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Water polo: Australia, Italy, Greece and Russia are in the quarter-final

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For the quarter-final, Aussies beat Brazil at Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex and will play against Serbia on Tuesday. Italy won its game against Kazakhstan. Russia knocked Spain out.

Matches for the quarter-final of the men's water polo tournament at the 17th FINA World Championships.

M27

Brazil–Australia 3-8 (2-2, 0-2, 1-2, 0-2)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Stavridis (GRE), Franulovic (CRO)
Brazil: Soro - Cruz, Coutinho, Stellet, Rocha, G. Guimaraes 2, Freitas 1. Subs: Silva, Carrulo, M. Stellet, R. Guimaraes, Almedia. Head coach: Angelo Coelho.
Australia: Hrysanthos – G. Ford 1, Edwards, Gilchrist 1, Younger, A. Ford, Hollis. Subs: Kayes 3, Power 1, Brooks, Fannon 2. Head coach: Elvis Fatovic.

Photos: Máté Balogh/Bp2017

In the beginning of the game, performances of the teams were surprisingly balanced. „Everyone” expected that kangaroos will dominate the match but they needed some time to get the rhythm and speed. But later this goal was successful Australians continually increased the advantage.

At the end of the third quarter, Australia missed its second penalty but it wasn’t fatal. In the middle of the last period Joe Kayes – who previously played in Hungary – scored his third goal so Aussies made a four-goal difference.

That was more than enough, so giant Serbia got his opponent in the quarter-final.

For flash quotes click here.

M28

Kazakhstan – Italy 7-12 (1-3, 1-2, 1-4, 4-3)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Molnár (HUN), Ghafouri (IRI).
Kazakhstan: Shlemov – Medvedev, Pilipenko, Shmider, Shakenov 3, Ukumanov, Manafov. Subs: Shvedov, Altayev, Verdesh, Ruday 2, Turlykhanov 2. Head coach: Nemanja Knezevie.
Italy: Tempesti – Figlioli 1, Mirarchi 3, Nora, Fondelli 1, Aicardi, Bertoli. Subs: di Fulvio 2, Gitto, Presciutti, Renzuto Iodice 3, Bodegas 2. Head coach: Alessandro Campagna.

At the beginning Italy came out with the likely winner's determination. The strong hits of the team soon resulted in a three goal lead for them. This advance was soon challenged by the well defending Kazakh team but by the end of the second quarter the Italians lead again by three goals due to Di Fulvio's elegant scoring.

After finding the cracks on Kazakhstan's shield, the Italian national team managed to increase their lead to six goals. The last part of the game was full of hits but Kazakhstan winning the fourth quarter couldn't abolish the massive advance of Italy, a team that marched to to the quarter finals unsurprisingly.

M29

Greece-Japan 14-4 (5-2, 5-0, 4-2, 0-0)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Ohme (GER), Rotsart (USA).
Greece: Flegkas – Genidounias 2, Delakas, Kapotsi, Kolomvos, Gounas 3, Vlachopoulos 3. Subs: Mourikis 2, Fountoulis 4, Dervisis, Pontikeas, Argyropoulos Kanakakis. Head coach: Theodorus Vlachos
Japan: Tanamura - Adachi 2, Shiga 1, Ilda, Shimizu, Arai, Okawa 1. Subs: Yoshida, Takata, Araki. Head coach: Omoto Yoji

The Greeks started the match really great, already after two and a half minutes they were leading 2-0. Even though the Japanese were using their extra-man advantage right away, and they were coming up, the bronze medalist of the last World Championship Hellas didn’t let them come closer. This way they won the first quarter with a confident three goal score difference. In the second part the Greeks continued exactly like they finished in the first one. Fountoulis, who has the most goals at the tournament, was aiming clear again, he had three goals already. On the other side the Japanese couldn’t save Flegkas’ goal, even when they had two extra-man. They finished with a 10-2 Greek leading.

Despite the huge disadvantage, the Japanese didn’t give up. They scored the first goal of the third quarter, which wasn’t left without an answer, Mouirikis scored a goal with a great centre trick to Tanamura. The Japanese were hard on the defense and aggressive on the defense, but the eight goal difference didn’t decrease. Finally, the last quarter wasn’t more than formality, the Greeks basically walked into the quarterfinals, where the match against Montenegro will be a whole different kind of game.

M30

Spain-Russia 10-11 (2-3, 2-4, 3-3, 3-1)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Alexandrescu (ROU), Putnikovic (SRB)
Spain: Lopez – Munarriz 1, Minguell 1, Espanol 2, Tahull 4, Mallarach, Fernandez 1. Subs.: Granados, Bustos, Barroso 1, Del Toro. Head coach: David Martin
Russia: Statenko – Vasilyev, Merkulov 3, Nagaev 2, Kholod, Lisunov 3, Shepelev. Subs.: Lazarev, Ashaev, Suchkov, Dereviankin 2, Bugaychuk 1. Head coach: Sergey Evstigneev

Tonight’s match was today’s most anticipated as the winner of the fight will face off the Hungarian national team in a clash for getting into the top four.

The Spanish were more likely to win the game than Russia, the team finished only 14th in Kazan. Their performance in Budapest means they will surely reach up further than two years ago.

During the group stage they beated Japan by seven goals, got defeated by a two goal margin by Croatia, just as they suffered defeat by the Americans but without a worrying difference. Spain was defeated by both Serbia and Greece. It was about to become a fascinating game on Sunday night. 

Actually it turned out to be an exciting clash. At the beginning the Spanish team took the lead but at the score of 3-2 Nagaev’s goal resulted in Russia taking over, soon leading the match by two goals at the beginning of the second quarter due to Lisunov’s hit (2-4).

The quarter was closed by a three point Russian lead, thanks to the incredible goals of Nagaev and a similar hit from Lisunov as well.

Tahull’s centre goal made the end of the match one of the most exciting moments of the day as the Russians’ lead was reduced to only one goal. Daniil Merkulov’s shot hit the Spanish goal, after which the defensively passivated team couldn’t fight back, unlike Russia who continued its succesful attacks (7-10).

Russia’s lead was stabilised and accompanied us up until the end. Surprisingly the team got through to the top eight, therefore the audience of the Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex will witness a Russian-Hungarian clash in the quarter final.

25 July, Tuesday

For 15th place

09:30 - Canada–South Africa

For 13th place

10:50 - France–United States

For 9th-12th places

12:10 -  Brazil–Japan
13:30 – Kazakhstan–Spain

In the quarter-finals

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