The Jakarta Post
Defending champion Kazakhstan defeated host nation Indonesia 20-4 on Thursday at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Aquatic Center to seal a spot in the semifinals of the men’s water polo competition.
Indonesia looked promising at the start, scoring first to take the lead 1-0 through Delvin Felliciano. However, the red-hot favorite Kazakhstan showed it attacking prowess and experience to silence home fans and won the first quarter 4-3.
While Kazakhstan’s players appeared comfortable, Indonesian players struggled to launch their attacks, largely on account of the visitors’ quick defense formation.
Indonesia failed to score in the second quarter and trailed 3-9 halfway through the game.
Ridjkie Mulia gave hope for Indonesia to bounce back when he scored from a penalty shot two minutes into the third quarter. But it triggered more aggression from the opposition, which scored 11 more goals in the remainder of the match, without conceding.
Kazakhstan coach Nemanja Knezevic said his team capitalized on its experience and better physical posture.
“Indonesia made some errors in their defense and I think they need to be more dynamic. My guys are bigger,” he said, adding that the country would improve under the guidance of Milos Sakovic, Indonesia’s head coach.
Kazakhstan will face China in the semifinals on Friday, while in the other bracket, Japan will take on Iran.