The male national team of Montenegro and Greece’s ladies won gold medals at the World Aquatics Water Polo Qualification Tournament for World Beach Games, which finished in Soma Bay (Egypt) today.
The medal winners qualified for the World Beach Games in Bali (August 6 – 12). Egypt won silver in the men’s competition, and besides the Montenegrins and the Egyptians, Hungary secured a ticket for Bali.
Greece won gold in the women’s competition ahead of the Czech Republic and South Africa.
Both medal matches on the final day of the men’s tournament in the coastal resort on the Red Sea were breathtaking.
Montenegro beat Egypt in the final after a penalty shootout – 15:14. Interestingly, only one goal was scored in the shootout. The result after four quarters was 14:14.
Hungary edged out Georgia 11:10 in the bronze-medal match.
As for the women’s competition, Greece beat the Czech Republic by four goals in the final (13:9). South Africa defeated Zimbabwe 9:4 to win bronze.
Men, final standings: 1. Montenegro, 2. Egypt, 3. Hungary, 4. Georgia, 5. Romania, 6. Kazakhstan, 7. Ukraine, 8. South Africa, 9. Serbia, 10. Saudi Arabia, and 11. Kuwait.
Women, final standings: 1. Greece, 2. Czech Republic, 3. South Africa, and 4. Zimbabwe
Qualifications for World Beach Games (Soma Bay, May 12 – 15), Day 4
Egypt – Montenegro 14:15 (5:5, 4:3, 3:2, 2:4, PSO 0:1)
Egypt: Reda, Abdalarahman, Salah Farag 3, Elsapagh 7, Atef 3, Seif , Ghounim 1. Head coach: Mansour.
Montenegro: D.Cetkovic, P.Cetkovic, Markovic 3, Brkic 6, Korac 1, Porobic 1, Adzic 4. Head coach: Maslovar.
Like in the previous three days, Egypt had a “man up” throughout the game – a tremendous cheer from the fans from the packed stands and from the boat anchored by the field.
The home team was the first one to gain a 2-goal advantage. Egypt led 5:3, but the Montenegrins equalized at 5:5 in the dying seconds of the first quarter. Egypt rebuilt a 2-goal lead in the second quarter (8:6). Montenegro leveled at 8:8. Nine seconds before the middle break, Ahmed Elsapagh scored from a penalty – 9:8.
Midway through the third period, Adzic equalized at 9:9. But, the best scorer of the game Ahmed Elsapagh (7 goals), responded with two goals – Egypt was two steps ahead of the Montenegrins again (11:9). In the following minutes, Egypt was constantly in front, Montenegro was cutting the deficit to one goal. Still, it couldn’t level the score for long, partially because of Egypt’s excellent goalkeeper Marwan Reda. Two minutes before the end, the Europeans finally caught up with the hosts – Markovic made it 13:13. Still, much time was left. Ahmed Elsapagh scored his 7th goal (the fourth from a penalty) at 00:40 to give Egypt a 14:13 advantage. However, the hosts didn’t keep a slim lead, as Stefan Porobic found the net from a distance with 20 seconds left on the clock. It was the last goal in a high-scoring game, and a penalty shootout decided the winner.
Egypt’s Ahmed Atef missed in the first round of penalty shots. After that, both goalkeepers, Dragoljub Cetkovic and Marwan Reda, posted three saves each. In the fourth round, Nikola Brkic hit the back of the net for the gold medal.
Although they failed to win gold, the water polo players of Egypt should be happy with the results. They beat three European teams – Romania, Serbia (after a penalty shootout), and Georgia on their way to the silver medal. In addition, they ran over South Africa in the quarterfinals.
Georgia – Hungary 10:11 (3:3, 2:4, 2:3, 3:1)
Georgia: Gvetadze, Kikaleishvili, Bazhinov 1, Magrakvelidze 5, Baraldi 2, Rusishvili, Jakhaia 2. Head coach: Tukvadze.
Hungary: Kardos, Kolozsi 2, Bencz 4, Kereszturi 1, Pellei 2, N.Nagy, Boros 2. Head coach: Petrovai.
The teams traded the goals in the first quarter and a half. In the 8th minute, the Georgians went in front for the last time – captain Magrakvelidze netted for 5:4. Hungary’s Rolf Bencz answered with three goals, and his team was 7:5 up at halftime. Pellei added one goal after the middle break to give Hungary a considerable 8:5 lead. Hungary kept Georgia goalless for almost five minutes. Magrakvelidze ended his team’s silence with a goal from a penalty shot (6:8).
Hungary doubled its advantage in the 15th minute (10:6) before their long goalless phase started. Georgia came back into the match. Two and a half minutes before the end, Jakhaia converted a penalty for 9:10. At 01:20, Hungary was awarded a penalty shot. Marcell Kolozsi had a chance to decide everything, but he hit the post. At the other end of the pool, Magrakvelidze leveled at 10:10. But, Kolozsi quickly made up for the missed penalty. After the equalizer, he scored from a counterattack to put Hungary in front – 11:10 with 50 seconds left for the final score.
Kazakhstan – Romania 5:15 (2:9, 2:4, 1:2)
Kazakhstan: Makhmetov, Tsoy, Akhmetov 1, Yeremin 1, Shonzhigitov 1, Pustovalov, Temyrkhanov 2. Head coach: Ukumanov.
Romania: Stoenescu, Amarie, Costa 6, A.Gheorghe 2, Insinna 4, Zamfir, Radoi 3. Head coach: E. Georgescu.
Almost each of the Romanians’ shots towards the goal in the first eight minutes hit the back of the net, so the European team had a 9:2 lead at halftime. Kazakhstan woke up in the second half. Still, it wasn’t enough for a comeback. Sixteen seconds before the end of the first half, Romania went to 13:4 and needed one goal to secure a 10-goal lead and finish the game. The Romanians had a man-up in the dying seconds of the first half, but Kazakhstan goalkeeper Makhmetov posted a save.
At the beginning of the second half, Romania missed three penalty shots and chances to earn a 10-goal lead. They paid for it – Kazakhstan narrowed the difference to eight (5:13). Romania responded with two goals. The Europeans got two penalty shots in the middle of the third quarter. This time, they made no mistakes. Maximilian Costa converted both, and after his second goal, when the score was 15:5, the referee whistled the end.
South Africa – Ukraine 6:12 (1:4, 1:2, 2:4, 2:2)
South Africa:Hashatse, Rademeyer, Coryndon-Baker 2, MacDonald 1, Neser 3, Margro. Head coach: Mantle.
Ukraine: Babskyi, Osyka 4, Mametyev 1, Diadiura 6, Kechedzhyi, Babaienko 1. Head coach: Dobush.
Ukraine opened the match with a 4:0 lead. Deep into the third period, five goals separated the rivals (6:1). The Europeans, led by Oleksandr Diadiura, continued dominating in the second half. In the 12th minute, they earned a 6-goal lead for the first time (9:3). In the remaining time, the teams traded goals and Ukraine won 7th place with a 12:6 victory.
Serbia – Saudi Arabia 13:3 (7:0, 6:3)
Serbia: Risticevic, Andrin 1, Sulc 2, Rogac 4 , N.Radulovic , Stojanovic 2, Jankovic 4. Head coach: Maljkovic.
Saudi Arabia: Barbawi, Aldughther 2, Gahal 1, Aljazzar, Alhawsawi, Almuraihel, Almaki. Head coach: Laitadze.
The encounter between Serbia and Saudi Arabia was the shortest match at the tournament in Soma Bay. It lasted only 10 minutes. The game turned into a one-sided contest quickly. The Serbs led 10:0 in the 7th minute. But the match wasn’t over yet. A beach water polo game ends when one of the teams earns a 10-goal advantage, but only at or after halftime.
Serbia had an 11-advantage late into the second quarter (13:2). Saudi Arabia scored the last goal in the 2nd quarter, but it didn’t reduce the gap to nine before the middle break, so the match finished after the first half.
Greece – Czech Republic 13:9 (2:2, 3:3, 5:1, 3:3)
Greece: Mavrota, Chaldaiou 2, Koureta 5, Berikou, Galanopoulou 1, Tsimara 3, Kalaitzi 2. Head coach:: Karagianni.
Czech Republic: Remisova, Busauerova 2, Fugnerova 1, Kilianova, Javurkova 2, Hola 2, Hlavata 2. Head coach: Fugner.
As expected, favorite Greece won the gold medal in the female competition. The Greeks beat the Czech Republic convincingly in the group phase (11:6) after a good start in the game.
The final was utterly different. After a balanced first period, the Czech Republic opened the second quarter excellently and took a 5:2 lead. Still, The Greeks dominated in the following minutes. They produced a 7:0 run, turned around the 3-goal deficit to a 9:5 advantage, and maintained the difference until the end.
South Africa – Zimbabwe 9:4 (2:0, 0:2, 5:0, 2:2)
South Africa: Laguma, Tancrel 2, Caswell, Hannan, Van den Bosch 1, Vd Loosdrecht 4, De Beer 2. Head coach: Meecham.
Zimbabwe: Meyer, Bond 3, Harris, Wood, Chitsurura 1, Ashwin, Gentlemen. Head coach: Manthe.
Both teams had ups and downs in the African derby. Still, South Africa ruled the field in the third quarter and secured the victory and the ticket for Bali.