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Day 2: FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Champs in Kuwait

by ZwemZa on December 12th, 2019

It is the second day of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships at the new Al-Nasar Sport Club Kuwait.

In Group A — the last two matches of the day — China overcame the front-running South Africa 14-13 in the most exciting match of the tournament. The match was levelled an incredible eight times with China having to come back six of them. Todd Howard scored five for the South Africans, but it wasn’t enough for victory. Serbia outplayed Japan 13-7, scoring the last six goals after it was tied at 7-7 just before the final break. Dorde Vucinic turned the match with three of those final goals in his tally of four — the same as team-mate Andrej Barac.

In Group B, Spain won for the second time, beating a somewhat demure Egypt 18-4, with Victor Alegre netting four goals. Canada also made it two wins, fending off Russia 12-10, thanks to goalkeeper Brody McKnight who was just brilliant. Ivan Vasilev did his best for Russia with six successive goals in the middle of the match to keep his team in the contest.

In Group C, Montenegro was far too good for host nation Kuwait, winning 42-7 with Petar Mijuskovic netting 10 goals. United States of America had a similar romp, besting Iran 27-4 with the goals spread around the team.

In Group D, Greece went two from two, downing New Zealand 14-5 with superior play, despite the attentions of Kiwi goalkeeper Bae Fountain, who made 15 fantastic saves. Brazil made its first appearance and closed a 23-6 winner over Uzbekistan to leapfrog into second place in the group. Centre forward Nicholas Fichman was on fire with five goals from two metres.

Progress points:
Group A: Croatia 2, Serbia 2, Japan 2, China 2, South Africa 0.
Group B: Spain 4, Canada 4, Hungary 0, Egypt 0.
Group C: Montenegro 2, USA 2, Iran 2, Italy 2, Kuwait 0.
Group D: Greece 4, Brazil 2, New Zealand 2, Australia 0, Uzbekistan 0.

Friday Schedule:
Match 9, 08:30, Group B, EGYPT 4 SPAIN 18
Match 10, 9:50, Group B, RUSSIA 10 CANADA 12
Match 13, 13:30, Group D, NEW ZEALAND 5 GREECE 14
Match 12, 14:50, Group C, MONTENEGRO 42 KUWAIT 7
Match 11, 16:10, Group C, IRAN 4 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 27
Match 14, 17:30, Group D, BRAZIL 23 UZBEKISTAN 6
Match 15, 18:50, Group A, CHINA 14 SOUTH AFRICA 13
Match 16, 20:10, Group A, SERBIA 13 JAPAN 7 

Saturday Schedule:
Match 17, 09:30, Group C, ITALY IRAN
Match 23, 10:50, Group B, HUNGARY EGYPT
Match 19, 12:10, Group D, AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND
Match 20, 13:30, Group D, GREECE BRAZIL
Match 21, 14:50, Group A, CROATIA CHINA
Match 22, 16:10, Group A, SOUTH AFRICA SERBIA
Match 24, 18:50, Group B, SPAIN RUSSIA

Match 15, 18:50, Group A, CHINA 14 SOUTH AFRICA 13

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

Referees: Michael Brooks (NZL), Amirhossein Safabakhsh (IRI)

Extra man: CHN: 2/7. RSA: 7/11.

Penalties: CHN: 2/2. RSA: 2/2.


CHINA: Junjiong Wang, Xingmeng He (2), Boren Shi (1), Lei Yuan, Guan Ou, Beiyi Wang (3), Luobin Liu, Yingyi Gao (2), Yi Lu (4), Yile Cheng (2), Beile Zhu, Mingtao Wu, Haotian Zhou. Head Coach: Ji Shen.

SOUTH AFRICA: Keegan Clark, Mogamad Mayman, Christopher Beamish, Ethan Coryndon-Baker, Todd Howard (2), Ross Stone (1), Joshua Faber (1), Jonathan Swanepoel (1), David MacDonald, William Dowsett, Yaseen Margro, James Hablutzel, Barnard van Rooyen. Head Coach: Jason Sileno.

Match Report

China pulled one out of the bag, thanks to tenacious play and a large, cheering Chinese spectator base. It was a match of attrition as neither team could afford to let up. When South Africa was controlling, China was conspiring and then the goals started flowing to snatch the lead and head to victory. The match was levelled eight times, a major feat in itself considering we had been watching big gaping margins for most of the day. South Africa made all the headway, leaving China to pick up the pieces and come back to level the match. This it did at four, five, six, seven, eight and nine. Then China took the lead and scored another for 11-9 by the final break. South Africa pulled one back from the penalty line before China’s Yile Cheng scored a second consecutive goal, needing a brief visit to the VAR room for 12-10. South Africa levelled with two goals by 5:22. Yi Lu scored twice either side of a Ross Stone goal for 14-13 by 2:25. South Africa used its two timeouts and on the second a player lost the ball after the first pass. China called a timeout at 0:23 and wasted the ball almost to the end before Ethan Coryndon-Baker stole the ball and fired a long shot only for the goalkeeper to save and win what was truly an exciting match. He was hoping to score the day’s 200th goal. China was patient and withstood the green caps, even with Todd Howard a continual thorn in the side with his almost-match-winning five goals. His standout performance was earned through sheer guts and perpetual motion. He was not rewarded with the player of the match, probably because his team lost. South Africa was impeccable on extra-man attack and shut down five of China’s attempts. What it needed was more action goals — something China was most capable at doing. Well done, China on its first win after losing the Asian derby with Japan on Thursday.

Pictures: Eszter Novak

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

From → Aquatic News

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