Hungary was one of the most successful teams of Day 2 of the men’s water polo tournament at the World Championships in Gwangju. The Hungarians defeated Spain (13:11) in the derby of Group C, but they will face a big problem in the rest of the competition.
Denes Varga, Hungary’s captain and one of the best world players, is out of the World Championships. Yesterday, the Hungarian federation announced that Varga wouldn’t play in the rest of the competition because of injury. In Monday’s first round, one of New Zealand players accidentally kicked Varga’s in a hand. Varga was sent for an X-ray and it turned out that the finger on the right hand was broken. Varga will stay with the team, but he can’t play.
Thanks to a win over Spain, Hungary qualified for the quarterfinals. Title-holder Croatia, which convincingly defeated the USA today (17:7), also secured a spot among top 8 teams.
Things are getting complicated in Group A. Montenegro and Greece shared the points (10:10). This was the second draw in this group. The first derby was ended with the same score (Serbia – Montenegro 10:10). So, Serbia (which beat South Korea today), Greece and Montenegro will enter the 3rd round with more or less same chances to reach the 1st place.
Italy defeated Japan (9:7) and holds the 1st place in Group D, but Germany, after an excellent win over Brazil (15:8), has a chance to reach the quarterfinals already after the group stage.
18th FINA World Championships, men’s water polo tournament, Day 2
Greece – Montenegro 10:10 (3:3, 1:2, 4:4, 2:1)
Greece: Gounas 2, Argyropoulos 2, Skoumpakis 2, Genidounias 1, Papanastasiou 1, Dervisis 1, Kolomvos 1.
Montenegro: Janovic 3, Ivovic 2, Dr. Brguljan 1, Dj. Radovic 1, Djurdjic 1, Draskovic 1, Murisic 1.
Serbia – South Korea 22:2 (6:1, 5:0, 4:1,7:0)
Serbia: Jaksic 5, Cuk 3, Lazic 3, Dedovic 2, Drasovic 2, S. Rasovic 2, Mandic 1, V. Rasovic 1, Randjelovic 1, Vico 1, Stojanovic 1.
South Korea: M. Kim 1, Han 1.
Greece and Montenegro shared the points in the match with lots of twists and turns. The Greeks had a better start, they were leading in the first quarter (1:0, 2:1, 3:2). Montenegro turned around a slim deficit to a nice 3-goal lead early in the 3rd period (7:4). In the middle of this period, Montenegro was 9:6 up. But, Greece kept Montenegro scoreless for nine minutes and produced a big comeback, by scoring 4 straight goals. Gounas hit the back of the net from a penalty line in the 26th minute and Greece earned a 10:9 advantage. Ivovic buried a man-up to level the score (10:10) 3.23 minutes from the last buzzer.
The last chance for Montenegro to win 2 points was an attack which ended with no shot 21 seconds before the end. Fountoulis stole the ball and the Greeks’ coach Vlachos asked for time out. Greece had an excellent chance to win the match. But, Montenegro’s goalkeeper Dejan Lazovic saved Ioannis Fountoulis’s shot from long distance.
Serbia blew away South Korea (22:2), On Friday, Serbia will clash Greece, while Montenegro will try to improve its goal-difference in the match against South Korea. If the third derby ends with no winner, the goal-difference will be crucial in the hunt for the 1st place. Greece, which beat Korea 26:3 on Monday, still remains on the top.
1 Greece 2 – 3
2 Serbia 2 – 3
3 Montenegro 2 – 1
4 South Korea 2 – 0
USA – Croatia 7:17 (1:4, 3:5, 2:4, 1:4)
USA: Ramirez 2, Hooper 1, Obert 1, Hallock 1, Daube 1, Bowen 1.
Croatia: Jokovic 3, Vukicevic 3, Vrlic 3, Loncar 2, Benic 2, Buslje 2, Setka 1, Garcia 1.
Australia – Kazakhstan 17:8 (4:1, 5:1, 3:4, 5:2)
Australia: Howden 4, Kayes 3, Power 3, Younger 2, Roach 2, B. Edwards 2, Campbell 1.
Kazakhstan: Zhardan 3, Verdesh 2, Medvedev 1, Shakenov 1, Ruday 1.
After beating Australia on Day 1 (14:4), Croatia continued its almost flawless performance and defeated the USA by a 10-goal margin. The title-holder booked the ticket for the quarterfinals.
The Croats played strongly in defense (the Americans converted just two of their 10 man-ups). They were excellent in attack and stunned the USA with a 4:0 lead in the 7th minute. The outcome was determined in the middle of the game. The USA team trailed 4:7 deep into the second quarter. After that, the Croats produced a new 4:0 series to earn a 7-goal advantage (11:4) in the middle of the third. There was no way back for the Americans any more.
The top scorers, with 3 goals each, were Maro Jokovic, Ante Vukicevic, and Josip Vrlic. The Croat’s goalkeepers also played very well with 16 saves in total. Marko Bijac posted 11 saves (11/18), while Ivan Marcelic, who entered the pool five minutes before the end, was perfect (5/5).
Australia had no troubles in the game with Kazakhstan. The “Sharks” secured a win in the first half. They earned a 9:1 advantage by the 15th minute. Playing without pressure in the second half, the “Aussies” maintained a big gap and recorded a 17:8 win. On Friday, Australia and the USA will face off in an encounter which will decide the 2nd place in the group.
1 Croatia 2 – 4
2 USA 2 – 2
3 Australia 2 – 2
4 Kazakhstan 2 – 0
Hungary – Spain 13:11 (4:2, 5:4, 3:0, 1:5)
Hungary: Zalnaki 3, Jansik 2, Sedlmayer 2, Manhercz 2, Angyal 1, Vamos 1, Batori 1, Harai 1.
Spain: Granados 3, Munariz 2, De Toro 1, Mallarach 1, Perrone 1, Fernandez 1, Bustos 1.
South Africa – New Zealand 8:8 (2:0, 2:2, 2:4, 2:2)
South Africa: Evezard 2, Rodda 2, Rezelman 2, Le Roux 1, Cronje 1.
New Zealand: Small 2, Lewis 1, Pike 1, Stankovich 1, Sunde 1, S. Bryant 1, M. Bryant 1.
The opening minutes of the big game of Group C, Hungary – Spain, offered a close battle. Hungary, playing without injured Denes Varga, who was on the bench, took a 2:0 lead. The Spaniards kept up with the LEN Europa Cup winner for a while. They managed to catch the opponent at 2:2, 4:4, 5:5, and, for the last time, at 6:6 (3.26 before the end of the second quarter). Then, Hungary scored three goals in a span of 90 seconds and built a 9:6 lead by the big break. The Hungarians shut out the Spaniards in the third period. Hungary continued its series with new 3 goals to earn a safe 12:6 advantage late into the third period. The Spaniards couldn’t recover from that shock, despite they played well in the last eight minutes.
Gergo Zalnaki led the Hungarians, scoring three goals. Granados nailed three for Spain.Watch all 24 goals in out summary.
An encounter between two underdogs in Group C South Africa and New Zealand was ended in a tie, so the goal-difference will determine which team will qualify for the cross-over matches and which took the last place in the group. South Africa earned a 4:1 lead in the second quarter. New Zealand started climbing back and equalized in the last second of the third period (6:6). The “Kiwis” went in front after their first possession in the last period, but the Africans equalized soon (7:7). Immediately after that goal, New Zealand earned a new advantage, by Lewis’s goal which was confirmed after the referees checked the action by the VAR system. Eighteen seconds from the end Le Roux netted an equalizer (8:8).
1 Hungary 2 – 4
2 Spain 2 – 2
3 New Zealand 2 – 1
4 South Africa 2 – 1
Japan – Italy 7:9 (0:2, 2:1, 4:4, 1:2)
Japan: Inaba 2, Arai 2, Okawa 1, Koppu 1, Takata 1.
Italy: Figlioli 4, Velotto 1, Figari 1, Bodegas 1, Aicardi 1, Luongo 1.
Brazil – Germany 8:15 (1:4, 1:6, 2:2, 4:3)
Brazil: Coutinho 3, R. Real 2, Freitas 1, Silva 1, Guimataes 1.
Germany: Stamm 5, J. Real 3, Reibel 2, Gielen 2, Restovic 1, Eidner 1, Preuss 1.
Italy had 12 players in the team today, but not because of injuries. Gonzalo Echenique missed the match against Japan since he was excluded for brutality in the game with Brazil.
The Italians opened the game with a 3:0 lead (11th minute), but the match turned into a real thriller. A well-prepared Japanese team struck back and managed to reduce the gap (2:3, 3:4, 4:5, 5:6), but it couldn’t equalize. Before the last period, Italy had a 7:6 advantage. Stefano Luongo netted a man-up in the 26th minute for 8:6. On the other side, Inaba hit the back of the net from a 6 on 5 attack and Japan came close again (7:8). An experienced Pietro Figlioli (35 years), the man of the match, scored his fourth goal to set the final score 9:7 (2:57 before the end). Japan didn’t give up, but they didn’t catch the opponent.
Both goalkeepers were outstanding today. Tanamura (Japan) had 17 and Del Luongo (Italy) 11 saves.
Germany trashed Brazil, easier than it was expected. The Germans needed three minutes to gain a 3:0 lead. They ruled the field in the first half and went 10:2 up before the middle break. In the second half, they saved energy the match against Italy on Friday. The Germans secured the cross-over matches, but if they upset and beat Italy, they will take the 1st place in the Group.
Germany’s captain Marko Stamm guided the team towards the victory with 5 goals.
1 Italy 2 – 4
2 Germany 2- 3
3 Japan 2 – 1
4 Brazil 2 – 0