Canada stumbles into quarters with 3rd consecutive loss in water polo Olympic qualifier

Canada's men's water polo team fell to 1-3 in their final match in the preliminary round of the men's water polo Olympic qualifier on Thursday, with a 19-6 loss to Greece.

Canadians will now face top Group B finishers Russia in Friday's quarter-finals

With the loss to Greece, Canada remains in fourth place in Group A of the Olympic qualifier, squeezing into a spot in the quarter-finals. (Moises Castillo/The Associated Press/File)

Canada's hopes of qualifying for the Olympics for the first time since 2008 in men's water polo continues to dwindle after suffering a third consecutive loss, losing 19-6 to Greece on Thursday at the Zwemcentrum Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Greece (3-1) took control of the match early, scoring four straight goals within the first three minutes, eight seconds of the match.

Sean Spooner (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) ended that run with a goal for Canada (1-3), but Greece closed out the first quarter with a 6-1 lead.

The second quarter was much of the same as Greece continued to dominate Canada with a 4-1 difference. This was the story of the match as Greece outscored Canada 4-2 and 6-2 in the third and fourth quarters.

WATCH | Greece pummels Canada behind Stylianos Argyropoulos' 4-goal performance:

Stylianos Argyropoulos leads Greece to water polo rout over Canada

2 years ago
Duration 1:00
Stylianos Argyropoulos scored four goals, including his final goal in the last second of the match, as Greece beat Canada 19-6 in group play at the men's Olympic qualifiers in Rotterdam.

Nicolas Constantin-Bicari scored two goals for Canada, while Bogdan Djerkovic, Sean Spooner, Aria Soleimanpak and Max Schapowal scored the other four goals.

The Greeks had three players cross the three-goal mark in this one with Stylianos Argyropoulos scoring four,  while Alexandros Papanastasiou and Ioannis Fountoulis each scoring three.

Prior to the tournament, CBC Sports analyst George Gross Jr. said Canada needed to finish third of five teams in Group A to get a favourable matchup in the crossover quarter-finals.

Canada to see Russia in quarter-finals

The loss puts Canada in fourth place coming out of the preliminary round in Group A, with the quarter-finals set to take place on Friday. 

The top four teams in each of the two groups advance from the preliminary round. Group B consists of No. 2 Croatia, No. 14 Germany, No. 15 Russia, France, Romania and the Netherlands.

Russia's 11-10 win over hosts Netherlands on Thursday means that it will finish atop Group B and meet Canada next in the quarter-finals.

Only the top three teams from the tournament qualify to join the other nine teams that are already set to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Games.

The quarter-finals match on Feb. 19 will take place at 2 p.m. ET It will be streaming live on CBCSports.ca , the CBC Sports app, and Radio-Canada Sports.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?