The Spanish team defeats the United States in the quarterfinals, rough until the end (8-12), and 21 years later they will fight again for an Olympic medal. He has won all his matches and will face Serbia or Italy
Spain had to chew on the victory against the United States, ruminate it slowly until finally, after a lot of slashing and a lot of rowing, it detached itself from the sticky resistance of the Americans. 8-12 at the end, which means that the team led by David Martín will fight for the medals again 21 years later. Then, Sydney 2000 , was left with the honey on the lips and then entered the dry land, with the seventh position of Rio 2016 as the most discreet result. Today the story looks very different. Everyone watches and fears it. The stumbling block on Friday in the semifinals will be huge, in any case: Serbia or Italy.
Within reach, to achieve a prize that has resisted since golden times, that generation led by Manel Estiarte that took over the place in the Barcelona Games and that four years later, in 96, reached the top with the Atlanta gold. Subsequently, the plain in Olympic terms, which not in other competitions. This renewed Spain is going strong and will attend the semifinals with the endorsement of good dynamics. The world silver of two years ago and the two European ones of 2018 and 2020 are a good business card. But insufficient, they say in the locker room, for a hungry team that goes for everything.
Spain was launched, with a full of victories on the track towards the quarterfinals and well prepared for the critical phase of the competition. On the contrary, these are not the best times for the United States, which gave up the last three matches of the first phase and is trying to get on the bandwagon, with little luck; the American team has lost potential in recent years and since 2008, when it won silver, it has not entered the dispute over the medals.
Even so, it raised a very hard pulse, to the point that Spain, a priori much superior, did not manage to resolve until the last straight. The first quarter already ended balanced (3-3) and Hannes Daube showed his arm again and again: three out of three, although there he exhausted his dynamite. Then the balance was prolonged and the second act passed along very similar paths. Spain had the initiative, but stumbled over the defensive harshness of the rival. 6-6 when honking.
Video and final fireworks
Thus the game became entangled, in which the goalkeepers gained prominence. Wolf got big and Dani Pinedo put out several fires, intercepting several pitches when the electronic had stalled and none were hit. A single goal came in that third period. It bore the stamp of Bernat Sanahuja and served to retire to the pause with a minimum income, although the emotional demand was beginning to be important. Spain was unable to distance itself, nor did it ever feel completely comfortable, unable to take advantage of superiorities. At cruising speed so far, he was facing the first bump of the tournament.
The equality was maintained until the judges stopped the game for almost five minutes to study an action, with another five remaining for completion. The recklessness of one of the two American players forced the review of the video, which left him in evidence: he had returned early. The referees signaled the penalty, and Alberto Munárriz’s pulse did not tremble. Ball to the net, and from there a dismantle in the direction of the semifinals. The United States accused the double expulsion, but even and everything replied with a great whip from Cupid. However, Roger Tahull defined in a spectacular way, from behind, and Munarriz was once again cold-blooded to finish off the pass.
For the first time, the men’s and women’s water polo teams – cited with Hungary on Thursday, after beating China in the previous season – have managed to overcome the barrier of the quarterfinals hand in hand in some Games.