the major surprise came from Canada that managed to hold high-ranked Hungary on a tie (14-14), at the end of a game studded with fireworks.

France won over Romania by one goal (12-11) at the end of a game that both teams could have won.

The Netherlands prevailed over Kazakhstan: for the Dutch victory three unanswered goals in the first period were crucial. The rest of the match was a tie. Spain got victory over Germany thanks to a successful second half.

Russia managed to tame Slovakia without too many difficulties. Against South Africa, Italy had one more warm up game in preparation of tomorrow's match against Spain.

Schedule and Results

7. 13:50 B6-B4 KAZ – NED 5-8
8. 15:10 B5-B3 GER – ESP 5-9
10. 16:30 A6-A4 CAN – HUN 14-14
11. 17:50 A5-A3 ROU – FRA 11-12
12. 19:10 A1-A2 RUS – SVK 7-4
9. 20:30 B1-B2 ITA – RSA 22-3

Game by Game

Game 7 (B) - 13:50 Kazakhstan-Netherlands  5-8 (0-3, 2-2; 2-2, 1-1)

Kazakhstan: 1. Alexandr Fedorov, 2. Sergey Gubarev © (1), 3. Maxim Zhardan, 4. Roman Pilipenko (1), 5. Vladimir Ushakov, 6. Alexey Shmider (2), 7. Muat Shakenov, 8. Yulian Verdesh, 9. Rustam Ukumanov (1) 10. Andrey Rekechenskiy, 11. Miras Aubakirov, 12. Branko Pekovich, 13. Valeriy Shlemov.Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.
Netherlands: 1. Eelco Wagenaar, 2. Yoran Frauenfelder (1), 3. Jorn Winkelhorst (1), 4. Ruud Van der Horst, 5. Lucas Gielen (3), 6. Robin Lindhout (3), 7. Lars Cottemaker, 8. Lars Reuten, 9. Josep Van der Bersselaar, 10. Roeland Spijker ©, 11. Jesse Koopman, 12. Thomas Lucas, 13. Ruben Hoepelman. Head Coach: Robin Van Galen.
Referees: Doriel Terpenka (CAN), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU).
Fina Delegate: Koshrow Amini.
Notes - Extra man goals : Kazakhstan, Netherlands.

Strong start for the Netherlands with 3 straight goals netted in the first quarter. The Dutch appeared comfortably in control of the game but the Kazakhstanis were not done and they fought back, managing to tie the rest of the game: the second and the third quarters with the identical score of 2-2, the last quarter 1-1.
In the 3rd period the Kazakhstanis  scored the opening goal, soon answered by a goal to Gielen from the half distance, soon after dubbed by a similar one from the same player.  With the score of 7-3 in their favour there was no doubt that the Dutch team would manage to bring home their second victory in the tournament.
Two goals from Shmider could only reduce the gap to 2 goals. Eventually Lindhouts scored his 3rd goal, fixing the result on the score 5-8 (2-5 at half time). Both his and Gielen’s hat tricks were crucial for the success of the team coached by Robin Van Galen.


Robin Van Galen, coach of the Netherlands: "We try to concentrate game after game. It's a tough tournament because we play eight matches in eight days. We must keep our physical conditions. I'm very happy. We won two times and we have a good situation in the ranking but tomorrow we will be opposed to a strong team like Germany, and we have to do our best. Today we controlled the game, 3-0 ahead, after that it was very difficult because the Kazakhstanis played better”.

Branko Pekovich, player of Kazakhstan: "Netherlands played really well. Today they defeated us and yesterday Spain. They are very united and this is not a surprise. It is difficult to say what we lack to reach their level. Kazakhstan is investing in sports but to get to a high level we need more time, especially to get in the top ten teams".

KAZ vs NED ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia

Game 8 (B) 15.10 – Germany-Spain 5-10 (1-1, 1-0; 2-4, 1-5)

Germany: 1. Roger Kong, 2. Erik Bukowski, 3. Christian Schlanstedt, 4. Julian Real © (2), 5. Tobias Preuss, 6.Maurice Jungling, 7. Heiko Nossek (2), 8. Paul Schuler, 9. Marko Stamm, 10. Mateo Cuk, 11. Marin Restovic, 12. Dennis Eidner (1), 13. Tim Hohne. Head Coach: Patrick Weissinger.
Spain: 1. Inaki Aguilar, 2. Alberto Munarriz (1), 3. Alejandro Busto, 4. Ricard Alarcon, 5. Guillermo Molina (4), 6. Marc Minguell, 7.Balasz Sziranyi, 8. Albert Espanol (1), 9. Roger Tahull, 10. Francisco Fernandez (2), 11. Blai Mallarach, 12. Gonzalo Echenique (2), 13. Daniel Lopez. Head Coach: Gabriel Hernandez.
Referees: Balasz Szekely (HUN), Sergey Naumov (RUS).
Fina Delegate: John Whitehouse.
Notes – Red card for Stamm (G) in the 1st quarter. Real (G) hit the post on penalty; Kong (G) saved a penalty shot from Molina (S) in the 1st period; Echenique hit the post on penalty in 3rd quarter. Extra man goals: Germany 0/7 + one penalty, Spain 1/6 + 2 penalties.

A match with two faces: Germany prevailed in the first half characterised by a low score, 2-1: just 3 goals overall (1-1 in the first period, 1-0 in the second period).
In the second half Germany incomprehensibly collapsed while Spain, driven by Guillermo Molina, a veteran of the team, took the reins of the game and dominated the second half winning both the 3rd and the 4th quarter, respectively 4-2 and 5-1.
Molina, a lion in this match, was both the best player and best scorer with 4 goals. He could have scored 5 times but he missed to convert a penalty opportunity sending the ball to the post. In the 3rd quarter he scored his best goal - a combination of strength and skill, a real feat - to tie 3-3, before Germany could shoot their last two bullets. 


Alberto Espanol, Spain’s player: "Yesterday we played a bad game. Today we started with a lot of pressure but then we managed to improve”.  
Gabriel Hernandez, Spain’s coach: "After our defeat against the Netherlands, the tournament has become a nightmare. This victory against Germany is very important to regain our self-confidence. Tomorrow we face Italy in a difficult and important game. We have to stay focused".

Julian Real, Germany’s captain: "We started very well and we were winning. Then Spain begun play more aggressive. The match of tomorrow against Netherlands is very important and we have to win for ranking".

Patrick Weissinger, Germany’s coach: "It was a good match, a good game, there was no problem until Stamm was red carded. For us it is most important to get a good result tomorrow, and we are prepared for that".

ESP vs GER ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia


Game 10 (A) 16.30 – Canada-Hungary 14-14 (3-4, 4-4; 4-5, 3-1 )

Canada: 1. Dusan Aleksic, 2. Constantin Kudaba, 3. Oliver Vikalo (2), 4.Nicolas Constantin Bicari (4), 5. Justin Boyd (1), 6. Scott Robinson, 7. David Lapins, 8. Kevin Graham © (3), 9. Dusan Radoscic, 10. John Conway (3), 11. Giorges Torakis (1), 12. Jared McElroy, 13. Robin Randall. Head Coach: Giuseppe Porzio.
Hungary: 1. Viktor Nagy, 2.Gergo Zalanki, 3. Krisztian Manhercz (3), 4. Balasz Erdely, 5. Marton Vamos (2), 6. Norbert Hosnyanszky (2), 7. Adam Decker (1), 8. Marton Szivos (1), 9. Daniel Varga © (3), 10. Denes Varga (1P), 11. Krisztian Bedo, 12. Balasz Harai (1), 13. David Bisztritsanyi. Head Coach: Tibor Benedek.
Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Dion Willis (RSA).
Fina Delegate: Alan Balfanbayev
Notes - Exclusion with substitution for Robinson (C) In the 3rd period and for Decker (H) in the 4th period. Extra man goals: Canada 4/6 + 2 penalties, Hungary 6/14 + 2 penalties.

Spurred by yesterday’s victory over The Netherlands, the Canadians faced the high-ranked Hungarian team with no reverential awe. The North American side continued to surge under the leadership of their new coach Giuseppe Porzio. At the end of a hard fought, emotional and exciting game, with continuous changes of front and several ties, Canada managed to hold Hungary on a tie also at the end, on a high score: 14-14, 28 goals altogether.

The last two and a half minutes of the 3rd quarter were incredible. At 2:41 from the end Hungary was up one goal again, thanks to an action goal from Szivos , close to Nagy’s goal line. Then Manhercz scored twice: 13-10 for Hungary. Game over?

Not yet. Conway converted a penalty and the teams went into the final leg on 11-13, a 2-goal gap.

In the 4th period, at 5.46 Bicari scored his 4th goal putting Canada just one goal down. 22 seconds later Denes Vargas converted a penalty (12-14) but Canada did the same with Graham at 42 seconds from the expiration of the game (13-14). At 5 seconds to the end Conway scored his third goal for Canada, sealing the final result on 14-14. What a match, what an incredible tie!

Four players scored3 goals each: Graham and Conway for Canada, Manhercz and Daniel Vargas for Hungary. It was a difficult game, well managed by the referees.


Giuseppe Porzio, Canada’s coach: "It was a tough match because Hungary is on a higher level, but we played with strength and determination. At the beginning we were 4-3 with five exclusions. We had been often a goal down, but we never gave up and at the end we obtained this result”.

Constantin Bicari, Canada’s player: "I feel good because I scored four goals, but now we must get prepared for the next match. This game is a good step forward because Hungary is one of the best teams in the world, with a lot of experience. Our coach gave us his experience and we respect him for this".

Tibor Benedek, Hungary’s coach: "We were not strong in defense as we usually are, it's important that this will not happens again. We suffered a lot of goals, we have to do better".

Norbert Hosnyanszky (Hungary): "Today our defense was worse than yesterday. We suffer 14 goals and it's too much for us so we have do to better. We have lost two points on ranking but it's still too early to tell anything".

CAN vs HUN ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia


Game 11 (A) 17.50 – Romania-France 11-12 (4-3, 3-3; 3-4, 1-2)

Romania: 1. Dragos Stonescu, 2. Cosmin Radu © (2), 3. Tiberiu Negrean (2, 1P), 4. Mihnea Gheorghe (2), 5. Nicolae Oanta, 6. Dan Andrei Busila, 7. Daniel Teohari (1), 8. Mihnea Chioveanu, 9. Dimitri Goanta, 10. Roland Szabo (3), 11. Alexandru Ghiban, 12. Alex Popoviciu (1), 13. Marius Tic. Head Coach: Dejan Stanojevic.
France: 1. Remi Garsau, 2. Remi Saudadier (2), 3. Igor Kovacevic (2), 4. Blary Romain, 5. Enzo Khasz (1), 6. Simon Thibaut, 7.Ugo Crousillat (5), 8. Michal Izdinsky, 9. Mehdi Marzouki, 10. Mathieu Peisson, 11. Petar Tomasevic (2), 2. Alexandre Camarasa ©, 13. Billy Noyon. Head Coach: Florian Bruzzo.
Referees: Georgios Stavridis (GRE), Gernot Hantschel (GER).
Fina Delegate: Takeshi Inoue.
Notes - Exclusion with substitution Tomasevic (F) in the 3rd period. Extra man goals:
Romania 1/4 + one penalty, France 5/6.

One more hard fought and balanced game, played by two teams of equivalent strength and marked by uncertainty and unpredictability until the final outcome.
In the 1st period France went off fast and stayed in front until 3-2, then Romania took the lead with goals from Gheorghe and  Szabo. The score was 4-3 for the Romanians at the end of the first leg.

The 2nd quarter was the most balanced; the split score, 3-3, says it all (7-6 at half time). Then the French, driven by Crousillat, the game top scorer with 5 goals, were able to tame their opponents narrowly winning both the 3rd period (4-3) and the last one (2-1), thus securing victory by the margin of one goal (12-11).


Florian Bruzzo, France’s coach: "It was an hard game with a lot of stress. In this match there are a lot of mistakes. From the next games I aspect less mistakes".

Ugo Crousillat, France’s player: "It was a very difficult game because Romania was 2 goals ahead;  we fought and I'm happy for victory. This was a very important match. I imagine the next games will be very strenuous too.Now we have to rest and study very well our next games".

Cosmin Radu, Romania’s captain: "We started well and were ahead until the beginning of the fourth period, but then we made a lot of mistakes. The next game will be very difficult because Hungary is tough, but we'll try. I think it will be difficult to foretell who will win the quarter finals, we will play until the end for the qualification to the Olympic Games".

ROU vs FRA ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia


Game 12 (A) 19.10 – Russia-Slovakia 7-4 (2-0, 3-3; 0-1, 2-0)

Russia:  1. Kiril Korneev, 2. Adel Giniiatov (2), 3. Artem Odintson, 4. Daniil Merkulov, 5. Konstantin Kharkov, 6. Mikhail Krasnov, 7. Pavel Khalturin (2), 8. Andrei Balakirev (1), 9. Igor Bychrov, 10. Dmitrii Kholod © (2), 11. Sergey Lisunov, 12. Lev Magomaev, 13. Petr Peclotov. Head Coach: Erkin Shagaev.
Slovakia: 1. Lukas Kozmer, 2. Martin Famera, 3. Jurai Zatovic ©, 4. Adam Furman, 5. Lukas Durik, 6. Samuel Balaz, 7. Lukas Seman (1), 8. Maros Tkac, 9. Michal Uradnik, 10. Igor Szabo, 11. Martin Kolarik (3), 12. Tomas Bruder, 13. Michal Hruska. Head Coach: Antonio Esteller Serrahima.
Referees: Vojin Putnikovic (SRB), Filippo Gomez(ITA).
Fina Delegate: Manuel Ibern.
Notes – Exclusion with substitution Odintsov (R) in the 4th period. Extra man goals: Russia 1/5, Slovakia 1/7.

Russia won the first and the last quarters with the identical score of 2-0. The second quarter was hard fought and ended in a tie, 3-3. In the third quarter only one goal was scored, and it came from Slovakia. The top scorer of the game was Slovakia’s n. 11 Martin Kolaric, with 3 goals. For Russia three players scored two goals each: Giniiatov, Khalturin and Kholod.


Dmitrii Kholod, Russia’s player: "This win makes me think positively about the tournament, but we have to win minimum two of the next three matches. Surely it will be more simple to win against France and Romania. Against Hungay it will be tough but we will do our best. Now we have lost our first center Lisunov. What we need is much more energy”.

Antonio Esteller, Slovakia’s coach: "We didn't have the control of the match, and we made two big mistakes in the last minutes. This tournament is difficult because we have to play every day. But it's a great experience to be here, and we will always try to improve ourselves".

Martin Kolarik, Slovakia’s player, top scorer in this match with 3 goals: "It was a very hard match. Russian team is very strong, they are great swimmers and we lost three times the ball in attack. We will try and fight until the end".

RUS vs SVK ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia


Game 10 (B) – Italy-South Africa  22-3 (5-1, 6-0; 7-1, 4-1)

Italy: 1. Stefano Tempesti©, 2. Francesco Di Fulvio (1), 3. Niccolò Gitto (2), 4. Pietro Figlioli (1), 5. Alex Giorgetti (3, 1P), 6. Michael Bodegas (1), 7. Alessandro Velotto (4), 8. Alessandro Nora (3), 9. Christian Presciutti (2), 10. Stefano Luongo (1), 11. Matteo Aicardi (1), 12. Fabio Baraldi (3), 13. Marco Del Lungo. Head Coach. Alessandro Campagna.
South Africa: 1. Julian Lewis, 2. Devon Card ©, 3. Christopher Brown, 4. Jordan Rumbelow, 5. Nicholas Downes, 6. Nicholas Schooling, 7. Lodewyk Rabie (1), 8. Nicholas Rodda (1), 9. Jason Evezard (1), 10. Simon Purchase, 11. Nicholas Molyneux, 12. Dayne Jagga, 13. Lwazi Madi. Head Coach: Paul Martin.
Referees: Radaslow Koryzna (POL), Pascal Bouchez (FRA).
Fina Delegate: Alan Balfanbayev.
Notes – Extra man goals: Italy 8/12 + one penalty, South Africa 2/8.

Italy easily ruled the game. South Africa scored 3 goals, with Evezard in power play for the 1-1, Rodda for the 18-2 and Rabie for the 22-3 on extra man, the last goal of the match. The goals for the Settebello came all from outfield players. Velotto was the best scorer with 4 goals.

ITA vs RSA ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia