Rendezvous with history against Italy for the Men’s National Polo

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To follow the example of the Women and defeat her Italy is called Men’s National Polo in today’s big quarter-final World Aquatics Championships in Doha (16:30, ERT3). The Greek team wants the victory to enter the medal zone.

His team Thodori Vlachou qualified directly to the round of 16 of the tournament with three victories in the first phase, over China (24-6), Brazil (23-4) and France (13-12). Italy, in turn, in the first round defeated Romania 16-10, Kazakhstan 33-3 and lost on penalties 15-14 to Hungary, but managed to beat the USA 13-12 in the crossover match to find on the way to Greece.

Captain Francesco Di Fulvio leads Italy into yet another tournament, being their top scorer with 13 goals, compared to 11 by Andrea Fontelli (who has played one less match), while the experienced Gonzalo Etzenike, the flamboyant Lorenzo Bruni are key and Luca Marziali and Giacomo Canella. Sandro Campagna has so far not got what he would like from Eduardo Di Soma (7 goals in 17 attempts, with 2/4 penalties) and starting goalkeeper Marco Del Luongo (43% saves).

Greece and Italy they have many… open accounts from the distant and recent past. Just last month, the national team suffered a heavy 15-8 defeat at the European Championships in Zagreb. In the last five World Championships, only once has the national team been out of the top four, in 2019 in Guangzhou, when they met Italy in the quarter-finals and lost 7-6, remaining “unbeaten” in the last eight minutes. The chance for a rematch came three years later, in the Budapest semi-final, but once again the “setbelos” emerged victorious with 11-10.

Prehistory, of course, does not only have bad memories for the national team, which has recorded two great victories over Italy in World Championships: in 2005 in the quarter-final in Montreal (13-9) and in 2015 in the minor final in Kazan (11- 9 on penalties). In both of these cases, Greece climbed to the third step of the podium. In total, the two teams have met 11 times in World Cup history, with the Italians winning seven to the Greeks’ four.

Of the remaining pairs of the quarter-final stage in Doha, it dominates classic Croatia vs Serbia derby. Spain and Hungary, the last two world champions, have the upper hand against Montenegro and France, respectively.

The schedule for the Doha World Championship men’s water polo tournament:

Positions 15-16

08:00 South Africa-Kazakhstan

Positions 13-14

09:30 Brazil-Japan

Positions 9-12

11:00 China-Romania

12:30 Australia-USA

Quarterfinals

15:00 Spain-Montenegro

16:30 GREECE-Italy

18:00 Serbia-Croatia

19:30 Hungary-France

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