WPWL Men's Intercontinental Tourn., Day 2: Canada and Australia stay undefeated; the U.S. and Brazil also win

World League

On Day 2 of the FINA Men’s Intercontinental Tournament in Newport Beach, California, Canada blew out Argentina, 15-6, to remain undefeated. Australia also beat Kazakhstan, 13-7, to maintain its perfect winning record in the competition.

Meanwhile, Brazil and the US earned their first victories. Brazil beat China, 12-9, and led from start to finish. China had 12 chances to score with a man advantage – and did so seven times – but it wasn’t enough to catch the 2016 Olympic host. The US also found its rhythm to beat Japan, 10-6 (after losing to Canada on Monday) – in a duel of opposing styles.

Wednesday will mark the end of Group Play, and the top four teams at the end of the tournament will advance to the FINA World League Super Final in Bergamo, Italy, from June 23-28.

GAME 6: 15:30, BRAZIL 12 CHINA 9
Quarters: 3-1, 3-3, 3-3, 3-2

Extra Man: BRA: 3/4. CHN 7/12.
Pens: CHN 1/1

BRAZIL:  Vincius Antonelli, Jonas Crivello (2), Guilherme Gomes (1), Ruda Franco, Paulo Salemi, Bernardo Gomes, Adria Delgado (2), Felipe Silve (1), Bernardo Rocha (1), Felipe Perrone (3), Gustavo Guimares (2), Danilo Correa, Thye Mattos. Head Coach: Ratko Rudic.
CHINA:  Wu Honghui, Tan Feihu (2), Sha Shi (1), Yu Li Jun (1), Liu Xiao, Li Li (1), Chen Zhongxian, Dong Tao (1), Xie Zekoi, Chen Jinghao, Zhang Chufeng (1), Liang Nianxiang (2), Liang Zhiwei. Head Coach: Paolo Malara.

Both Brazil and China were seeking their first victory after losing their opening matches on Monday night in Group B. Brazil immediately opened a 3-0 lead, aided by two goals from Adria Delgado. China retaliated on a power play goal by Zhang Chufeng, making it 3-1 at the end of the first period. In the second period, the teams alternated the next six goals (earning three apiece) but Brazil maintained a 6-4 lead at halftime. By then, Brazil had outshot China 19-12, and each had converted three times on four exclusions.

The second half began in similar fashion: the squads alternated the three goals apiece – including a penalty shot goal by Sha Shi of Japan to make it 8-7 with 33 seconds to go in the third. Brazil’s Felipe Silva scored once more with 5 seconds remaining to put Brazil up 9-7 entering the final period. In the fourth, the trading continued, until Brazil’s Felipe Perrone closed it out with two goals to seal a personal hat trick and the Brazil victory, 12-9.

BRA-CHN - Photo credit: Jared Gray

Thye Mattos (BRA) – Brazil’s second-half goalie (made 7 saves, allowed 4)

“It was a good game. We did everything we talked about before, like a very hard, strong defense. After the game yesterday, we were thinking about everything because we had a very good game but we couldn’t win. Today we said we had to win, we will win, and we did it.”

Quarters: 4-3, 3-1, 3-0, 5-2

Extra Man: CAN: 9/15. ARG 1/9.
Pens: Nil.

CANADA: Robin Randall, Constantin Kudaba, Oliver Vikalo (1), David Lapins, Justin Boyd (2), Scott Robinson (3), Alec Taschereau (1), Kevin Graham (2), Dusan Radojcic, John Conway (3), George Torakis (1), Jared McElroy (2), Dusan Aleksic. Head Coach: Alex Breslin.
ARGENTINA:  Hernan Mazzini, Ramiro Velch (3), Carlos Camnasio, Andres Monutti, Emanuel Lopez, Tomas Bulgheroni, Juan Pablo Montana, Esteban Corsi, Ivan Martin Carbantes, Andres Maroni, Franco Demarchi (1), German Yanez (2), Diego Malnero. Head Coach: Nahuel Alfonso.

Canada was trying to stay undefeated after beating the U.S. by a single goal in its Group A opener on Monday. Argentina, meanwhile, was trying to avenge a five-goal loss to Japan in its own debut – but after the first quarter on Tuesday, it wasn’t even close.

At the end of the first period, Canada led 4-3, with two goals coming from Justin Boyd. Then, in the second quarter, the Canadian scoring festival began. Canada extended its lead to 7-4, on a pair of power plays goals by Scott Robinson and captain Kevin Graham, and a third from Jared McElroy with 1:08 to go. At the end of the third, Canada had a gaping six-goal lead with power play goals by Oliver Vikalo and John Conway and another Graham shot with one second remaining in the period. In the fourth quarter, Canada scored five more times. Despite Argentina Ramiro Velch capping a hat trick in the fourth, Canada ultimately prevailed, 15-6, to remain undefeated in the tournament.

CAN-ARG - Photo credit: Aimee Berg

Dusan Radojcic (CAN) - One assist

“At the beginning we just came out a little bit slow. The difference was we kept our calm, we kept to our systems, and we just knew our hard work was going to pay off in the long run. Just not rushing, basically.”

Nahuel Alfonso (ARG) – Argentina Head Coach
“In the first quarter we could go one to one, physically. But the swim part, Canada has very good speed, and physicality. That’s what made the real difference in the result.”

Quarters: 5-2, 1-1, 4-2, 3-2

Extra Man: AUS: 5/7. KAZ: 5/10.
Pens: Nil.

AUSTRALIA: James Stanton-French, Richie Campbell, George Ford (2), Johnno Cotterill (3), Nathan Power (2), Jarrod Gilchrist (3), Aidan Roach, Lachlan Edwards, Joel Swift, Tyler Martin, Rhys Howden (1), Billy Miller (2), James Clark. Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic.
KAZAKHSTAN: Madikhan Mahmetov, Sergey Gubarev (1), Maxim Zhardan (1), Yevgeniy Medvedev (2), Vladimir Ushakov, Aleksandr Godovanyuk, Murat Shakenov (1), Anton Koliadenko (1), Rustam Ukumanov (1), Yulian Verdesh, Ravil Manafov, Branko Pekovich, Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Markoch.

Both Australia and Kazakhstan were trying to stay undefeated in Group B. At the end of a fast first quarter, Australia had a 5-2 lead, aided by a pair of goals by Jarrod Gilchrist including a cross-cage slammer with 1:10 to go. Australia’s Nathan Power scored his second goal of the night in the second period to make it 6-3 at the half.

In the third period, Australia continued to show its depth, going up 10-5 with a pair of Billy Miller goals, Jarrod Gilchrist capping a hat trick, and George Ford scoring his second goal of the game. In the final period, Australia added three more goals and Kazakhstan’s Yevgeniy Medvedev scored twice, but it wasn’t enough, as Australia won in a 13-7 rout.

AUS-KAZ - Photo credit: Aimee Berg

Joel Swift (AUS)

“They’re a very physical squad and we wanted to continue playing our game and the structures that we’ve developed. So we stuck to our game plan and that was the result today. I think we can still improve.”

Sergey Drozdov (KAZ) – Kazakhstan Assistant Coach

“Today we make a lot of mistakes on defense because we get a lot of counterattack. Australia is very strong on counter attack and they got a lot of goals from counterattack. And some of our players are young and they have not enough experience, but they try to play. They make a lot of mistake on defense. That’s okay. Tomorrow we play Brazil and we will try to play without mistakes.”

Quarters: 3-2, 1-0, 4-3, 2-1.

Extra Man: USA: 3/8. JPN: 1/7.
Pens: USA: 1/1. JPN: 1/1.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:   McQuin Baron, Janson Wigo, Alex Obert (1), Jackson Kimbell, Ben Hallock, Luca Cupido, Josh Samuels (2), Tony Azevedo (1), Alex Bowen (1), Bret Bonanni (2), Jesse Smith, John Mann (3), Drew Holland. Head Coach: Dejan Udovic.
JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi, Atsashi Arai (1), Mitsuaki Shiga, Akira Yanase, Yuta Hemmi, Yusuke Shimizu, Yuki Kadono, Koji Takei (4), Kenya Yasuda, Keigo Okawa, Atsuto Iida (1), Tomoyoshi Fukushima. Head Coach: Yoji Omoto.

In a clash of styles – Japan speedy and crafty, USA large and strong – the US took a quick 2-0 lead in the first period, but Koji Takei scored twice for Japan to tie, and Josh Samuels scored on a penalty shot to put the US up 3-2 at the end of the first quarter. In the second period, both teams were scoreless until Alex Obert took a long pass from Josh Samuels and put it away to make it 4-2 for the US with 2:03 remaining in the first half.

The second half opened with a penalty on American Josh Samuels. Koji Takei took the penalty shot and nailed it to narrow Japan’s deficit, 4-3. John Mann (one of only three Olympic veterans on the US team) retaliated to make it 5-3 for the host nation. The pace then picked up dramatically, and both teams alternated goals en route to a 7-5 US lead with 1:40 to go. With 50 seconds left in the third, Mann buried an inside shot to extend the American lead to 8-5. In the final quarter, Takei earned his fourth goal to make it 8-6, and Bret Bonanni scored a big safety goal on a power play (following Yuki Kadono’s ejection) to make it 9-6 with 3:49 left in the game. Mann snuck in one more shot with 12 seconds to go for a hat trick, thanks to an assist from four-time Olympian Tony Azevedo. Final score: 10-6. Both teams now have one victory, one loss in the tournament.

USA-JPN - Photo credit: Jared Gray

John Mann (USA) – Three goals

“Japan always comes out with so much effort and intensity so you always have to prepare for a fight the whole time. They’re moving everywhere, and you just have to be very aware. It’s a good chance for us to work on our team defense and communication.”

Yoji Omoto (JPN) – Japan Head Coach
“US shooting is good. No. 8 [Tony Azevedo], No. 6 [Luca Cupido], No. 2 [Janson Wigo], No. 9 [Alex Bowen] are good shooters. Japan has to intercept. Block no – because Japanese players are shorter.”