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Day 6: FINA World Junior Champs yields miracle victory

by ZwemZa on December 17th, 2019

Japan’s Yusuke Inaba produced a magical finish to a second-round match on the sixth day of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships at the Al-Nasar Sport Club Kuwait.

In matches to decide who goes to the quarter-finals, Japan was playing Australia and led 8-3 at halftime and 10-6 at the final break. However, Australia  brought the match level with 2.3 seconds left. Japan called a timeout and the result was an Inaba shot from halfway that deflected off someone in the crowded goalmouth and into the back of the net for the winner.

In other top-tier matches, Croatia was the first through, beating New Zealand 15-6 to book a match-up with Spain. Montenegro upset the most medalled country, Hungary, 15-13, leading for the whole match and having led 11-7 at one stage. Hungary won the final quarter 5-3, but it was not enough. Montenegro will play Serbia for a semifinal berth and Hungary will now play New Zealand in the 9-12 semifinals. United States of America beat Canada 12-6 and will now meet reigning champion Greece. USA virtually had the match sewn up at halftime when 8-4 ahead.

In the second-round matches to decide classifications 13-20, China started the day with an 18-10 win over Uzbekistan, Beiyi Wang (CHN) best in water with four goals. South Africa scored the only goal of the last quarter to beat Brazil 7-6, a match in which the goalkeepers decided the low scoring. Egypt went 4-0 in the second quarter to leave Iran chasing for long periods before winning 11-7. Russia earned a shot at China in the round 13-16 semifinals with a 17-7 margin against host Kuwait, coming from 10-4 at halftime.

Tuesday Schedule:

Match 41, 09:30, 4A CHINA 18 5D UZBEKISTAN 10
Match 43, 10:50, 5A SOUTH AFRICA 7 4D BRAZIL 6
Match 44, 12:10, 5B EGYPT 11 4C IRAN 7
Match 45, 13:30, 2A CROATIA 15 3D NEW ZEALAND 6
Match 42, 14:50, 4B RUSSIA 17 v 5C KUWAIT 7
Match 46, 16:10, 2B HUNGARY 14 3C MONTENEGRO 15
Match 47, 17:30, 3A JAPAN 11 v 2D AUSTRALIA 10
Match 48, 18:50, 3B CANADA 6 v 2C UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 12

Wednesday Schedule:

Match 50, 08:00, W41 CHINA v W42 RUSSIA
Match 51, 09:20, L43 BRAZIL L44 IRAN
Match 52, 10:40, W43 SOUTH AFRICA W44 EGYPT
Match 53, 12:00, L45 NEW ZEALAND L46 HUNGARY
Match 54, 13:20, L47 AUSTRALIA L48 CANADA
Match 49, 14:40, L41 UZBEKISTAN v L42 KUWAIT
Match 55, 16:00, 1A SERBIA W46 MONTENEGRO
Match 56, 17:20, 1B SPAIN W45 CROATIA
Match 57, 18:40, 1C ITALY W47 JAPAN

Match 43, 10:50, SOUTH AFRICA 7 BRAZIL 6

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

Referees: Darren Spiritosanto (USA), Amirhossein Safabakhsh (IRI)

Extra man: RSA: 1/3. BRA: 2/6.

Penalties: RSA: 2/2. BRA: 1/1.


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

BRAZIL: Joao Silveira, Lucas Santos (2), Luiz Scarabelim, Felipe Ferreira, Nicholas Fichman, Bruno Chiappini (1), Italo Vizacre (3), Thomas Campedelli, Raul Morales, Marcos Pires, Vincius Pessin, Gabriel Galvane, Joao Fernandes. Head Coach: Thiago Nascimento.

Match Report

South Africa will progress further up the ladder with its first victory while Brazil will be unhappy to be playing in the lower groups. This was one of the most thrilling matches of the tournament with goalkeeper determining the result. There was nothing in it in the first half with South Africa heading out to 3-1 with the first goal of the second quarter and then Brazil going three straight, including two from Italo Vizacre. His first was from the penalty line. Earlier two of South Africa’s goals were from the five-metre line as well. In the final three minutes, South Africa had the better 2-1 to bring up a 5-5 impasse at the switch over. Two minutes into the third and Vizacre had his third, coming on counter-attack. As hard as South Africa worked, it struggled to get through the arms of Brazilian goalkeeper Joao Fernandes. In fact, a new player hit the water and Yaseen Margro scored his first goal of the tournament from the top to level at 6-6, 37 seconds from time. Brazil had two chances to score, one being blocked and a failure to shoot from the resulting rebound sealing the quarter. Keegan Clark was on fire in the South African goal as well, meaning two top goalkeepers were helping keep the score low. William Dowsett accepted a cross-pool pass on extra to being it down into the goal for 7-6 at 3:06 — what proved to be the winning goal. Brazil went to a timeout at 1:03, but could not get away a shot that reached the goalie. Brazil gained the ball again and lost it so South Africa retained the ball for most of its possession with one player ill-advisably taking an early shot with eight seconds left of possession, however, Brazil could not get the ball upfield fast enough and found itself consigned to a lower group in the classifications. Beamish was named the match’s best player, although either goalkeeper could easily have won the award.

Photos: Eszter Novak

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee


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