DAY 8, MORNING SESSION: Classification matches for places 9-20 conclude
On Saturday, the classification matches for places 9 to 20 were played. Russia won the 9th spot, Australia emerged as 11th, Japan took 13th place, Egypt is ranked 15th, Argentina ended up being 17th, and Puerto Rico finished 19th at the 2017 Men’s Junior Water Polo World Championship.
Puerto Rico water polo players finished 19th at the World Championship in Belgrade, after today’s triumph over South Africa, 14:9.
The winner was not determined until the final quarter when the Puerto Ricans managed to realize a series of goals. Puerto Rico had a minimum advantage in the first quarter, and at the beginning of the second, but then South Africa made a comeback reaching a one-goal lead on three occasions. Nonetheless, the first half ended in a draw, 6:6. The third period saw an equal battle and Puerto Rico accomplish “+2” for the first time during the match. South Africa still kept parity at the opening of the last quarter, and it was not until the game’s final moments that the Puerto Ricans created the difference to secure the victory. The winning team’s leading scorer was Diego Zayas with three goals, whereas Liam Neil scored one more for South Africa.
In a match that saw a small number of goals scored, Argentina prevailed over New Zealand, 7:3, and came away with 17th place. The Argentines triumphed over New Zealand in the group stage as well when the result was 9:5.
After 60 seconds of play, Matt Morris scored an opener for New Zealand, and then the match saw no goals for a long time. After more than eight minutes of the game, New Zealand water polo players increased their lead to 2:0. Then a response from the other side followed, as Camnasio Carlos scored two penalties and Poggi Gido put Argentina into the lead. Even so, the first half ended in a draw (3:3), and the Argentines left their rival scoreless in the second half. They had 5:3 after the third quarter and after another successful penalty by Carlos (6:3) the winner was obvious. He found the net one more time and emerged as the top scorer with four goals.
In a battle for 15th place, Egypt convincingly triumphed over Iran, 16:8, and the World Championship’s top scorer so far, Seifelden Hesham, netted nine goals leaving his mark on today’s game.
Egypt reached a 5:1 lead and continuously increased it afterward. The halftime result was 9:3 and there was no doubt about the winner. Iran’s standout player was Mehdi Yazdankhah with three goals.
There was not much suspense in the next three games either. Japan recorded an emphatic win against Netherlands, 15:6.
The Dutch got off to a better start and achieved a 2:0 advantage after several minutes of play. They kept the lead in the second quarter (4:2), but went on a break with 4:3, after Kiyomu Date scored a penalty to decrease the difference.
This was just a beginning of Japan’s shooting streak, as it managed to come back in the second half after only one minute, and then took a reached a 7:4 lead three minutes before the end of the third quarter. Netherlands was able to snap the opponents’ streak, but not for long, as Japan entered the final period with a 10:6 lead. Everything was resolved with six minutes left on the clock when the result was 13:6. The Japanese squad added two more goals before the end to clinch the convincing win. The game’s top scorer was Yusuke Inaba with five goals, while Date netted one less. On the other side, Bilal Badamassi Mama Radji and Bram Van Der Bersselaar netted a pair for the Dutch team.
The clash for 11th spot saw Australia outplay and defeat China, 14:3. Charles Negus led the Aussies toward a 4:0 lead, and it was already 8:0 two minutes before the halftime, so everything was clear at that moment. The game rhythm slowed down afterward, but Australia finished the match in a routine manner, as China was in no moment able to jeopardize its rival’s advantage. Conor Wolohan was the game’s top scorer with four goals, while Negus failed to score more than three after the first half. Wang Beiyi netted a pair for China.
Russia also scored 14 goals in a game which was almost resolved after the first quarter when Daniil Merkulov, Ivan Gusarov, and Arslan Zakirov contributed to a 5:1 lead. Merkulov scored again at the start of the second period, but Canada briefly threatened, bringing down the deficit to three (6:3). Immediately after that, a new series of Russian goals followed – they netted seven in a row, eliminating all dilemmas regarding the winner. Canadian water polo players managed to soothe defeat in the last eight minutes of the match and ended up taking 10th place. Merkulov was the leading scorer with four goals, and Zakirov netted one less.
9 – 20
South Africa – Puerto Rico 9:14 (1:2, 5:4, 2:4, 1:4)
New Zealand – Argentina 3:7 (1:0, 2:3, 0:2, 0:2)
Iran – Egypt 8:16 (1:5, 2:4, 2:4, 3:3)
Netherlands – Japan 6:15 (3:2, 1:1, 2:7, 0:5)
China – Australia 3:14 (0:3, 1:5, 2:1, 0:5)
Canada – Russia 7:14 (1:5, 2:3, 0:5, 4:1)
4 – 8
Spain – Italy
USA – Montenegro
Croatia – Hungary
Greece – Serbia