The palm of the right hand of Daniel López Pinedo took several American cannons that were going to clean the squad. The veteran stops of the Spanish waterpollo were keys to stop the lashes of the United States. When the arms of this goalkeeper of 1.90 meters did not arrive, it was the luck of the stick that diverted the ball.
From the bench he celebrated each stop the Benjamin of the group, Unai Aguirre (19 years old), the other goalkeeper who, in the last match against Croatia, had taken the witness of a myth under the 41-year-old sticks.
Aguirre was born three years after the last semifinal that the Spanish ballooner team played in games. That happened in Sidney 2000. But the coach David Martín bet this time by veteran López Pinedo at the most important meeting. He was not wrong.
It was the sixth match at the Tatsumi aquatic center. The selection came with full victories at the junction of quarters after troubleshooting large adversaries such as Serbia, Montenegro or Croatia. She now played tracking her female teammates, who are already in semifinals.
The numbers gave Spain as a favorite: 60% effectiveness in shots, 61 goals in favor and 31 against. His rival had lost the last three meetings of the group stage.
Americans were no longer the laureate selection of the past that achieved six Olympic medals. To the Tokyo pool came a team with known names of players who compete in European leagues, but that in previous matches they showed that they can not connect together.
The match began with the first sprint cattle and with a goal of Captain, Felipe Perrone (35 years old). It seemed that it was going to be another comfortable duel for Spain. Good closing in defense and fast replication in attack. But the US pressed and took advantage of a couple of imbalances in defense of the Spanish team. He managed to finish the first room tied with two goals followed.
The second and the third quarter was a round trip. Spain failed in attack and could not expand an advantage of more than one goal. But the stops of a giant López Pinedo slowed the Americans. The Spanish team put a march more in the last quarter and swept US. The final result: 8-12.
The current European and global subcampeon will return to an Olympic semifinals, getting into the fight for medals after the failures of Rio 2016 and London 2012. Its great game places it as one of the clear favorite for a gold that is resisting since that Legend team led by Manel Starters achieve it in Atlanta 1996.Date Of Update: 04 August 2021, 02:55