Another victory for the hosts: Germany advances to the finals as group winners

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Team Germany has finished the preliminary round at the World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup in Berlin with another win and as undefeated group winners and can dream more than ever of a trip to the Super Final in Los Angeles (USA) at the end of June. On Saturday evening, Germany won their final preliminary round match against China with 16:11 (6:2, 3:5,5:2, 2:2) and was then given a standing ovation by the home crowd in the SSE arena. “We’revery happy with our performance today,” said Denis Strelezkij, who earned the award for player of the game with his four goals. Teammate Zoran Bozic, who also scored four times today, said: “It felt really good to win with this young team.”
Germany’s opponent in the second final game will be Kazakhstan on Sunday at 19:15.

Before that, China and Romania will meet in the first final game (5:30 p.m.). The winners of these two matches will qualify for the Super Final from June 30th to July 2nd in the USA. The
other match-ups on the final day are Malta versus Iran for fifthplace (2:00 p.m.) and New Zealand versus South Africa for seventh place (3:45 p.m.).

As in the first two group games against Malta (15:5) and South Africa (23:7), the very first German attack was successful, Strelezkij scored beautifully with one man up. The next power play game was successful again, this time after a nice combination it was Fynn Schütze who scored the goal to make it 2:0. The ball ran well through the German ranks at the beginning, as the German team showed an excellent passing game. But above all, the German powerplay was extremely dangerous that day – by the end of the quarter two more goals were scored in this way, at the end of the game the efficiency with one man up was a strong 85 percent (6/7). “We prepared exactly these situations in the run-up to the tournament,” explained Strelezkij.At the beginning of the second quarter the scoring continued and Germany was able to extend their lead to 8:2. After that, however, the Chinese got stronger, and by half-time they had cut the lead to just 9:7. “We started just as planned, but then lost a bit of pace,” said German coach Milos Sekulic. “But after that, we recovered and were then clearly on course for victory.”In the third quarter, the Germans were able to increase their lead to five goals and thus already forced a preliminary decision. Even after that, the Chinese couldn’t get any closer than four goals. “The victory wasn’t guaranteed, we had to work really hard,” said Zoran Bozic. Denis Strelezkij added: “We have to stay focused now and keep this pace. The next game is now the most important of the whole tournament.”