Perth, Australia, Mar 27.— Australia men forced a penalty shootout to beat Japan 17-15 in second-day action at the FINA Water Polo World League Intercontinental Cup tournaments at the HBF Stadium in Perth.
Aidan Roach was the man of the moment for Australia, levelling at 11 and then needing to level again at 12 when he could not find anyone to pass to so he shot with half a second left on the clock.
The Sharks were perfect in the shootout and goalkeeper Anthony Hrysanthos stopped Japan's fourth shot.
In the other Group A match, Canada gained a first win, beating South Africa by a staggering 18-4. South Africa's outside shooting was impotent compared with a day earlier against Japan. Head coach Paul Martin explained that the style in Perth was totally opposite from what they play domestically.
Kazakhstan took the lead of Group B with a second win, this time dispensing with Argentina 11-5 in what was seen as a lop-sided match. Much was expected from Argentina following its penalty shootout victory over China on day one.
China bounced back from that upset and took out New Zealand 14-7. Canada converted five from 10 on extra while New Zealand gained none from five, a telling statistic.
The women had the morning off and played four straight matches in the afternoon-evening.
In Group A, China opened proceedings with a solid effort over New Zealand in a high-scoring match — 21 goals in the first half — cruising to 24-7 with Zihan Zhao netting six action goals. China was perfect on extra-man attack and the only blemish was a blocked penalty shot in its five attempts.
World League champion United States of America turned on a display of speed water polo against Japan, winning 18-7 with captain Maggie Steffens being named player of the match.
In Group B, Canada defeated Kazakhstan 13-4 with
Hayley McKelvey (CAN) bringing her tournament tally to nine with four goals.
Host Australia sent off South Africa 21-3 with far too much experience and pace.
Group A: Australia 5, Japan 4, Canada 3, South Africa 0.
Group B: Kazakhstan 6, China 4, Argentina 2, New Zealand 0.
Group A: USA 6, China 3, Japan 3, New Zealand 0.
Group B: Australia 6, Canada 3, Kazakhstan 3, South Africa.