Italy gets the better of Spain on the second day of the FINA Junior Men’s World Championship

FINA World Junior Water Polo Championships

Almaty, September 5.— Italy had the better of Spain 13-10 in their Group D clash and earned a possible group win in second-day action at the FINA Junior Men’s World Water Polo Championships.

Both teams had plenty of time leading the match, but it was Italy who showed greater skills in the dying minutes to pull away for the win. Italy now looks certain to win the group, even before Canada played its opening match, against Uzbekistan straight after. Canada survived the rugged encounter with Uzbekistan 19-18 with the Asians’ best player, Kirill Rustamov, scoring a tournament-high 11 goals.

In Group A, Montenegro closed the day’s proceedings with a 21-12 victory over South Africa, which proved to be an showing by the Africans.

In Group B, Hungary beat China 23-8 and Netherlands was held scoreless by Japan in the final quarter, but still won 13-10.

In Group C, Serbia’s surge to the title was helped with a 29-4 win over Mexico.

Points after day two:

Group A: Montenegro 4, Egypt 0, South Africa 0, Croatia.

Group B: Hungary 4, Netherlands 4, Greece 0, China 0, Japan 0.

Group C: Serbia 4, Australia 0, Mexico 0, Iran.

Group D: Italy 4, Spain 2, Canada 2, Uzbekistan 0, Kazakhstan 0.

Match 15: 18:20, Group A, SOUTH AFRICA 12 MONTENEGRO 21

Quarters: 4-4, 1-8, 4-3, 3-6.

Referees: Balasz Szekely (HUN), Daniel Vasquez (MEX).

Extra Man: RSA: 4/8. MNE: 7/12.

Pens: MNE: 0/1.

SOUTH AFRICA: Gareth May, Roarke Olver, Tim Rezelman (1), Shane Fourie (5), Claudio Fernandes, Nicholas Downes, Jason Evezard (2), Liam Neill (2), Keanan Alexander (1), Wyatt Edwards (1), Themba Mthembu. Head Coach: Jason Sileno.

MONTENEGRO: Aresenije Stanovic, Ugjesa Vukasovic (6), Dorde Bulatovic, Dusan Matkovic, Matija Brguljan (2), Nicolas Savejic (2), Danilo Adzic (4), Stefan Porobic (1), Filip Gardasevic (4), Janko Krivokapic (2), Milija Mandic. Head Coach: Zoran Maslovar.

Match report:

It’s what you would call a topsy-turvy match where it ebbed and flowed but the floodgates opened for Montenegro in the end. South Africa was playing its first match and did not disappoint with the opening quarter, matching Montenegro goal for goal. It quickly slipped to 4-8 and 5-12 by halftime. Then the South African resurgence brought the match closer, winning the third period 4-3. South Africa got to within five twice in the final period, but it was not enough. Ugjesa Vukasovic led the Montenegrin charge with six goals, five in the second half. For South Africa it was Shane Fourie, whose three goals in the third was instrumental for the comeback. It was Monetenegro’s second win.

Photo: Russell McKinnon

Match 14: 17:00, Group D, CANADA 19 UZBEKISTAN 18

Quarters: 4-5, 6-5, 3-4, 6-4

Referees: Erwin Schapers (NED), Amirhossein Safabakhash (IRI).

Extra Man: CAN: 7/9. UZB: 1/1.

Pens: CAN: 1/1.

CANADA: Samuel Reiber, Giordano Marconuto (1), Maxime Schapowal (2), Gaelan Patterson (3), Matthew Halajian (5), Julien Allard, Benjamin Bolduc (1), Sean Spooner (4), Jeremie Blanchard (1), Aria Suleimanipak (2), Paule Kotarac. Head Coach: Nikola Maric.

UZBEKISTAN: Radion Knabibullaev, Mirjalol Nagmatov, Doniyor Umarov, Artur Kim, Maksim Krakhotin (1), Aleksey Zaytsev (3), Kirill Rustamov (11), Egor Chumachenko (2), Grorgiy Mamedov, Aleksey Massel, Khayotson Rakhimov. Head Coach: Aleksandr Sokolov.

Match Report:

If the previous match was exciting enough this clash was titanic and won inside the final minute. Canada trailed Uzbekistan at the quarter, then ran away to a five-goal lead and gave it up immediately. Then the match became a real thriller as Canada tried to get away from Uzbekistan and its mercurial playmaker Kirill Rustamov, a player Canada had no answer to negate. Rustamov, the highest goal-scorer at the Perth FINA Youth World Championships in 2012, bested Serbia’s Gavril Subotic, who scored 10 earlier in the afternoon, collecting and incredible 11 goals. Uzbekistan was 9-5 down midway through the second quarter and then Rustamov scored four of his team’s comeback five goals for 10-10 at the long break. He was restricted to one in the third, but Uzbekistan had the 14-13 lead at the final break. It became 15-13 and Canada had to fight back, levelling at 2:36, 1:49 and 1:17. Sean Spooner scored the winner on counter at 0:55. Uzbekistan took a timeout with 15 seconds left and the play was always going to be throw to Rustamov, who ferretted his way to four metres, received, shot and had it blocked in the last two seconds. Canada had opened its tournament with a win. Matthew Halajian relished his visit to Almaty with five goals for Canada and it must be said that the extra-man statistics were superb.

Photo: Russell McKinnon

Match 13: 15:40, Group D, SPAIN 10 ITALY 13

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

Referees: Miodrag Stefanovic (SRB), Michail Skalochoritis (GRE).

Extra Man: ESP: 6/8. ITA: 3/7.

Pens: ITA: 1/2.

SPAIN: Miguel Linares, Sergei Cabanas (5), Cuillem Garcia (1), Marc Corbalan (1), Xavi Serra (2), Alvaro Granados, Borsa Fenoy, Agusti Pericas, Roger Tahvll, Alesandro Bustos (1), Alfonso Lopez-Saez. Head Coach: Quim Colet.

ITALY: Fabio Viola, Umberto Esposito, Edoardo di Somma (5), Antonio Maccioni, Gianluigi Foglio (1), Roberto Ravina (1), Vincenze Dolce (3), Eduardo Campopiano, Jacopo Alesiani (3), Alessandro Velotto, Gianmarco Nicosia. Head Coach: Ferdinando Pasci.

Match report:

The match of the tournament so far was billed to be close and full of action between these similar sides. The flow of the match was excellent and the power shooting of both teams was evident. Snap shots and the good use of the smaller ball meant goalkeepers had to be extra vigilant. Faster passing also caught goalkeepers unawares but, in reality, these strong men with a smaller ball, means faster and harder shots. Italy opened the scoring and at 3-2 Spain took the lead. Italy regained it at 5-4 early in the second quarter only for Spain to snatch the lead three seconds from halftime after a timeout. Italy levelled three times in the third period, scored early in the fourth and took it out to 12-9 two minutes from time, going on to victory. It was only some wayward shots late in the match that marred Spain’s effort. Sergi Cabanas scored in each quarter for Spain and Edoardo di Somma scored four of his five in the second half for Italy, who will now undoubtedly claim the group.

Photo: Russell McKinnon

Match 11: 12:40, Group C, MEXICO 4 SERBIA 29

Quarters: 2-7, 1-9, 1-7, 0-8

Referees: Haldun Toygarli (TUR), Akbar Sadikov (UZB).

Extra Man: MEX: 1/11. SRB: 7/10.

Pens: SRB: 1/1.

MEXICO: Alfredo de la Mova, Hazed Veya, Raul Vargus, Raul Muniz, Rodrigo Avalos, Sinahi Gonzalez (1), Arturo Ocejo (1), Alexey Grubnik, Diego Mercado (1), Jorge Cervantes (1), Isaac Contreras. Head Coach: Raul de la Pena.

SERBIA: Lazar Dobozanov, Mihajlo Repanovic (1), Gavril Subotic (10), Ivan Gvozdanovic (1), Drasko Gogov (6), Nebojsa Toholj, Marko Manojlovic (3), Filip Radojevic (7), Milan Vitorovic. Head Coach: Vladimir Vujasinovic.

Match Report:

Serbia only needed nine players to dismiss Mexico with a romp that saw Gavril Subotic slam in 10 goals, seven in the first half. Serbia left two players out of the team through illness. It was Serbia’s second win after defeating Australia on Friday and the hit-out might not be the best preparation heading to the finals. Left-hander Filip Radojevic scored four of his seven goals in the third period.

Photo: Russell McKinnon

Match 10: 11:20, Group B, JAPAN 10 NETHERLANDS 13

Quarters: 0-4, 4-5, 3-4, 3-0

Referees: Radu Matache (ROU), Michael Baty (RSA).

Extra Man: JPN: 0/6. NED: 4/7.

Pens: JPN: 1/1. NED: 1/1.

JAPAN: Kazuki Hashimoto, Kenta Araki (2), Mitsuru Takata (2), Shuma Kawamoto, Shotaro Yamada (1), Daichi Nagano, Shu Hamada (1), Seiya Adachi (4), Miki Sato (1), Kohei Inaba, Ryosuke Oshima. Head Coach: Yoshinori Shiota.

NETHERLANDS: Milan Koff, Kjeld Veenhuis (4), Guus  van Yperen, Sam Burg (3), Guus Wolswinkel, Tarik Scherrenburg, Harmen Muller, Pascal Janssen (1), Bilal Gbadamassi, Benjamin Hoepelman (5), Brent Hofmeyer. Head Coach: Jacob Spijker.

Match report:

Netherlands gave some breathing space to Japan, going scoreless in the final quarter after commanding the match throughout. The opening quarter proved decisive in the end, even though Japan made it two close middle quarters before taking control in the final eight minutes. Dutch captain Kjeld Veenhuis showed his team how to do it in the first quarter with three of the four goals. Benjamin Hoepelman netted three of his five in the third while Seiya Adachi scored twice in the third for Japan. Japan seemed intimidated by the bigger Dutch men even though its senior team impressed in Kazan with its fast-styled, driving play. It was the first match for Japan so better can be expected, while Netherlands made it two from two.

Photo: Russell McKinnon

Match 9: 10:00, Group B, CHINA 8 HUNGARY 23

Quarters: 1-5, 2-3, 2-8, 3-7

Referees: Daniel Daners (URU), Ahmed Kotb (EGY).

Extra Man: CHN: 3/7. HUN: 4/7.

Pens: HUN: 2/2.

CHINA: Guozheng Wei, Zekai Xie, Zhongxzan Chen (3), Jiahao Peng, Rongkun Lie, Bezyi Wang (1), Yingyi Gao (1), Rui Chen (2), Yi Lu, Dong Ni (2), Xiang Fu. Head Coach: Yaohua Chen.

HUNGARY: Istvan Kardos, Marcell Kolozsi (4), Zoltan Pohl, Tamas Sedlmayer (2), Adam Nagy (1), Balasz Kalanovics (1), Gergo Zalanki (5), Gergo Kovacs (4), Krisztian Peter Manhercz (6), Simon Benedek Vogel, Soma Vogel. Head Coach: Gyorgi Horkai.

Match Report:

Hungary was never in fear of losing the match, using superior firepower, whistling in the ball at will, whether on extra-man attack or counter attack. China appeared sluggish and only occasionally fired with some excellent drives. However, the spectre of Hungary proved overpowering and the third period was disaster for China as Hungary went on the prowl. Krisztian Peter Manhercz scored four of his six in that period. Gergo Kovacs helped maintain the momentum with three in the last as Hungary moved from 16-5 to 23-8. Head coach Gyorgi Horkai, Olympic champion in 1976, must have been pleased with the manner of the victory, the second in two days. China’s best was Zhongxzan Chen with three goals in the second half.

Photo: Russell McKinnon