Tbilisi, Georgia – June 29 – The United States Men’s National Team advanced to the semi-finals of the FINA World League Super Final after a relentless 12-11 win over France. Hannes Daube scored three goals and was named player of the match with Alex wolf recording 11 backups in net. The USA team now meet Italy on Wednesday at 12 p.m. and / 9 a.m. pt in the semi-finals. Live stats will be available for each match by clicking here, with the semi-final (Wednesday) and final day (Thursday) of the competition streaming live via FloSports, by clicking here (subscription required). Nominees for the US Olympic Men’s Water Polo roster will be announced on July 2 at 11 a.m. PT.
France got off to a strong start, scoring five goals in the first quarter. The United States team took a 2-1 lead at the end of the first quarter on a Marko Vavic goal but France responded with four goals in just over two minutes to take a 5-2 lead into the second quarter. The United States returned the favor in the second, scoring five unanswered goals for a 7-5 advantage in intermission. After Daube did it 5-3, Dylan Woodhead scored two consecutive goals to tie the game at 5-5 with 4:32 remaining at the half. Vavic and Daube closed the second quarter with goals to secure the two-goal advantage.
The teams alternated goals to start the third quarter until France strung together back-to-back scores to tie the game at 9-9 with 2:09 left in the period. Daube returned with his third goal of the game moments later, then Ben Stevenson added to the score with a goal with: 42 to go for an 11-9 advantage going to fourth. The score slowed in the last eight minutes, but France came close to a goal at 11-10 with 5:29 left. Alex Bowen connected on a clutch penalty shot less than two minutes later to reduce the lead to two at 12-10. France made a final push to come back to a 12-11 with: 32 to go. The United States team recovered the ball and then shot an exclusion with: 15 left to play, which saw them run out of time and claim the 12-11 victory.
The United States was 6/14 on the power play and 2/2 on penalties while France was 4/8 on the power play and 1/1 on the penalty shootout. Ugo Crousillat led all French scorers with four goals.
Score – Statistics
United States 12 (2, 5, 4, 1) H. Daube 3, M. Vavic 2, D. Woodhead 2, A. Bowen 2, A. Obert 1, B. Hallock 1. B. Stevenson 1
FRA 11 (5, 0, 4, 2) U. Crousillat 4, A. Bouet 3, C. Canonne 2, R. Marion Vernoux 2
Sauve – USA – A. Wolf 11 – FRA – H. Fontani 12
6 × 5 – United States – 6/14 – FRA – 4/8
Penalties – USA – 2/2 – FRA – 1/1