World Aquatics Championships – Fukuoka 2023
Men’s Pool Play – Day 2
The 16 nations vying for the men’s water polo title at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships kicked off their competition on Monday, July 17 and played their second round on Wednesday, July 19. The teams are divided into four pools: Group A, Group B, Group C, and Group D. Within each group, the four teams will play a round robin, meeting each of the other three teams once. At the conclusion of the pool play, the standings in each group will determine seedings for the elimination round of the tournament.
- United States
- South Africa
Day 2 Results
Group A continued to produce lopsided victories, as both Greece and the United States picked up their second dominant wins of the tournament. In this round, Greece held Kazakhstan to a single goal in each of the two halves, registering a final store of 18-2. Greece kept the pressure on from the beginning until the end, holding Kazakhstan scoreless for more than 20 minutes from 2-1 to 15-2. Konstantinos Kakaris and Dimitrios Nikolaidis each scored 3 goals from 4 attempts, while Stylianos Argyropoulos Kanakakis put in 3 from 5 attempts.
The United States beat Australia, 16-8, to remain with Greece at the top of the standings thus far. The U.S. came back from a 3-4 deficit at the first break to tie it up at 6-6 at the end of the second period. The tides turned for the Americans when Australia’s George Ford was called for a violence foul. Team USA picked up 3 points during the 4-minute advantage, taking the lead at 5-4. The Aussies scored first in period 3, going up 7-6, but the Americans answered with four goals in a row to lead 10-7 at the final break. USA scored 6 more goals in the fourth period, while Australia netted only 1. Hannes Daube led Team USA with 5 goals; Johnny Hooper had 3. Goalkeeper Adrian Weinberg logged 11 saves. Nathan Power and Luke Pavillard both scored 3 times for Australia.
Italy once again held its opponent to 6 goals for the match, but this time they nearly doubled their winning margin, defeating Canada, 24-6. The Italians are now the only undefeated team in Group B. Italy led 6-0 at the first break, putting Canada in a hole from the outset. The Canadians scored 2 goals in the second period and 4 in the third, but were overwhelmed by Italy in the final frame. Gonzalo Echenique, Andrea Fondelli, and Francesco di Fulvio scored 4 goals each for Italy. Goalkeeper Marco del Lungo made 8 saves in 3 periods. Nicolas Constantin-Bicari netted 3 of Canada’s 6 goals.
France came back from their first-round defeat at the hands of Italy to beat China, 17-8. The French took control early, going ahead 2-0 and finishing the first quarter up 4-1. China made a valiant effort in the second period, scoring 4 of their 8 goals and heading off at halftime trailing just 5-10. The third period took the wind out of their sails, however, as France shut them out, 4 goals to none. Both France and China scored 3 times in the last period. Mehdi Marzouki led France with 4 goals from 4 attempts; Alexandre Bouet and Enzo Kharz each had 3. Goalkeeper Hugo Fontani had 14 saves in three periods. Zekai Xie and Rui Chen each scored twice for China.
The two big landslide winners from round 1 met in round 2, and Hungary emerged victorious, beating Croatia, 12-10. The Hungarians struck in the first minute and led 3-1 at the first break. That goal differential proved decisive, as the two teams matched each other’s goals in each of the next three periods (2-2, 3-3, 4-4). Nine players scored for Hungary, but Gergo Zalanki led the way with 3 goals. Of Hungary’s seven scorers, Rino Buric, Luka Bukic, and Konstantin Kharkov each netted 2.
Japan dominated Argentina, 20-9, in the other Group C matchup. Playing in front of a home crowd, the Japanese jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the first period and were up 6-1 at the first break. It was 10-3 at halftime, and the Japanese netted another 10 goals to Argentina’s 6 during the second half. Taiyo Watanabe led Japan with 5 goals on 5 attempts. Yusuke Inaba netted 4, while Toi Suzuki sent in 3. Guido Martino scored 3 for Argentina and goalkeeper Diego Malnero registered 10 saves.
After drubbing South Africa on Day 1, Montenegro was unable to keep pace with Spain in their second match and fell 11-7 in a nailbiter. Spain went up early to lead 2-0 before Montenegro tied it up 2-2 at the first break. Spain led 5-4 at the half, then outscored Montenegro, 4-2, in the third period. Spain held onto their advantage in the final frame, adding 2 more goals to Montenegro’s 1. Felipe Perrone netted 5 goals for the Spaniards; his teammate Eduardo Lorrio made 10 saves in the net. Bogdan Durdic had a deuce for Montenegro; five more players netted one each.
After losing a close one to Spain in round 1, Serbia dominated South Africa, 30-5, in their second match. The Serbian side scored 8, 9, 7, and 6 goals in the four periods, with 10 players finding the back of the net. Strahinja Rasovic and Nikola Jaksic each scored 6 times for Serbia, while Marko Radulovic netted 5. Cameron Bain Laurenson led the South African effort with 2 goals.