Spain and Croatia are the only teams with two wins each after Day 2 of the World Cup Division 1.
The world and European champions recorded quite convincing wins in the games that were considered derbies of the day.
European champion Croatia beat France 12:7 in the group in Zagreb. Team USA defeated Japan 13:11 in the same group.
World champion Spain was convincing in the match against host Montenegro in Podgorica – 10:6, but the second match of the day turned into a thriller. Georgia beat Australia 13:12 and compensated for a 12:13 loss to Montenegro, suffered yesterday.
Italy, Hungary, Serbia and Greece had a day off.
World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup Division 1, Day 2
Group A (Zagreb)
Croatia – France 12:7 (3:3, 4:1, 3:1, 2:2)
Croatia: Bijac, Buric 3, Fatovic 1, Krapic, Rakovac, Nukic 2, Biljaka 1, Zuvela 1, Marinic Kragic 1, Vrlic 2, Basic, Kharkov 1, Popadic. Head coach: Tucak.
France: Fontani, Guerin, Crousillat 1, Bouet 1, Khasz 1,Vernoux 1, Zivkovic, Bjorch, Marzouki 1, Canonne 1, Vampeperstraete 1, De Nardi, Rossi. Head coach: Bruzzo.
The match Croatia – France was very similar to yesterday’s encounter between the French and the Hungarians. France started well, but the favorite dictated the pace after the first eight minutes, and the match had a peaceful ending. There was no big excitement.
France led in the first quarter of the match against Hungary. Today, Croatia was almost always in front. Thomas Vernoux, who missed the clash with Hungary, was on the team of France. He proved his qualities by forcing an exclusion just 17 seconds after the first whistle. However, France didn’t convert that man up. By the middle of the first period, Croatia earned a 2:0 lead. France caught up with the rival at 2:2 and 3:3.
Still, the Croats rebuilt a 2-goal lead in the first four minutes of the second quarter (Buric and Fatovic netted action goals). Khasz halved the deficit (4:5). Still, France didn’t go further. At the finish of the quarter, the Croats converted two man-ups (Biljaka and Zuvela), so the hosts had a nice 7:4 goal advantage at halftime.
Bouet reduced the gap to two midway through the third period. But, the Croats responded with three to secure a big 5-goal lead before the final period (10:5) and three points.
At the end, the score was almost the same as in the duel between these two rivals at the European Championships in Split, where Croatia won 13:7.
USA – Japan 13:11 (5:3, 4:2, 2:3, 2:3)
USA: Turner, Hooper 1, Vavic 1, Abramson 1, Ch.Dodd 1, Cupido 1, Hallock 2, Woodhead, Bowen 4, Stevenson 1, R.Dodd, Irving 1, Holland. Head coach: Udovicic.
Japan: Sasano, Adachi 2, Watanabe, Ogihara, Nitta, Suzuki 2, Date 1,Takata 1, Arai, Inaba 3, Okawa 2, Araki, Nishimura. Head coach: Shiota
Team USA led throughout the only non-European derby in Division 1 and had a 4-goal lead in the middle of the match. However, the persistent Japanese, who never give up, fought hard until the end. At the finish of the match, the Asians came very close, but they couldn’t equalize.
The Americans were building a big advantage step-by-step in the first half. Early in the second period, the USA earned a 3-goal lead for the first time (7:4), Okawa reduced the gap to 5:7. Ben Hallock and Alex Bowen scored the last two goals in the first half and doubled the USA’s advantage (9:5).
In the middle of the third quarter, the score was 10:6. The Americans had 11:7 at the finish of the period, but they couldn’t save a big lead. Japan started narrowing the distance. In the 30th minute Inaba netted an action goal for 11:12.
The Asians fought hard, but they couldn’t equalize. Marko Vavic set the final score 90 seconds before the end.
1.Croatia 2 – 6
2.Italy 1 – 3
3. Hungary 1 – 3
4. USA 2 – 3
5. Japan 2 – 0
6. France 2 – 0
Day 3 (March 10)
Hungary – Italy (18.30)
France – USA (20.30)
Croatia and Japan bye
Group B (Podgorica)
Montenegro – Spain 6:10 (0:1, 2:5, 3:2, 1:2)
Montenegro: Tesanovic, Mrsic 1, Macic 1, Averka 2, Banicevic 1, Popadic, Vidovic, Dj. Radovic 1, Cetkovic, Spaic, Markovic, Banicevic, V. Radovic, Djurovic. Head coach: Gojkovic.
Spain: Aguirre, Munarriz 2, Biel, Sanahuja, Asensio, Barroso 1, Famera, Cabanas, Tahull 3, Perrone 1, Mallarach 1, Bustos 2, Lorrio. Head coach: Martin.
The Spaniards’ explosive opening set the tone of the match. After 14 minutes of play, Spain earned a 5:0 and held back all the hosts’ comeback attempts.
But Spain needed a lot of time to open the scoring. Both defenses and goalkeepers – Tesanovic and Lorrio (who was in front of the world champions’ goal for the entire match) were up to the task. Spain played better, but it found the net for the first time, only in the 7th minute, when Mallarach converted a man-up for 1:0.
In the second quarter, Spain started dominating, while Montenegro continued making a lot of mistakes and had a lot of trouble in the attack. The hosts didn’t create many good opportunities to score.Bustos made it 5:0 in the 14th minute. In the next possession, Montenegro converted a man-up after five missed opportunities. Averka scored for 1:5. Shortly after, Djuro Radovic fired the “rocket” from eight meters and woke up the home team’s supporters.
But, Bustos ended the first half, with a nice close-range shot, after a long pass from Felipe Perrone.
Montenegro tried to come back, but Spain controlled the game. In the 22nd minute, Famera netted a goal from a distance, and Spain regained a 5-goal lead – 8:3. However, the referees stopped the game because of the VAR review. They checked Montenegro’s power play attack that preceded Famera’s goal. Lorrio saved a shot from Banicevic and Spain started its attack, which Famera finished with a goal. But, after the VAR review, the referees judged that the ball crossed the line after Lorrio’s save and that Banicevic scored a goal for 4:7. Therefore, Famera’s goal was annulled because it came after the checked situation and a changed referee’s decision.
That event gave some self-confidence to the Montenegrins, but it wasn’t enough. Averka converted a man-up in the 24th minute (5:7). Still, the Spaniards didn’t let the hosts come back into the game. Thirteen seconds before the last break, Mallarach scored an action goal. The world champions headed into the final quarter with an 8:5 lead.
Munarriz stretched the margin to four (9:5) with a long-distance shot in Spain’s first possession in the final quarter and killed Montenegro’s last hope of making a surprise.
Georgia – Australia 13:12 (1:2, 2:2, 7:4, 3:4)
Georgia: Razmadze, Akhvlediani, Dadvani 1,Shushiashvili 1, Bitadze 2, Jelaca 3, Jakhaia, Saric 2, Adeishvili 2, Magrakvelidze 1, Vasic 1, Dzikhtsiarenka, Gvetadze. Head coach: Stanojevic.
Australia:Porter, McJannet, G. Ford 1, Negus, Power 1, Lambie, Pavillard 5, Byrnes, A. Ford 3, Putt, Poot, Edwards 2, Hedges. Head coach: Hamill.
Yesterday, Georgia lost the game to Montenegro (12:13), after the hosts scored the last gasp goal eight seconds from the end. Today, the Georgians emerged as a winner in a big thriller that produced the same result. This time, a winning goal came 18 seconds before the final buzzer.
Georgia’s Saric scored the first goal, but Australia, led by Barceloneta’s ace Luke Pavillard went ahead and was in front throughout the first half. After the middle break, the game turned into a high-scoring thriller. Australia had a 2-goal lead twice in the third quarter (5:3, 6:4). Two minutes before the last break, the “Aussies” were still in front (8:7). However, Georgia scored three goals in the last 108 seconds in this period (two with an extra player and one from a penalty) and earned a 2-goal lead before the final eight minutes (10:8).
The fourth period produced a new twists and turns. The “Sharks” opened the fourth quarter with three straight goals. Luke Pavillard scored a penalty goal in the 30th minute to give Australia an 11:10 advantage.
In the next possession, Vasic scored Gerogia’s first goal in the fourth period to level at 11:11. A minute and a half before the end, Edwards scored from a 6 on 5 and Australia went ahead again (12:11). Still, the “Aussies” left the pool empty-handed.
At 00:59, Dadvani leveled at 12:12. Negus missed the target in Australia’s next possession, and Georgia had 34 seconds to secure a win. They earned a man-up. Leftie Nika Shushiashvili took responsibility, sending the ball into the net for 13:12 with 18 seconds remaining on the clock.
Australia earned a man-up with five seconds to go after Shushisashvilli’s foul. Still, it didn’t equalize. Pavillard’s shot went too high.
“It was an ugly game, we were far from out best in all aspects of the play, but only the win is important after the match”, Nika Shushiashvili said.
1.Spain 2 – 6
2. Serbia 1 – 3
3. Georgia 2 – 3
4. Montenegro 2 – 3
5. Greece 1 – 0
6. Australia 2 – 0
Day 3 (March 10)
Spain – Georgia (17.30)
Serbia – Greece (19.30)
Montenegro and Australia bye
For the full schedule, live scores and statistics, visit Total Waterpolo Arena