Men’s water polo: fantastic performance in the goal...by a field player
One of the saddest penalty saves was performed by American player, Jonathan Masashi Hooper. Although as a field player he was happy about his performance in the goal, the United States will continue the tournament to reach up to the 13th-16th place only.
The audience of the Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex could witness a rarely occurring scene during the morning session of men’s water polo on Friday. (Quite a lot of people visited Friday’s water polo matches before noon, for instance the clash between Serbia and Greece has been viewed by around 4000 spectators.)
In the last minute of the Russia-United States match, 45 seconds before the end Ben Hallock made a foul during a Russian action, resulting in a penalty for the European team. The American bench was rewarded with a red card that led to the exclusion of the goalkeeper, Baron McQuin.
In cap No. 2, Jonathan Hooper (Photo: Máté Balogh)
Dejan Udovicic, Americans' head coach had to send a field player to the goalie post. Jonathan Masashi Hooper was assigned to the position.
The player defended the penalty shot by Daniil Merkulov brilliantly.
The match was won by the American national team, by the margin of only three goals though, the final score was 14-11. Although similarly to the Russian and the Japanese teams, the United States has two points, as well, but in the upcoming rounds the team may fight for the 13th-16th place only.
This fact may have clouded Jonathan Hooper’s happiness.
„It was a really tough game but we played with our hearts, we supported each other. That’s why we finished on the winning side. Not so nicely, that’s true, but victory’s victory anyway. Now all that we can do is wait to reach up as much as we can in the lower house. The penalty? I’m really good at figuring out our opponent’s intentions, so our head coach asked me to stand in as goalkeeper for the penalty. Sometimes these things work out, sometimes not. Today it did, something I’m truly delighted about. We’re a young team, we have to develop further.” – said Hooper right after the match.
The United States will play against South Africa for the next time.