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Day 4: FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Champs in Kuwait

by ZwemZa on December 15th, 2019

Greece and Spain have won their groups and go to the quarter-finals with a fourth straight victory each on the fourth day of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships at the Al-Nasar Sport Club Kuwait.

In Group A, Japan closed its preliminary campaign with a third win from four matches, downing South Africa 26-11. Senior international Yusuke Inaba topped the scoring with eight goals.

In Group B, Spain gained a fourth victory to finish preliminary play on top by beating Canada 15-7 in a hard-fought contest. Spain led 8-4 at halftime and Bernat Sanahuja and Nikolas Paul scored four goals each. Hungary survived Russia’s four-goal burst in the final quarter for a 12-9 margi and set up a clash with Canada on Monday for second ranking.

In Group C, United States of America finished its round matches with a 16-8 defeat of Kuwait. Garrett Zaan top-scored with four goals and Abdullah Jasem netted three for Kuwait.

In Group D,  Greece made it no contest with a 27-4 workout against Uzbekistan, which has yet to post a win. By winning its fourth match in four days, it has already secured the group win and now has a preliminary-round lay day and then Tuesday off before going directly to the quarter-finals, like Spain. Earlier, Australia lifted to second spot with a last-quarter surge to beat Brazil 9-6. Aussie goalkeeper John Hedges was instrumental in the win and was named best in water.

Progress points:
Group A: Croatia 4, Serbia 4, Japan 4, China 2, South Africa 0.
Group B: Spain 8, Hungary 4, Canada 4, Russia 0, Egypt 0.
Group C: Italy 4, USA 6, Montenegro 2, Iran 2, Kuwait 0.
Group D: Greece 8, Australia 4, Brazil 2, New Zealand 2, Uzbekistan 0.

Sunday Schedule:
Match 25, 09:30, Group D, BRAZIL 6 AUSTRALIA 9
Match 26, 10:50, Group D, UZBEKISTAN 4 GREECE 27
Match 30, 12:10, Group B, CANADA 7 SPAIN 15
Match 28, 13:30, Group A, JAPAN 26 SOUTH AFRICA 11
Match 32, 14:50, Group C, KUWAIT 8 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 16
Match 29, 16:10, Group B, RUSSIA 9 HUNGARY 12
Match 27, 17:30, Group A, SERBIA CROATIA
Match 31, 18:50, Group C, MONTENEGRO ITALY

Monday Schedule:
Match 33, 09:30, Group A, CROATIA JAPAN
Match 34, 10:50, Group A, SERBIA CHINA
Match 35, 12:10, Group B, HUNGARY CANADA
Match 36, 13:30, Group B, RUSSIA EGYPT
Match 37, 14:50, Group C, ITALY KUWAIT
Match 38, 16:10, Group C, MONTENEGRO IRAN
Match 39, 17:30, Group D, AUSTRALIA UZBEKISTAN
Match 40, 18:50, Group D, BRAZIL NEW ZEALAND

Match 28, 13:30, Group A, JAPAN SOUTH 26 AFRICA 11

Quarters: 8-2, 8-5 2-4, 8-0

Referees: Irfan Sadekov (RUS), Fabio Toffoli
(BRA)

Extra man: JPN: 2/2. RSA: 6/8.

Penalties: JPN: 2/2. RSA: 0/1.

Teams:

JAPAN: Tomoharu Shinto, Toi Suzuki (3), Shun Kobayashi (3), Shohei Yamada (1), Fumiya Tsuta (1), Naoki Aoyama, Goro Hizume (1), Eisuke Takahashi (1), Takumu Miyazawa, Yusuke Inaba (8), Yuki Maita (4), Taiyo Watanabe (4), Kentaro Tani. Head Coach: Takamitsu Nakashima.

SOUTH AFRICA: Keegan Clark, Mogamad Mayman, Christopher Beamish, Ethan Coryndon-Baker (1), Todd Howard (4), Ross Stone (2), Joshua Faber (2), Jonathan Swanepoel (1), David MacDonald, William Dowsett (1), Yaseen Margro, James Hablutzel, Barnard van Rooyen. Head Coach: Jason Sileno.

Match Report

Japan went on the rampage, playing the only way it knows how — counter-attack. The Japanese senior teams trains at swimming more than any other country, the senior coach claims. The junior team is no exception, especially when it is led by Yusuke Inaba, a starting player on the senior team who is expected to do much at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He is possibly one of the few players in Kuwait who will play in Tokyo. Inaba was pulling the trigger faster and more often than most and finished the match with eight goals to his name. In his previous two matches he scored a total of nine goals. In the opening quarter, Japan made five steals, four becoming counter-attack goals. In fact, Japan scored 11 goals from counter. Far from demoralising the South Africans, it spurred them on as they fought back from 14-4 down midway through the second quarter, finishing at 16-7 by halftime. The men in green then proceeded to better Japan with a 4-2 third period, showing plenty of spirit and vigour and nullifying Japan’s counter; making less mistakes also helped. However, the supreme performance was not enough as Japan, full of fitness and fire, rammed home eight goals to none in the final eight minutes. South Africa gained a penalty foul, but Todd Howard hit the bar and could not better his excellent four-goal effort. South Africa’s loss followed a 20-goal loss to Serbia the night before and a narrow one-goal loss to China, finishing bottom of the group.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

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