Greece makes quarterfinals

The men’s national water polo team has advanced to the quarterfinals at the World Championships in Montreal with three wins from as many games in preliminary group competition. Greece capped off its winning stretch in four-team Group D with a 10-8 victory over Australia last Thursday. The national team, which ended fourth at last summer’s Athens Olympics, will now meet either Italy or the USA in its quarterfinal match early Wednesday morning (local time). Italy and the USA were due to meet last night. In its opening game, Greece defeated China 11-4 and followed up with an 8-4 win over Germany. Against Australia, Greece led 2-1 at the quarter, 5-3 at halftime, and 7-6 at three-quarters. Australia’s coach David Neesham protested Greece’s opening goal. «The opening goal for Greece was scored after the 35-second [possession] time had elapsed. The referee told the delegate but nothing was done,» Neesham said. The Australian coach argued that the goal gave Greece an unfair advantage as his team had to play catch-up for most of the match before finally succumbing 10-8. Australia, which went into the game with a win against China and a defeat against Germany, needed to win by a three-goal margin for direct access to the quarterfinals. Greece needed to persevere a late challenge by the Australians. They narrowed to 9-8 in the last three minutes with an explosive counterattack. But the brilliance of Greece’s veteran captain Giorgos Afroudakis and teammate Giorgos Doskas, who scored four and five goals respectively, made the difference between the two sides.

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