American Men Fall To Greece in Water Polo -- July 22, 2003
BARCELONA, Spain, July 22. THE American men's water polo team lost a disappointing match to the Greeks today. The following is the summaries from today's games.
GREECE 4, USA 2
Greece progressed to the semifinals for the first time in history by beating the USA 4-2 in the quarter-final, going at least two places better than at Fukuoka two years ago.
Both teams played aggressive defense but Greece had the better of the statistics. The USA scored just twice from 22 shots, which proved its downfall.
In the first quarter, cut and thrust and top-notch defense shut out both sides with the sole exception being Ryan Bailey's goal from the post on extra. The same happened in the second period where the only goal went to Greece on extra, scored by Argyrios Theodoropoulos. Jesse Smith (USA) and Antonios Vlontakis (GRE) were excluded for an altercation. Theodoropoulos scored his second from right-hand catch for 2-1 at 4:05. The USA took a timeout but had the shot blocked on extra. Next time in Greece's zone, the USA scored but the goal was disallowed. USA coach Ratko Rudic protested and was given a yellow card during the start of the break.
Theodoros Chatzitheodorou scored from nine meters, at 5:09 and it wasn't until nearly four minutes later that Tony Azevedo broke the USA's drought with a shot from outside. At 1:19, it wasn't too late to come back. At the other end, Anastasios Schizas drove down the right and snapped in the goal from an acute angle to win the game.
HUNGARY 13, SLOVAKIA 5
Hungary sped into the semifinals with an awesome display of raw power and skill. It was clear that they didn't come for a friendly throw-around.
The Huns made their intentions clear with a shock and awe burst in the opening quarter, completely pounding Slovakia. Norbert Madaras wasted no time on extra in the first half-minute. Attila Vari, Tibor Benedek on the biggest break of the championship, Tamas Varga through a sea of arms and Gergely Kiss added to the charge.
With the margin set, Hungary settled into a rhythm and Slovakia fought back through Karol Baco on extra. Peter Biros drove down the left and scored the narrowest goal for 6-1 just before halftime.
Josef Hrosik added another for Slovakia on deep right-hand catch. Then Hungary scored twice on extra with quick one-two passes for 8-2 after three quarters.
A 5-3 final quarter saw Karol Baco score twice for Slovakia as Hungary replied with quick passing, superb counters and excellent systems.
BRAZIL 6, CANADA 5
Play-off for 13th & 14th
Brazil won a tight match in the battle of the Americas, coming from 4-3 down to win 6-5.
Gabriel Reis (BRA) and Noah Miller (CAN) scored in the first quarter. Vladimir Cosic scored from the penalty line to open the second but Vicente Henriques scored on extra in the next attack, firing in from the top. Brazil had a timeout later in the period but no further goals came.
Young scoring sensation Felipe Perrone scored his ninth goal of the tournament on extra from the top, to his obvious excitement. Canada then scored two extra-man goals to go ahead 4-3, the last with 13 seconds left. Brazil leveled through Yansel Galindo from center forward with just 1.2 seconds left. Erik Seegerer on extra and Roberto Seabra on deep right-hand catch took the game to 6-4.
Canada's Kevin Mitchell scored his second on deep right-hand catch at 1:22 for 6-5 down. Canadian coach John Csikos called timeout and set the play on extra at 0:19. The shot came from Mitchell but it hit the far post and Brazil finished 13th.
CROATIA 7, GERMANY 3
Croatia may have come away with the victory but Germany can be proud of its effort against the team, which nearly won the European championship.
Germany led 2-1 at the first break, and when Ratko Stritof scored from eight meters for his second late in the second period for 2-2, it looked as if the game would go to extra time.
Both teams showed determination, took good shots and defended exceptionally. Germany took a timeout but missed and gave up a penalty on the resulting counter. Elvis Fatovic converted. Nearly three minutes passed before Igor Hinic turned and scored in the center position for 4-2. Dubravko Simenc took it out to 5-2 early in the fourth with a penalty goal. Heiko Nossek finally broke through for Germany rocketing in a power shot from eight meters. Hinic scored with a backhand at 1:27 and Fatovic on extra in the dying seconds, pushed Croatia into the play-off for ninth.