The reigning world champion Settebello does not intend to give up the scepter and in a hard and fought challenge until the last second he won 11-10 on Greece to conquer his seventh world championship final, which will be staged on Sunday on Margaret Island in Budapest. The opponent of the Azzurri will be Spain who, in the evening. defeated Croatia 10-5. Thus, the final of Gwangju 2019 is repeated, which was won by Italy.
A hot match for climate, 37 degrees, and atmosphere, crowded stands, but above all in the pool, where despite always being ahead the Italian national team has never been able to get distracted against an opponent who has confirmed his caliber of Olympic vice champion. And the value of the victory is confirmed by the words of the coach, Sandro Campagna, who immediately described Italy’s match against a “great team” as an “extraordinary match”. “At the beginning we didn’t give rhythm and in acceleration we were heavy, then we got in gear and we managed – explained Campagna, who brought a very different national team to Budapest compared to the winning one in Gwanju -. It’s better not to talk about the ending: we could have managed it with less stress ».
The very last minutes, in particular, were complicated, including expulsions, checks at the Var with endless conciliaboli between the judges. A penalty granted to Greece and converted to 4 ” from the end brought the score to 11-10, the final one but which seemed never to be definitive. The game was immediately complex to read and manage, but the Settebello despite everything managed to close it with a double advantage, on 4-2, the one that in the end proved to be decisive, signed by Iocchi Gratta and Bruni. Then for six minutes the tricolor clock stopped, with many shooting errors while Greece managed to equalize. The decisive fourth was reached 7-6 for Italy, which soon stretched to return to +2 at 9-7. Campagna, booked in the second half for protests, understood that nothing was taken for granted and everything would be decided at the end. With 110 seconds left, Greece found the goal of 9-10, but Di Fulvio immediately canceled the hopes, but not the tension that dissolved only at the final whistle.
“We could see that we had a certain superiority – commented Campagna -. I liked the maturity because we accelerated when we had to accelerate and managed when we had to manage, thinking well about defense. We still have to correct something about the legs and head. I don’t talk about the referees because I was warned and in the end I risked a lot ». In 48 hours, the most successful coach will be in his place, pointing the way to a new gold.