The USA Men’s National Team suffered their first loss at the 2015 FINA World Championship giving up a two goal lead in the fourth quarter en route to an 11-10 loss to Greece. Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC), Josh Samuels (Villa Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC), and John Mann (Newport Beach, CA/California/NYAC) all scored two goals in the loss while Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) posted ten saves in net. The match will air later today on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. Team USA returns to play on Friday when they take on Italy at 9:30pm local time to close out group play. The match will stream live on UniversalSports.com at 2:20pm et/11:20am pt. It will air the same day on Universal Sports at 8pm et/5pm pt. For more streaming information, click here.
Team USA got off to a great start as Mann scored out of two meters just moments into the match for a 1-0 lead. Greece responded quickly with a goal on their next possession and the game was even at 1-1 with less than a minute gone by. The teams would continue to trade goals for the rest of the period as Samuels fought off the Greek goalkeeper for a score only to see Ioannis Fountoulis answer to even the match at 2-2. Luca Cupido(Newport Beach, CA/California/Newport) connected for a score with less than four minutes to play to retake the lead at 3-2. That was short lived as Fountoulis connected again on the counter attack for a 3-3 match after one period.
Samuels was on the money again to start the second period, scoring in the opening minute for a 4-3 lead. Fountoulis responded yet again only to have Mann and Azevedo answer as Team USA took a 6-4 lead into halftime. In the third Greek got on the comeback trail with their center game as Konstantinos Mourikis scored two of the first three goals of the period. Alex Bowen (Santana, CA/Stanford/NYAC) and Bret Bonanni (Huntington Beach, CA/Stanford/Stanford) also delivered to keep the USA lead at two goals at 8-6 with 4:06 to play in the period. After Greece scored to draw within one with a little over a minute to play, Azevedo came back with a goal outside five meters for a 9-7 lead with 46 seconds to go. Greece had the last word in the period with Fountoulis connecting for his game high fourth goal of the match, leaving Team USA ahead just 9-8 going to the fourth.
The final period stayed quiet until the 4:05 mark when Alex Roelse (Maarssen, Netherlands/UCLA/Bruin) connected for a score and a 10-8 lead. Greece then proceeded to go on one final run. Emmanouil Mylonakis scored two straight to even the match at 10-10 with 1:44 to play. Then with just :31 seconds left Evangelos Delakas delivered in close for the game winning score, putting Greece up 11-10. A last chance from Team USA was not to be and Greece claimed victory.
Team USA went 5/10 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot while Greece was 2/5 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot.
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 10 (3, 3, 3, 1) J. Mann 2, T. Azevedo 2, J. Samuels 2, A. Bowen 1, B. Bonanni 1, A. Roelse 1, L. Cupido 1
GRE 11 (3, 1, 4, 3) I. Fountoulis 4, E. Mylonakis 3, K. Mourikis 2, A. Vlachopoulos 1, E. Delakas 1
Saves – USA – M. Moses 10 – GRE – K. Flegkas 5
6×5 – USA – 5/10 – GRE 2/5
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – GRE 0/0
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