A dream come true: Germany goes to Los Angeles as tournament winners

Veröffentlicht am

Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary, the United States and Serbia: The world’s best water polo nations come together at the World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup Final from June 30th to July 2nd in Los Angeles (USA). This year, Germany is also part of this illustrious group. At the World Cup tournament in Berlin, the German team has fulfilled their dream of traveling to the American West Coast. In the final game on Sunday against Kazakhstan, the team of national coach Milos Sekulic left no doubt about his role as favorite from the very first second and in the end won completely unchallenged with 12:1 (3:0, 0:0, 7:1, 1:0).

“It was our goal from the start to qualify for Los Angeles. A dream has now come true,” said goalkeeper Felix Benke, who was voted player of the game for his brilliant performance of conceding just one goal.Just as in all games in the preliminary round, Germany scored the first goal of the game, Fynn Schütze converted his penalty throw, and shortly afterwards Mark Gansen was also successful from five meters. In fact, the German team was not trailing once during the entire tournament. But while they had shone on offense the day before, this time the strong defense was the key to success. The Germans hardly allowed easy throws for the Kazakhs and were strong in the block, plus Felix Benke once again presented himself as a strong support between the posts. In the first 23:15 minutes, Germany thus didn’t concede a single goal. “We had studied the Kazakhs’ throws beforehand,” explained Benke.

In the third quarter, the German attack also got rolling. The DSV team won this quarter 7-1 – first Ferdinand Korbel was put into place nicely twice in a central position, then Yannek Chiru scored three times, who in the end together with Gansen (also three goals) was also the top German goal scorer. The Kazakhs only scored their first goal in the 24th minute, but the game was already decided by then. Two more goals in the final quarter even had Germany take first place at the Berlin tournament thanks to a better goal difference. They were ahead of Romania, who had previously secured their first ticket to Los Angeles by beating China 18-9.

“It was a difficult at first, but four games in three days is pretty tough too. We were sluggish at first, but then we got a message from the coach to finally play properly – and then it worked,” said Mark Gansen. “Now we’re looking forward to the qualification for the European Championships and then of course to the tournament in Los Angeles.” The first opponent at the World Cup final at the end of June will be world champion Spain in the quarter-finals.