Greece’s Water Polo National Team defeated Team USA 16-11 on Wednesday and qualified for the semifinals of the FINA World Championships that are held in Budapest, Hungary.
The Greek team booked a much deserved spot in the semifinals for the fifth time in its history where it would meet the winner of the Hungary – Italy game. It would, therefore, face either the host nation or the current holders of the title of World Champions – a tough assignment.
The team of coach Theodore Vlachos played a great defensive game against the US despite having goalie Emmanuel Zerdevas substituted with a bruised arm early on.
The Greeks were led by Stylianos Argyropoulos Kanakakis, who contributed 5 goals and one assist for the team, giving himself a 100% efficiency rating for the day by hitting every shot he took on the net. The US saw both Alexander Bowen and Ben Hallock score 3 goals, but the team struggled with a shooting average of 37%.
The game was tight through the first quarter, as the US maintained possession for a total of 5 minutes and 55 seconds, over 3 minutes more than Greece (2:05).
Despite this, the Greek players managed to make the most of their time with the ball, managing to score 3 goals to take the early 3-1 lead. The US fired back with 6 goals in the second period, including 3 goals off of penalties, but they were unable to close the gap that Greece had established.
Final score: Greece-USA 16-11 (3-1, 4-6, 3-0, 6-4)
— FINA (@fina1908) June 29, 2022
Greece won the silver medal in water polo at Tokyo Olympics
Greece has a long tradition of a strong presence at the international level. The team made history in 2021, and despite losing 13-10 to Serbia, won its first silver Olympic medal in history during the final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Greece managed to reach the final without a single defeat. The only time the Greek squad didn’t win was when they had a draw against Italy during the group stage.
Greece won two bronze medals at the World Championship in 2005 and 2015. It has also won a silver medal at the World Cup in 1997, three bronze medals at the World League in 2004, 2006, and 2016, as well as one silver (2018) and four bronze medals (1951, 1991, 1993, 2013) at the Mediterranean Games.