Kazakhstan defeats Iran and takes second place

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When the two water polo teams from Iran and Kazakhstan meet, thrilling games are almost guaranteed. In the last two clashes between the two rivals, both at Asian championships, only one goal made the difference, and in the most recent duel in March 2023 even a penalty shootout had to decide in favor of the Iranians. In their match at the World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup in Berlin, both teams again fought a tough fight, in which Kazakhstan won 7:6 (1:2, 2:3, 3:0, 1:1). The team has reached the finals as second in Group A. On Sunday, the Kazakhs are now up for one of the coveted tickets for the Super Final at the end of June in the USA.

Iran were already leading by three goals midway through the second quarter, but the Kazakhs fought back despite the red card for Murat Shakenov, their second-best scorer of the tournament so far, who was not happy with the referees’ decision and for his vocal complaint was expelled from the pool. The Kazakhs had equalized by the middle of the third period, shortly afterwards they even took the lead for the first time and were now 6:5 ahead before the last quarter. It was a thrilling last eight minutes. Iran equalized again with one man-up and could have taken the lead shortly afterwards, but the post saved Kazakhstan in this situation. It remained even until 90 seconds from time when Sultan Shonzhigitov scored the decisive goal to win the Kazakhs. He was eventually awarded Player of the Match.

Secure tickets for the other games of the Water Polo World Cup at https://waterpolo-worldcup.berlin/tickets/ and follow the games live at https://www.youtube.com/@WorldAquatics.