Greece draw with Montenegro
FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - GROUP A (MD 2)
Greece’s men’s national water polo team was held to a 10-10 draw with Montenegro in group play at the 2019 World Championships.
After a comfortable 26-3 win over South Korea, the Greeks were looking for their second win in two matches in Group A. The Montenegrins came into the match seeking their first win of the tournament, after drawing 10-10 with Serbia on Monday.
Montenegro, who finished second at the 2013 World Championships, had lost their last two competitive meetings against Greece. Greece beat them 8-6 in the fifth place game at last year’s European Championships, and also 12-7 in the quarterfinals of the 2017 World Championships.
This time around, the two teams were level from the beginning, as the score was 3-3 after the first period of play. Montenegro would then take a 5-3 lead in the second period, and they would hold on for a 5-4 lead going into halftime.
In the third period, the Montenegrins raced out to a 7-4 lead, which later became a 9-6 lead. However, Greece would fight back to reduce Montenegro’s lead to 9-8 by the end of the third period. In the fourth period, Greece would even go up 10-9, but Montenegro would level it at 10-10, which would ultimately be the final score.
With two goals each, Greece’s top scorers were Stylianos Argyropoulos, Alexandros Gounas, and Dimitrios Skoumpakis. Greece will wrap up group play on Friday against Serbia.
The Serbs have arguably the best team on the planet in recent years. Not only are they reigning Olympic champions and four-time defending European champions, but they also won the World Championships in 2015, and finished third in 2017. In that 2017 tournament, they defeated Greece twice. First, the Serbs were victorious 11-6 in the group stages. Then, the Serbs beat the Greeks 11-8 in the bronze medal match.
The winner of Friday’s game will win the group and get a bye to the quarterfinals. Should the game result in a draw, either Greece or Montenegro will win the group, depending on Montenegro’s goal difference against South Korea.