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16th FINA World Championships

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International Men's Water Polo Tournament: Day 2 results

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13.06.2015, 19:16 Sport
International water polo competitions are in progress at the Burevestnik Indoor Swimming Pool. On Day 2 of the tournament there was a clear favourite in each competing pair of Georgia-Spain and Russia-China.

Experts' favourite in the first pair was Team Spain. During the starting quarter the Pyreneans managed to score two unresisting goals into the Georgian gates. And they went on stronger by scoring five (!) more goals until the break. Blai Mallarach was one of the most effective forwards he managed to score a poker until the long break, which resulted into intermediate 7-1. 

In the second half the Spanish team used much of their best reserve players by actively rotating the team. As a result, their game lost its attacking power, which was still acceptable given the impressive handicap they had gained. And the final 10-3 left a few questions open before the final against Russia. Gabi Hernandez has only one day to pull up his team's physical strength. In matches against both China and Georgia, the Pyreneans were all too exhausted in the closing quarter.

Georgia – Spain – 3-10  (0-2, 1-5, 1-2, 1-1)

Goals: Fran Sanchez (0-1), Blai Mallarach (0-2), Blai Mallarach (0-3), Victor Florez (0-4), Victor Florez (0-5), Mikhael Bagaturia (1-5), Blai Mallarach (1-6), Blai Mallarach (1-7), Blai Mallarach (1-8), Sergi Nora (1-9), Zurah Rurua (2-9), George Khveteliani (3-9), Sergi Nora (3-10). 

"We still can't stay strong during all the four quarters, and the way we play in the final one has its impact on the result. But I think we will pull up our strength to be ready for tomorrow's final against Russia. Am I the best forward so far? Well, I like it. But I have to thank my coach and the team. Team accomplishments are much more important than individual ones. We didn't qualify for the forthcoming World Championships in Kazan, but we can win here tomorrow - that's what matters! And this will be a promising start for our team before qualification games for the European Championships," said Blai Mallarach after the match.  

In the second game of the day, the hosting Team Russia immediately revealed its ambitions and blew a shower of five unresisting goals against China. Until the long break they managed to score six more goals, with the only difference being that the goalkeeper Anton Antonov did not manage to keep his gates clear. The guests, here with the efforts of Dong Tao, who scored twice in the first half, managed to achieve a less disappointing result of 11-2.

In fact, this result and the resulting goal difference were quite acceptable for Erkin Shagaev's team to keep the leadership after two days before the final with the Spanish squad. But to the spectators' excitement, the hosts kept on attacking the guests' gates and finished the game with an impressive 19-4 win.  

Russia – China – 19-4 (5-0, 6-2, 2-2, 6-0)

Goals: Vladislav Timakov (1-0), Ivan Nagaev (2-0), Dmitry Antipov (3-0), Lev Magomaev (4-0), Igor Bychkov (5-0), Konstantin Stepaniuk (6-0), Igor Bychkov (7-0), Ivan Nagaev (8-0), Alexey Bugaychuk (9-0), Dong Tao (9-1), Vladislav Timakov (10-1), Konstantin Stepaniuk (11-1), Dong Tao (11-2), Hu Zhangxin (11-3), Artem Ashaev (12-3), Chen Zhongxian (12-4), Dmitry Antipov (13-4), Lev Magomaev (14-4), Dmitrii Kholod (15-4), Konstantin Stepaniuk (16-4), Dmitrii Kholod (17-4), Lev Magomaev (18-4), Ivan Nagaev (19-4)   

"We are all a bit exhausted during this tournament. And we are focused much on power training at the moment. For instance, shortly before the tournament we were at a training camp where we did a lot of swimming exercises. So given all these circumstances, I am satisfied with the game and the result. Third quarter? Well, we had a lot of chances. And I agree, we were a bit relaxed after the break. This is something we have to work on. We are still building the team, we have a lot of young players, and of course we will try to avoid such situations. Golden match with Spain? I know, this is a high-profile team with a lot of its members being winners of World Championships and regular players of European Championships and Olympic Games. We've only been to the most recent European championship, that is. But we will try and use all our efforts to play at out best and finally win. This is a kind of a competitor that you want to meet more often," said the head coach of the Russian national team, Erkin Shagaev, after his team won the match. 

International Men's Water Polo Tournament. Round 2

Kazan. Burevestnik Swimming Pool

Team                      games                  points                       goals          

1. Russia                    2                        4                        32–10          

2. Spain                      2                        4                        21–10    

3. Georgia                  2                        0                        9–23

4. China                      2                        0                        11–30 

 

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