Japan v South Africa. Water polo

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The Japanese men’s (national) water polo team won against South Africa in round 5 of the group stage of the Olympic Games.

Format

In the preliminary round, 12 teams will be divided into two groups of six. They will each play five games and then the four best teams in each group will move on to the quarterfinals.

In the quarter-finals, the teams that are ranked first in their group play against another team from their group that is ranked fourth. The teams that are ranked second play against other teams from their group that are also ranked third. The winners of these matches qualify for the semi-finals, and losing teams meet each other to find out who will be fifth through eighth place.

In two matches, the teams that lose in the quarter-finals meet each other for 7th place. The winners of these matches meet each other for 5th place.

Water Polo (men). Group tournament. Japan v South Africa

Japan played well in the games but they lost all four of them. They were in a tough group and they did not have a chance to advance before the game. As for the rest, they could have beaten the Americans and even Greece. They were also pretty good against Italy and Hungary.

South Africa is a bad team. They are 3 or even 4 heads below the opponents. I think even Kazaks would play them at -10 in general. The Japanese should have a nice end to the tournament at the Olympiad. I don’t think that South Africa has been good as a team lately, especially in their matches with Hungary and Greece, when it was clear that they weren’t strong enough to finish the game.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Water Polo – Men – Group A – South Africa v Italy – Tatsumi Water Polo Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 25, 2021. Gonzalo Echenique of Italy in action. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Result

The game ended in a score of 24-9. That is the first time that the Japanese team has won at home in an Olympic event. They did not do well in the quarter-finals. There were many other teams that left Group A as well, like Greece, Italy, Hungary and America.

In Group B, Spain was eliminated first after it lost to Croatia. Serbia and Montenegro also moved on to the quarter-finals. Australia and Kazakhstan were left out of the competition in Tokyo.

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