Greece edge USA to reach quarter-finals
FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - PLAYOFFS
Greece’s men’s national water polo team fell 9-3 to Serbia in the last game of group play at the 2019 World Championships, and the Greeks will now face the USA for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Coming into the match, Greece and the United States had met twice in major competitions in recent years. In the group stage of the 2015 World Championships, Greece prevailed 11-10, and ultimately went on to win bronze. Then, in the 2016 World League, the Americans beat the Greeks on penalties in the semi-finals.
Here, the Americans got off to a good start. They went up 4-2 in the first period, which ended with the score being 4-3 in their favor. The Greeks then responded by going up 6-4 in the second period, although by halftime, the match was tied at 6-6.
The two sides would remain even in the third period, as the score was 8-8 going into the fourth period. There, the Greeks were able to take charge, winning it 11-9.
Konstantinos Genidounias was Greece’s leading scorer with four goals. Alexandros Gounas and Konstantinos Mourikis each scored two goals as well.
Greece will now play against Italy on Tuesday for a spot in the semifinals. The two teams are very familiar with each other, having played many matches against one another in recent years. Since 2014, they have played each other six times in major competitions, with Greece winning four of those meetings, and also having one draw. The only time Italy won was the last time they faced each other, in the quarter-finals at the 2016 Olympics.