World champion Spain won 1st place at the New Year’s tournament in Texas.
The Spaniards beat host Team USA (13:11) in the last game of the tournament and kept 1st place in the standings. Spain recorded three wins in four games. Serbia posted two victories, and the USA won one game.
Spain beat the USA in the match at the SMU Robson & Lindley Aquatic Center in Dallas, thanks to a big comeback. The Spaniards trailed by five goals in the third quarter (4:9). But after that, they scored seven goals in a row and opened the doors of victory.
USA – Spain 11:13 (2:2, 4:2, 3:5, 2:4)
USA: Weinberg, Hooper 1, Vavic 1, Abramson 1, Dunstan, C. Dodd 3, Hallock 4, D. Woodhead, Bowen 1, Stevenson, Ehrhardt, Irving, Turner, Farmer. Head coach: Udovicic.
Spain:Aguirre, Biel, Granados 4, Sanahuja 2, Valera 1, Larumbe 3, Paul, Cabanas 1, Tahull, Asensio, Mallarach 2, Bustos, Motos, Gomila. Head coach: Martin.
The teams exchanged goals in the first quarter. Team USA took a one-goal lead twice, but Spain leveled on each occasion, so the sides were tied at 2:2 at the first break. Spain went ahead twice in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Granados made it 3:2, and after the hosts’ equalizer, he gave Spain a 4:3 lead (12th minute). However, the USA closed the first half with three unanswered goals (Hallock, Vavic, Chase Dodd). The hosts were 6:4 up at the middle break.
The Americans opened the third quarter the same way they closed the previous one – with three straight goals. All three were scored by the captain Ben Hallock. USA’s and Pro Recco’s center-forward earned a man-up already in the first possession in the second half. He converted that six on 5 to a 7:4 lead. After that, Hallock added an action goal and one more with a power play advantage from a close-range shot. So, in the 19th minute, Team USA had a 9:4 advantage.
But Spain was able to come back and recover from a shocking 0:6 series. Moreover, the visitors struck back powerfully. They produced a 7:0 run in nine minutes. The world champions scored five straight goals by the end of the third quarter. Just two seconds before the last break, Larumbe converted a penalty shot and equalized (9:9). Early in the fourth period, Granados and Larumbe netted action goals to give Spain an 11:9 lead (the 27th minute). Bowen halved the deficit (10:11), but the Spaniards responded with two goals (Cabanas and Granados). They earned a 13:10 advantage with 02:43 minutes left on the clock. In the remaining time, the hosts scored a consolation goal.
1. Spain 4 games – 3 wins (48:45)
2. Serbia 4 – 2 (51:51)
3. USA 4 – 1 (47:50)
All results: USA – Serbia 16:12, Serbia – Spain 11:12, USA – Spain 9:11, Spain – Serbia 12:14, USA – Serbia 11:14 (PSO), USA – Spain 11:13.