It was a great start of the day. A match that had everything, from great goals to illegal time-outs, debatable calls, drama, and ultimately a turnaround by Greece that got them a valuable 11-10 win over USA. A result widely celebrated by the entire Greek team. And not for no reason. Within the final four minutes they had manage to turn around a game in which the score was never in favour of the Greeks, into another valuable win in group B. And with exactly the same final score as their victory over Italy on day 2. A bitter pill to swallow for the US team who played a great game for three quarters, even thought their win was as close as it could get when Alex Roelse scored on man-up with four minutes remaining in the game giving the Americans an 8-10 lead.
Things changed there however. Emmanouil Mylonakis scored twice in a row, once an action shot when he got too much time, the second time on a counter attack, and things got worse for the USA in the final minutes. Two man-up possessions could not be converted and with 0.31 remaining centre-back Evangelos Delakas scored the winning goal on a counter attack, much to the delight of the crowd and even more the Greek team. They are now leading group B having secured a second victory and look well underway to the quarterfinals. USA lost their first game and will close out group play facing Italy on Friday for 2nd place in the group.
Emmanouil Mylonakis: ‘It was a bad game for us today. We were not focused on our defence, at all. But we played like animals in the final minutes and that gave us the win. Now we look forward to play Russia in front of many spectatators with hopefully not as much stress as we had today.’
In Wednesday’s second game in Kazan it was Kazakhstan who recorded their first win by holding off Argentina. The debutants saw themselves being outplayed right in the opening quarter and never really got over their 5-2 deficit at quarter time. The experienced Kazakhstan side even walked away in the third period, led by Alexandr Axenov and Branko Pekovich who scored four goals each, as they are now likely to finish 2nd in group C behind favourites Hungary.
Hungary will finish first in the group as expected and did not have to put in too much work in the penultimate match of the early session on Wednesday. South Africa gave it their best but were defeated 4-17. Denes Varga used the big win to add a game-high 5 goals to his tournament total.
The final match of the early session saw Australia and Montenegro drawing level although for the Aussie Sharks the point is likely to be felt as a loss of 1. Thanks to their defensive tactics the Aussies were able to turn things around in the fourth period only to see Mladjan Janovic tie things up with just 30 seconds remaining on a sweet lob off a free throw in an ultimate attempt to get something out of the game. And it did. It made up for a poor offensive performance which included just 5-for-24 shooting although Australia performed likewise going 5 for 26.
It was Aaron Younger who carried the side on the offensive end, especially in their turnaround in the fourth quarter where the former Jug Dubrovnik player scored two of the team’s three goals as a 2-4 deficit was turned into a 5-4 lead with still just under six minutes remaining. But as Montenegro kept having trouble with the Australian defence it looked as if the Aussie win would become a fact. Not before Janovic decided otherwise by putting a lob over Australia goalkeeper James Stanton securing the draw and at least a point out of the tough contest for the Montenegrins.
2015 FINA World Championships
Schedule and results day 4
Wednesday, 29 July (men)
Greece vs. USA 11-10 (3-3, 1-3, 4-3, 3-1)
Greece scorers: Ioannis Fountoulis 4, Emmanouil Mylonakis 3, Konstantinos Mourikis 2, Evangelos Delakas, Angelos Vlachopoulos.
USA scorers: Josh Samuels 2, Tony Azevedo 2, John Mann 2, Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido, Alex Bowen, Bret Bonanni.
Kazakhstan vs. Argentina 15-7 (5-2, 3-3, 5-1, 2-1)
Kazakhstan scorers: Alexandr Axenov 4, Branko Pekovich 4, Alexey Shmider 3, Sergey Gubarev 2, Roman Pilipenko, Murat Shakenov.
Argentina scorers: German Yañez 3, Tomas Bulgheroni 2, Ramiro Veich, Ivan Carabantes.
South Africa vs. Hungary 4-17 (1-5, 0-3, 2-4, 1-5)
South Africa scorers: Nicholas Molyneux 2, Nicholas Hock, Dayne Jagga.
Hungary scorers: Denes Varga 5, Balazs Erdelyi 3, Balazs Harai 3, Marton Vamos 2, Norbert Hosnyanszky, Daniel Angyal, Marton Szivos, Krisztian Bedo.
Australia vs. Montenegro 5-5 (0-2, 1-1, 1-1, 3-1)
Australia scorers: Aaron Younger 3, John Cotterill, Aidan Roach.
Montenegro scorers: Mladjan Janovic 2, Drasko Brguljan, Darko Brguljan, Aleksandar Ivovic.
17.30: Serbia vs. Japan
18.50: Russia vs. Italy
20.10: China vs. Canada
21.30: Croatia vs. Brazil
Schedule day 5
Thursday, 30 July (women)
09.30: Brazil vs. Italy
10.50: Japan vs. USA
12.10: Hungary vs. France
13.30: Canada vs. Spain
17.30: Kazakhstan vs. New Zealand
18.50: Russia vs. China
20.10: Australia vs. Netherlands
21.30: South Africa vs. Greece
Source: Water Polo World, a Total Waterpolo partner