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Men’s water polo: USA finished 13th place, Japan has written history

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The 17th FINA Men’s Water Polo World Championship continued on Tuesday with qualification matches.

The teams of the lower house fought for their final places in the Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex just as they decided which teams will have the opportunity to compete for the 5th and 9th places. 

M31

For 15th place

Canada-South Africa 9-6 (1-2, 4-1, 2-1, 2-2)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Garibaldi (ITA), Brooks (NZL)
Canada: Radenovic – Constanin-Bicari 5, Halajian, Robinson, D’Souza 1, Torakis 1, Thomwood. Subs.: Patterson, Lappins, Radojcic 1, Soleimanipak 1. Head coach: Giuseppe Porzio
Dél-Afrika: Lewis – E. Le Roux 2, Card 1, Brown, Rodda 1, P. Le Roux 1, Molyneux. Subs.: Badenhorst, De Carvalho, Rabie, Whyte 1, Roarke. Head coach: Paul Martin

Photos: Máté Balogh/Bp2017

The first match of the day was about avoiding finishing last for the national teams of Canada and South Africa. Surprisingly, Paul Martin’s team started better, they even built up a two goal lead at the beginning. The representative of the African continent got defeated by a sixteen goal margin by Serbia and Greece, a twelve goal margin by Spain and an eleven goal margin by the United States, but the team showed an impressive performance against Canada, in the coldest morning of the World Championship so far.

Constantin-Bicari equalised the match but by the half of the second quarter Pier Le Roux’s hit resulted in South Africa leading the match again. The game was soon turned around by Canada (4-3), the team didn’t let their advance being eroded from then on.

For the 13th place

France-United States 8-10 (1-0, 2-3, 3-4, 2-3)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Molnár (HUN), Salnichenko (KZH)
France: Garsau – Saudadier 1, Kovacevic 1, Piot, Simon 1, Crousillat 2, Marzouki 2. Subs: Dino, Izdinsky, Laversanne, Peisson, Camarasa 1. Head Coach: Hrvoje Hrestak
United States: McQuin – Hooper, Hallock, Cupido 3, Dunstan 1, Bowen 2, Roelse 1. Subs: Vavic, Obert, Carniglia 2, Ramirez, Irving 2. Head Coach: Dejan Udovicic

The French may well regret slightly missing the opportunity to beat Australia in their group but they still had the biggest chance for the 13th place in the qualification matches.

After beating Canada, they faced off a transformed American team. Ugo Crousillat scored the first goal of the game in the last minute of the first quarter. After 2-0, Alex Roelse scored for the US but France was dominating the game.

After the United States equalised the score, the match became more balanced. After having to miss one game, the returning Dejan Udovicic also encouraged and incited his team to attack.

In the second minute of the third quarter the United States started to lead with the score of 5-4 due to Thomas Dunstan's hit.

The French didn't give up, Simon and Crousillat turned the match around, 6-5. After Nick Carniglia's goal the American national team lead again, making the end of the game impossible to predict. After the third quarter fulfilled with seven goals there was still a lot of excitement to come. With Luca Cupido's penalty shot, it was the first time that a team, namely the Americans lead the game by a two goal margin. France reacted quickly, Marzouki and Remi Saudadier equalised again.

Alex Bowen's ultimate hit signalled that the United States is strongly determined to win this match. Luca Cupido's first and most important goal settled the final score of the game and a well-fought victory for the United States.

For flash quotes click here.

For the 9th-12th places

M33

Brazília-Japán 7-9 (1-3, 3-4, 1-1, 2-1)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Dutilh-Dumas (NED), Koryzna (POL)
Brazil: Soro – P. Stellet, Coutinho 2, R. Guimaraes 1, Rocha, G. Guimaraes 1, Cruz 2. Subs: Silva, Freitas, M. Stettet, Carrulo 1. Head Coach: Angelo Coelho
Japan: Tanamura – Adachi 3, Shiga, Iida 1, Shimizu 2, Arai 1, Okawa. Subs: Kawamoto, Yoshida, Takata 1, Inaba, Araki 1. Head Coach: Yoji Omoto

Japan got defeated by Greece by a ten goal margin, just as Brazil got defeated by Australia by a five goal margin in the fight to get into the quarter finals, but it's still a great achievment for both teams to get through from the group stage.

The Japanese will surely remember their eight goal margin victory against the United States, something they could gain strength from for their clash with Brazil, a match they were more likely to win. Seiya Adachi scored eight goals before today's match. Besides Yusuke Shimizu, he was a core player to the Japanese strategy.

Japan lead with the score of 3-1, 6-3, 7-4 but at 8-7 the match turned out to be quite exciting. The Asian country didn't let the victory slip through their hands, they can continue their fight for the 9th place. Anyway, they will surely achieve their greatest ranking in the history of the World Championship after finishing eleventh in 2011.

W34

Kazakhstan–Spain 6-18 (0-4, 1-5, 1-3, 4-6)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Dykman (Can)  Ivanovski (MNE).
Kazakhstan: Shlemov – Mevedev, Pilipenko 1, Shmider, Shakenov 4, Ukumanov, Ruday 1. Subs: Shedov, Altayev, Verdesh, Manafov, Turlykhanov. Head coach: Nemanja Knezevie.
Spain: Motos - Munarriz 3, Granado, Bustos, Barroso 5, Tahull 2, Mallarach 1. Subs: del Toro 3, Minguell, Espanol 1, Fernandez 2, Gutierrez. Head coach: David Martin

The Spanish team may well descended into the pool as the more disappointed one, as they will have the opportunity to fight for only the 9th place at their last match. This disappointed wasn’t visible when we looked at the Iberian team. Their gameplay was calm and well-balanced, that of a true team. The first eight goals were scored by eight different players. The kazakhs couldn’t deal with their opponents technical and tactical advance. This is mostly demonstarted by the fact that they scored their first goal at the score of 0-7, in the thirteenth minute. The game didn’t change much later on, although the Spanish team didn’t concentrate that much on defence. The European team had a well expected victory with a stark difference compared to Montenegro.  

In the quarter finals

14:50 – Montenegro-Greece
16:10 – Serbia-Australia
20:30 – Hungary-Russia
22:00 – Croatia-Italy