ORADEA, Romania, March 4. CANADA picked up its first win today at the Men's Water Polo Olympic Qualifier against Iran today in Oradea, Romania. Canada eclipsed Iran with a 15 to 5 victory.
"Our victory was not only by points but by achieving the goals we set out to accomplish," said Dragan Jovanovic, Head Coach of Canada's Men's water polo team. "Our team showed great confidence during the game and that positions us well moving forward in the tournament."
Canada's Jean Sayegh opened the game with two consecutive goals in the first quarter showing a strong offensive start. Iran scrambled at the very beginning allowing lots of space between the defender and the shooter for Canada to produce a strong offensive attack. Canada took advantage in the second quarter adding seven goals to the board taking a strong 10-1 lead over Iran. Mir Mehdi broke the drought for Iran from the top two minutes from halftime.
Head coach Jovanovic decided to replace veteran goaltender Robin Randall in the third to give some early tournament game time to other goaltender Nicholas Youngblood of Hamilton.
Canada had the game sewn up at 13-3 in the last quarter and went on to win 15-5. Iran drew a penalty with a minute remaining and Afshari converted his second, the second Iran goal of the period after a blast from four meters by Karamizarandi.
Jean Sayegh and Kevin Graham both finished the game with a hat trick followed by Team captain Thomas Marks and Aaron Feltham with two goals. Constantine Kudaba, Devon Diggle, Kevin Mitchell, Brandon Jung, and Nathaniel Miller also scored for Canada.
Special thanks to Swimming Canada for contributing this report.