Water Polo Reports - Men, Day 4

Kazan 2015 - WP

Italy, USA Montenegro and Australia make quarterfinals

 Kazan, August 2.— Italy, USA Montenegro and Australia have won through to the quarterfinals of men’s water polo following fourth-day competition.

In the first of the critical matches, Italy made sure of victory, getting the better of Canada 8-2 after a slow start. Then United States of America held out Brazil 7-3 in a spirited American continental rumble that only broke out with two John Mann goals early in the fourth quarter. Montenegro had a tough nut to crack in Kazakhstan before pulling away in the third period and on to a 12-8 win. In the final match of the day, Australia defeated South Africa 17-1 in the Southern Hemisphere clash.

Earlier in the day, in the bracket 13-16, Russia and Japan have won through to Tuesday’s classification for 13th. Russia needed a penalty shootout to shake off China after finishing the match at 10-10. Russia scored four straight while China had two shots blocked. Russia led by two goals late in the match only for China’s Tao Dong scoring twice, the second just one second from time. Japan had little trouble in fending off Argentina 14-6 in a match that had a red card for each team awarded.

August 4 Schedule:

Classification 15-16

31. 09:30, CHN v ARG

Classification 13-14

32. 10:50, RUS v JPN

Classification 9-12 Semifinals

33. 12:10, CAN v KAZ

34. 13:30, BRA v RSA

Classification 1-8 Quarterfinals

35. 17:30, CRO v MNE

38. 18:50, GRE v AUS

36. 20:10, HUN v ITA

37. 21:30, SRB v USA

Match 30: 20:10, SOUTH AFRICA 1 AUSTRALIA 17

Quarters: 1-5, 0-6, 0-2, 0-4

Referees: Shi Wei Ni (CHN), German Moller (ARG).

Extra Man: RSA: 0/1. AUS: 4/5.

Pens: AUS: 1/1.


SOUTH AFRICA: Dwayne Flatscher, Etienne Le Roux (1), Devon Card, Ignardus Badenhorst, Nicholas Hock, Joao De Carvalho, Dayne Jagga, Jared Wingate-Pearse, Dean Whyte, Pierre Le Roux, Nicholas Molyneux, Wesley Bohata, Julian Lewis. Head Coach: Paul Martin.

AUSTRALIA: James Stanton-French, Richard Campbell (1), George Ford (2), John Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist (2), Aiden Roach (2), Aaron Younger (4), Joel Swift(1), Mitchell Emery (3), Rhys Howden, Tyler Martin (2), Joel Dennerley. Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic.

RSA vs AUS - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Match Report:

Australia played as it intends to play against Greece in the quarterfinals on Tuesday — fast, hard and with plenty of accurate shooting. Head coach Elvis Fatovic (CRO) applied the pressure from the start and did not let up until after halftime. He used all his bench from the earliest minutes and they did not disappoint. South Africa looked better than its previous outing and worked tirelessly, but the Aussie Sharks have been well drilled and are hoping to progress to the medal rounds. Aaron Younger took his tally for the week to 12 with four goals and Mitchell Emery liked the long swims that finished with goals, doing it twice while landing another in his first scores of the tournament. South Africa’s lone success with Etienne Le Roux’s 1-3 score two seconds after the extra-man play. Nicholas Molyneux could have delivered a second, on penalty, for 2-10, but he hit the post.


Aaron Younger (CRO) – Four Goals

We had to keep our intensity up ahead of the quarterfinal with Greece. We can be an on and off team, so we had to take it in the first and go from there. Sure, there are more things to tweak and we have to shift our game around to suit our strengths. We’re really good to go (against Greece).

Paul Martin (RSA) — Head Coach

It was a lot better and we went through some good passages of play. We went out to try and cut down their counter attack. When we did, we set up to defend and it looked good. There were only two goals (against) in the third period and no goal until the final four minutes of the last when they threw in four. It showed the difference between a team that throws the ball around for fun as opposed to a team with funded systems. We play physically at times, but tonight we were bullied. It was a better performance than the Kazakhstan game. Against Kazakhstan we went in with the mindset of creating an upset. Tonight it was not to be an individual, but work for the team.

Match 29: 18:50, KAZAKHSTAN 8 MONTENEGRO 12

Quarters: 3-2, 2-3, 1-5, 2-2

Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Daniel Flahive (AUS).

Extra Man: KAZ: 1/4. MNE: 3/9.

Pens: MNE: 1/1.


KAZAKHSTAN: Aleksandr Fedorov, Sergey Gubarev (3), Aleksandr Axenov (2), Roman Pilipenko, Vladimir Ushakov (1), Alexey Shmider, Murat Shakenov, Anton Koliadenko, Rustam Ukumanov (2), Yevgeniy Medvedev, Ravil Manafov, Branko Pekovich, Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.

MONTENEGRO: Dejan Lazovic, Drasko Brguljan, Vjekoslav Paskovic (1), Uros Cuckovic, Darko Brguljan (3), Aleksandar Radovic (2), Mladan Janovic (3), Aleksa Ukropina, Aleksandar Ivovic (2), Nikola Murisic, Filip Klikovac, Predrag Jokic (1), Milos Scepanovic. Head coach: Ranko Perovic.

KAZ vs MNE - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Match report:

Montenegro booked a quarterfinal clash with Olympic champion Croatia on Tuesday with a belated showing against Kazakhstan, which at one time had a two-goal lead. Kazakhstan opened with two shots from the top (captain Sergey Gubarev) and with a seven-metre lob Alexandr Axenov and Montenegro responded with strikes from Aleksandar Radovic and Mladan Janovic. The parochial crowd went ballistic when Gubarev sent in a long shot to the bottom right for 3-2 and the quarter lead. Axenov increased the intensity in the temporary stadium with the 4-2 goal at 2:56 in the second period. Then Montenegro dulled the crowd’s enthusiasm with a close-in conversion of extra by Darko Brguljan; a penalty goal from Janovic and a short drive from captain Predrag Jokic for 5-4 at 0:15. A pop pass in the last seconds high into centre forward was plucked from the air by Rustam Ukumanov to score for 5-5 and an excellent halftime scoreline, if you are from Kazakhstan. Radovic and Gubarev traded goals at the top of the third period and then Montenegro decided to get serious with thoughts of a possible medal-round match on the horizon. Darko Brguljan on extra, Aleksandar Ivovic on a short drive; Brguljan again on extra and Janovic with a spectacular show of control from the five-metre mark, turning his man, moving forward and shooting for 10-6 just seconds from the final break. Kazakhstan kept the dream alive through Vladimir Ushakov on extra early in the fourth period and then a four-on-three counter finished by Ukumanov for 8-10 at 4:34. Ivovic exploded the hopes of many when his eight-metre rocket nearly tore a hole in the netting at 4:06 for 11-8. The final goal came from Montenegro with Vjekoslav Paskovic catching and scoring from a cross pass at two metres, 18 seconds from time.


Drasko Brguljan (MNE)

''In the first half we had offensive problems. We were not finishing counter attacks and they (Kazakhstan) did score a couple of goals. But in the end we played much better in defence and that is very important to us as we have lost offensive power, missing three important players (Nikola Janovic, Antonio Petrovic and Sasa Misic). And as we also swam much, much faster in the second half we knew that they were probably getting tired in the end. Now Croatia in the quarterfinals. Maybe that's even good for us. Croatia's game is much more like ours. I think it suits us better than Australia or Kazakhstan for instance. And we know each other very well. But obviously we will come in more tired and our rotation is smaller than theirs since we have three very young players who don't play so much. But we will have to find a way and I hope we can take that one more step and get into the semifinals.''

Sergey Drozdov (KAZ) — Head Coach

I’m not happy with the result. We played a good game, but in the third quarter the players were tired and made a lot of defensive mistakes that gave the game to Montenegro. Also we hit the crossbar many times. Montenegro is a very strong team and there was a lot of wrestling. We played just eight-nine players. We are making progress in this tournament (over the four matches).


Quarters: 0-2, 1-1, 1-1, 1-3

Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU).

Extra Man: BRA: 0/4. USA: 1/5.

Pens: USA: 1/1.


BRAZIL: Vicinius Antonelli, Jonas Crivella, Guilherme Gomes, Ives Gonzalez, Paulo Salemi, Bernardo Gomes (1), Adrian Delgado, Felipe Silva, Bernardo Rocha, Felipe Perrone (1), Gustavo Guimaraes (1), Josip Vrlic. Head coach: Ratko Rudic (CRO).

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Merrill Moses, Nikola Vavic, Alex Obert, Jackson Kimbell, Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido (2), Josh Samuels, Tony Azevedo, Alex Bowen, Bret Bonnani (2), Jesse Smith, John Mann (3), McQuin Baron. Head coach: Dejan Udovicic (USA).

BRA vs USA - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Match Report:

In what was an extremely tight and sometimes heated match between two teams who know each other well having played against or seen each other at Intercontinental Tournament, World League Super Final and Pan Am Games this year alone. They now what it takes to win. Luca Cupido (USA) scored twice early in the match down the left side and then it was more than eight minutes later before another goal came, courtesy of Brazil’s Bernardo Gomes on counter attack. Bret Bonnani replied on the next attack with a five-metre shot that was protested by the defender for moving too far forward, allegedly. Bonnani scored his second on penalty at 5:12 in the third with Brazil coming back quickly thanks to a Gustavo Guimaraes shot down the left for 2-4. Both teams took timeouts to no effect as they looked tired from too many attacks with no benefits. One of the survivors from the London Olympics, John Mann, converted a cross-pass to the near post on extra for 5-2 at the start of the final period. He followed up on the next attack with a trademark centre –forward shot from the four-metre line. All of a sudden the match had blown out to 6-2. Felipe Perrone narrowed it with a blast from deep left at 2:20. Soon after mayhem hit the pool when Brazilian head coach Ratko Rudic (CRO) protested a something and he received a yellow card for advancing down the pool. Both assistant coaches marched down and one was red-carded. With less than 20 seconds remaining, Tony Azevedo stole the ball at five metres and fired it down the pool to Mann at the five-metre line, who turned and scored for 7-3 at 0:17. Despite a Brazilian timeout, that was the final score.


Dejan Udovicic (SRB) — USA Head Coach

The level was not the highest tonight. We are in the same situation. It is our first competition since a month (Pan Ams) and we are exhausted. We were the worst team. We found the courage and strain in the last quarter.

Merrill Moses (USA) — Goalkeeper

''Our coaching staff had a great tactical plan. We played strong team defence; the team listened to my defensive calls. We knew that we would win this game with defence. Of course we know them well having played each other a couple of times in the last month, but kudos to my coaching staff. This team's going to do something special. We're a team to watch out for.''

Felipe Perrone (BRA) — Captain

We played World League and Pan Americans and now here. It was a good game, but we missed a lot of shots. It is an important step to the Olympics (2016 Rio). USA was very, very tough and they worked a lot. If we beat South Africa in two days it will be the best result in Brazil’s history. We are trying to do the best we can as fast as we can.

Match 27: 13:30, CANADA 2 ITALY 8

Quarters: 0-2, 1-1, 1-2, 0-3,

Referees: Mark Koganov (AZE), Francesc Buch (ESP).

Extra Man: CAN: 1/9. ITA: 3/8.

Pens: CAN: 0/2.


CANADA: Robin Randall, Con Kudaba (1), Oliver Vikalo, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Justin Boyd, David Lapins, Alec Taschereau, Kevin Graham, Matt Halajian, John Conway, George Torakis (1), Jerry McElroy, Dusan Aleksic. Head coach: Alexander Beslin.

ITALY: Stefano Tempesti, Francesco di Fulvio, Alessandro Velotto (1), Pietro Figlioli (1), Alex Giorgetti (2), Andrea Fondelli, Massimo Giacoppo, Nicholas Presciutti, Niccolo Gitto (2), Stefano Luongo, Matteo Aicardi (1), Fabio Baraldi (1), Marco Del Lungo. Head coach: Alessandro Campagna.

CAN vs ITA  ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Match report:

Italy dispensed with Canada 8-2 and immediately had thoughts of its quarterfinal opponent, world champion Hungary.  Not that Canada was a walk in the park as the opening quarters suggest. However, Italy managed to get systems working and scored twice either side of the final break to have a confidence-building 7-2 lead heading into the final five minutes. Italy took opportunities when presented and scored twice from its centre forwards with backhands. Canada missed two penalty attempts, the first early in the second quarter that could have been 1-2 and then at 4:56 in the last when five behind. All credit to Canada for playing hard and accepting the challenge in a match where Italy was expected to win.


Alessandro Campagna (ITA) — Head Coach
“No match is easy. It was not easy against Russia (won 9-6) or Greece when we lost (10-11). We are a young team; there are seven players for the first time at a World Championships. There was too much emotion early in the tournament. The players need to play strong matches, mentally and try hard.” On playing Hungary in the quarterfinals: “What we have done in the past (in Kazan) is zero. Hungary is a great team, world champion. We have to prepare tactics, psychology and we must win.”

Alex Giorgetti (ITA) 
“We made a great match. Canada was good and fast and played well with the physical aspect. The referees perhaps leaned to the lesser team, but the final result was right. Our defence was very strong. Defence is the most important part of things.

Robin Randall (CAN) — Goalkeeper

“When you only score two goals there must be a problem on offence. The guys had plenty of energy and worked their a***s off. There were a few mis-cues and that hurt, but we had a lot of heat and played the whole way through.”

Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (CAN)

''It was a good game with a lot of intensity. The main difference was that Italy were simply better at key moments. I don't think we're that far from this team, but with their experience and plays at the key moments, they were better today. Personally it was a tough game. Italy's defence dropped back a lot, so it was hard for me to get some balls. I think their game plan was to shut me down.''

Match 26: 12:10, ARGENTINA 6 JAPAN 14

Quarters: 0-4, 2-2, 2-4, 2-4

Referees: Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ), Hatem Gabor (EGY).

Extra Man: ARG: 1/7. JPN: 3/9.

Pens: Nil

ARGENTINA: Diego Malnero, Ramiro Veich, Tomas Galimberti, Andreas Monutti, Emanuel Lopez, Tomas Bulgheroni, Juan Pablo Montane, Esteban Corsi, Ivan Carabantes (3), Julian Daszczyk, Franco Demarchi (3), German Yanez, Franco Testa. Head coach: Nahuel Alfonso.

JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi (1), Atsushi Arai, Mitsuaki Shiga (2), Akira Yanase (1), Atsuto Iida (2), Yusuke Shimizu (1), Yuki Kadono, Koji Takei (4), Kenya Yasuda (1), Keigo Okawa (1), Shota Hazui (1), Tomoyoshi Fukushima. Head coach: Yoji Omoto.

ARG vs JPN ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Match Report:

Probably the most exciting team at the championships, Japan, brought plenty of fresh play to the clash with Argentina. Japan has speed, panache and everlasting stamina. Japan finished fourth in a tough group that contained Serbia, Montenegro and Australia. Japan’s skills have been evident even against such tough opposition. There was control all over the pool and the exclusion of Argentina’s top goal-scorer, German Yanez (7), did help Japan and robbed the match of a star player. Later in the match a second red card was issued when Japan’s Keigo Okawa was sent for allegedly elbowing an opponent. This came at 3:27 when Japan appeared to call a timeout. However, the exclusion was given and Argentina took the timeout instead. By now the match was fully in favour of Japan at 9-3.  The skills of Koji Takei were also evident, especially with his nine-metre shot at the start of the fourth period. His next goal was soon after from six metres. For Japan, honed by three matches in a tough group, it was not too hard and sets it up for a play-off against Russia in front of what will be a hostile crowd.


Yusuke Shimizu (JPN) — Captain

“Unfortunately we came from the same group as Serbia, Montenegro and Australia so find ourselves in this bracket. But we have shown our ability and strengths and will use these against Russia in two days’ time.” On rising to the occasion today: “This was, of course, a must-win match. We played them in the World League earlier this year and were ready for them. Our goal is to qualify for Rio (Olympics) as the Asian champion (qualification tournament in December).”

Nahuel Alfonzo (ARG) — Head Coach

“We couldn’t stop the Japanese contra attack. We lost a very good player (German Yanez) in the first quarter and the possibility of not winning increased a lot. The referee said it was for kicking. The second quarter was the best for us. We controlled the attack and made only two mistakes and tied the period with them.”

Match 25: 10:50, CHINA 11 RUSSIA 14 in penalty shootout (FT: 10-10. Pens: 1-4)

Quarters: 1-2, 4-4, 2-1, 3-3. Pens: 1-4

Referees: Stanko Ivanovski (MNE), Masoud Rezvani (IRI).

Extra Man: CHN: 3/7. RUS: 6/10.

Pens: RUS: 1/1.


CHINA: Honghui Wu, Feihu Tan (4), Zhangxin Hu, Tao Dong (3), Wenhui Lu (1), Li Li (2), Zhongxian Chen, Lun Li, Zekai Xie, Jinghao Chen, Chufeng Zhang (1), Nianxiang Liang, Zhiwei Liang. Head coach: Paolo Malara.

RUSSIA: Anton Antonov, Alexey Bugaychuk (1), Artem Odintsov (2), Igor Bychkov, Albert Zinnatullin, Artem Ashaev, Vladislav Timakov (1), Ivan Nagaev (2), Konstantin Stepaniuk (3), Dmitrii Kholod (3), Sergey Lisunov (2), Lev Magomalev, Victor Ivanov. Head coach: Erkin Shagaev.

CHN vs RUS ©Pasquale Mesiano / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Match report:

What a spectacular match to start the day. The host team, which attracted a huge crowd, was playing so well and was never headed all match. Russia even held a two-goal advantage from 2:18 until 1:31. Then Tao Dong made his presence known and tore the heart out of Russian players and spectators alike. He had the last three shots in the match, scoring from a five-metre shot that hit goalkeeper Anton Antov’s arm and spun back across the line. He took a shot that rebounded for China in the last half minute and then scored a goal on extra man from the top with just one second remaining to force the penalty shootout at 10-10.  Russia led 4-1 early in the second quarter, but it was that two-goal margin at the end that seemed the best. The shootout had the near-capacity crowd roused and Russia did not disappoint with four straight goals. Russia switched goalkeepers for the shootout, bringing in Victor Ivanov. His immense presence proved what was needed and he blocked Dong’s shot — China’s second attempt — and then that of captain Chufeng Zhang. Alexey Bugaychuk made sure of victory. China played excellently and the best goal of the day came from veteran Feihi Tan who gained the ball on his line, swam up the right side of the pool, moved across to centre forward, always keeping his defender at bay, surged into four metres and then shot past Antonov for 8-8 at 6:04 in the final period. It was the second time China had levelled — 7-7 just two seconds from three-quarter time when Tan was also the magician, scoring from halfway with the ball being deflected into goal by a defender. It was a great way to start the day’s programme.


Erkin Shagaev (CHN) — Head Coach

It was one of those games where the inexperience of my players showed. Russia must play more of these tough matches. Russia has been absent too long from top international competition not to feel its effects.

Paolo Malara (ITA) — China Head Coach

China played very good. It was important to play this match and was very similar against Brazil. We lose (against China), but 10-10 and 9-9 with Brazil. It was important for me for the future. I am happy after the blackout against Croatia (1-17).