Super Final Men's Teams

Group A   Group B
ChinaChina (CHN) (0-4) 0 pts*   AustraliaAustralia (AUS) (3-1) 9 pts
ItalyItaly (ITA) (2-2) 6 pts         CanadaCanada (CAN) (2-2) 6 pts
MontenegroMontenegro (MNE) (3-1) 8 pts   EgyptEgypt (EGY) (0-4) 0 pts
SpainSpain (ESP) (2-2) 6 pts   GreeceGreece (GRE) (1-3) 3 pts
USAUSA (USA) (3-1) 10 pt   SerbiaSerbia (SRB) (4-0) 12 pts

*natural win 3 pts; shoot-out win 2 pts; shoot-out loss 1 pt; natural loss 0 pts

Monday, June 16

The Super Final got underway today in the old but recently renovated “Swimming Stadium” of Albaro, in Genova, (a sanctuary of Italian water polo), with the participation of the 10 teams, divided into two groups: Montenegro, Spain, USA, Italy and China in Group A; Australia, Egypt, Serbia, Greece and Canada in Group B.

The Men’s FINA World League 2008 distributes an overall prize money of US$ 512,500.

In the opening game Montenegro managed an easy win against Spain, whose team was filled with numerous young hopefuls (15-7). Janovic, Ivovic and Jokic were the best scorers, respectively with 5, 4 and 3 goals.

The second was a one way game, with Australia burying Egypt under an avalanche of 21 goals to none, and as many as eleven players scoring at least one goal. Figlioli top scored the game with 3.

In the third game, the mighty Serbia narrowly edged the young Greek side, 10-9. The experienced  Serbian players seemed satisfied with lazily controlling the game. Business as usual for Aleksandar Sapic, top scorer with 5 goals (3 penalties).

The fourth and last game of the day, the United States versus Italy, was well fought. Both teams were almost at full ranks (except for Italy’s Luigi Di Costanzo, out for an injured hand finger – but he will play at the Olympics). They played in a crescendo that culminated in a thrilling final.

With the United States leading  10-9 and less than a minute to the conclusion of the game, Italy’s # 6, Maurizio Felugo, blasted a missile from outside that hit the bar and shook the goal; soon after with just 25.6 secs. to the end, Italy’s # 10, “Big”Alessandro Calcaterra, netted an irresistible goal from 2 metres, tying the game, 10-10. Calcaterra was the game’s best scorer with three goals.

The Americans reacted furiously but missed scoring the winning goal: Azevedo (who played in Italy for Cremona until Christmas 2007 and this season played with Yug of Belgrade) tried twice in final seconds: first his blaze was saved by Italy’s goalie Tempesti with just 4.5 secs. to the end; then, with less than a second to the final whistle, he hit the post.
Penalty shootouts took place soon after, with the USA shooting first. All players converted their penalties, until the fifth American, the same Azevedo, saw his throw saved by Tempesti, allowing the Italians for some celebrations of their 15-14 victory.

During the shootouts USA’s #13 Brandon Brooks replaced #1 Merrill Moses, who had played for the whole regular time.

Some USA players are familiar with Italian water polo, playing or having played for some Italian clubs; among them, beside Azevedo, there are Peter Varellas, Jeff Powers and Rick Merlo.

Game #1 MontenegroMNE 15 vsEgyptESP 7 (A)

Goals by Quarter: 6-3, 2-1, 3-2, 4-1

6 on 5: MNE 4/7; ESP 5/11

MNE: Brguljan 1, Danilovic 1, Janovic 5 (1 rig.), Ivovic 4 (1 rig), Trajkovic 1, Jokic 3 (1 rig.);
ESP: Espanyol 1 (rig.), Fernandez 1, Mallarach 5.

Game #2 AustraliaAUS 21 vsEgyptEGY 0 (B)

Goals by Quarter: 4-0, 7-0, 3-0, 7-0

6 on 5: AUS 5/5; EGY 0/2

AUS: Campbell 2, Franklin 1, Figlioli 3, Maitland 2, Martin 2, Neesham 2, McGregors 2, Whalan 2, Woods 2, Cotterill 2, Beadsworth 1, Howden.

Game #3SerbiaSRB 10 vsGreeceGRE 9 (B)

Goals by Quarter: 2-3, 6-5, 2-1, 0-0

6 on 5: SRB 4/7; GRE 2/8

SRB: Prlainovic 1, Filipovic 1, Ciric, Sapic 5 (3 rig.), Raden 1, Pekotic 2;
GRE: Katsoulakis 1, Kocheilas 1, Delakas 1, Papadopoulus 1, Blanis 4 (2 rig.), Beristianos 1.

Game #4 USAUSA 14 vsItaly ITA 15 (10-10 at reg.) (A)

The USA Men's Senior National Team fell to Italy 15-14 in a shootout on the first day of the FINA World League Super Final in Genova, Italy. Team USA held a one goal lead at 10-9 when Italy scored with just twenty seconds remaining to force the shootout. Each team hit on their first four penalty shots before Team USA was halted on the fifth try and Italy connected on their chance to take the game.

Italy started off early with the lead taking a 3-2 advantage after the first, but Team USA responded with a four goal second quarter to build a 6-4 lead at intermission. In the third Italy fought back inching to within a goal at 7-6 as play moved to the fourth quarter. In the fourth Team USA built up the one goal lead before Italy struck late to force the extra session. Adam Wright led the USA offense with three goals while Rick Merlo, Peter Varellas, Ryan Bailey, Jesse Smith, and Tim Hutten all scored twice.

"This was a tough game to lose, we led most of the game and should have put them away. We have more to work on and games like this continue to help us grow as a team," said USA Head Coach Terry Schroeder. Next up will be a match against China on Tuesday at 8:40am PST. These two teams will also meet to open competition at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Goals by Quarter: 2-3, 4-1, 1-2, 3-4

6 on 5: USA 6/11; ITA 5/10

USA: Varellas 2, Powers 1, Wright 2, Merlo 2, Bailey 1, Hutten 1, Smith 1
ITA: Presciutti 1, Binchi 1, Felugo 2, Angelini 2, Bencivenga, Calcaterra 3, Gallo 1

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Tuesday, June 17

On the first game of the day the ever improving Chinese team managed to strenuously engage their opponents, the United States, for more than three quarters. Both teams traded goals until 1 minute and 30 seconds inside the last quarter, when China’s #7 Yong WANG tied at 8-8. Then three goals from US’s #8, Tony Azevedo, within just 1 minute and 17 seconds, changed the course of the match, easing the way for a US resounding victory. Azevedo managed a rare feat, scoring 7 goals in the game. After his hat trick - the first two goals on extra-man, the third a nice lob shot from the distance – the score was 11-8 for the Americans. But there was still time for more goals: with 2:46 minutes to the end, US #4, Powers, shoot an unstoppable throw from the distance; it was answered by a goal on man-up by China’s #12 Jun Liang GUO. Then, at 1:30 to the conclusion of the match, Hutten (US #10) wrapped up the game scoring the last goal, also on extra-man.

China is certainly on the rise, their players are in possession of sound technical skills and high swim speed but they still lack international experience and some indispensable astuteness. Among their best players today there were the goalie Weiqing GE and #11, Zhidong HAN.

On the second game Greece comfortably tamed Egypt team 14-2, while on the third game Canada managed to answer the Australian offensive only until about half time. Then the Aussies superiority materialised and they prevailed 11-7. Australia is now leading Group B with 6 points (2 wins).

In the last game of the day the unrecognizable Italian team was always at mercy of the young, fast, agile and well co-ordinated Spanish side, whose players showed no concern in front of the more expert home players and made almost no mistakes. The Italians, with Violetti between the posts until half time (then Tempesti), seemed slow, tired and incapable of bringing serious threats to the Spanish goal defended by Victor Garcia and Daniel Pinedo. The score at the end of the 3rd quarter was 7-4 in favour of the Iberians. In the last period the two teams traded goals, the home team scored  four, Spain twice, with Italy eventually losing by just one goal (9-8). Among the Spanish players # 10 Fernandez and #11 Mallarach stood above the rest of the field for their effectiveness in both the build up and the finalisation of actions. Italy’s coach Paolo Malara admitted suffering a “burning defeat”, caused by a sloppy approach to the match weariness and lack of concentration. With just 2 points Italy is behind the USA, Montenegro and Spain itself in the standing of Group A.

Game #5 USAUSA 13 vsChinaCHN 8 (A)

For the second straight day the USA Men's Senior National Team fell into a hole in the first quarter--only this time they came back and then pushed on for a victory defeating China 13-9 on the second day of the FINA World League Super Final. Team captain Tony Azevedo lit up the Chinese for seven goals in the victory while Jeff Powers and Tim Hutten each scored twice.

Team USA battled back from a 3-2 first quarter deficit to tie the game at 5-5 at the half. In the third quarter they claimed a one goal lead at 8-7 with play going to the final stanza. In the fourth they took it up another notch outscoring China 5-2 en route to the 13-9 victory. The two teams will meet again in the opening game of the 2008 Olympics. "China is an improving team. They will be a great challenge in the opening round of the Olympics. Tony played very well and carried us to this win today," said USA Head Coach Terry Schroeder.

Brandon Brooks did the job in net stopping six shots. Next up for Team USA is a day off on Wednesday followed by a Thursday meeting with Spain at 7:20am PST. 

Goals by Quarter: 2-3, 3-2, 3-2, 5-2

6 on 5: USA 8/12; CHN 4/13

USA: Powers 2, Azevedo 8 (1 rig.), Hutton 2, Smith 1..
CHN: Zhongxing 1, Yuangzhong, Bin 1, Yong 1, Zhiyu 2 (1 rig.), Zhidong 2, Liang 1.

Game #6 EgyptEGY 2 vsGreeceGRE 14 (B)

Goals by Quarter: 1-2, 1-3, 0-2, 0-7

6 on 5: EGY 0/3; GRE 4/13

EGY: Salah 1, Mohamed,Moharam 1, Assem.
GRE: Katsoulakis 1, Delakas 3 (1 rig.), Papadopoulus 2, Blanis 3 (1 rig.), Gounas 1, Mourikis 3, Beristianos 1.

Game #7 AustraliaAUS 11 vsCanadaCAN 7 (B)

Goals by Quarters: 2-3, 3-2, 2-1, 4-1

6 on 5: AUS 8/9; CAN 4/9

AUS: Figlioli 2, Maitland 1, Martin 2, Whalan 2, Woods 1, Beadsworth 3.
CAN: Mitchell 1, Ruse, Marks 1, Jung, Graham 1, Feltham 2, Palamarevic, Sayegh 1, Miller 1.

Game #8 ItalyITA 8 vs  EgyptESP 9 (A)

Goals by Quarter: 2-3, 1-3, 1-1, 4-2

6 on 5: ITA 3/11; ESP 4/11

ITA: Gallo 2, Felugo 3 (3 rig.), Mangiante 2, Bencivenga 1..
ESP: Espanyol 2, Roca 1, Minguez, Fernandez 1, Mallarach 4, Rodriguez 1.

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Wednesday, June 18

The young Spanish side took the lead of Group B with 6 points when it beat China 8-6 in the first match of the day. Spain had a strong start and at the end of the first quarter was already leading 3-0. China’s reaction in the second quarter prompted two goals to none for the Spaniards. At half time Spain was leading by one goal, 3-2. The third period was more prolific, with five goals overall, three to Spain and two the Asian team. The last quarter was a tie, 2-2, for a final score of 8-6 for Spain. For Spain, #5 Espanyol, #11 Mallarach and number 12 José Rodriguez scored two goals each; also China’s #4 Lijun YU scored twice.  YU and the goalie Weiqing GE, who made two great saves on two penalties, were the best among the Chinese; Mallarach and Rodriguez – who might play in the Olympic team in Beijing – deserved high notes among the Spanish.

The second match between Greece and Canada was very balanced until the end of the 3rd quarter, with Canada taking the lead in the fist period, scoring 3 goals to one, the Greek answered winning both the 2nd and the 3rd quarter 2-1. At the end of the 3rd period the score was 5-5. The last quarter was a different story. The Greeks scored first with Blanis (#7); the Canadians answered with a pair of goals, respectively to Sayegh and Kudaba. On 6-7 for Canada, Greece’s #12 Vougarakis was excluded and Mitchell (#4) brought Canada one more goal up (8-6). The final goal was scored by Canada’s #8, the left handed Kevin Graham.
Both Graham and Blanis top scored the game with 4 goals each. Canada’s first win allowed them to join Greece at the third place of Group B.

In the third match Serbia joined Australia on top of Group B, after an easy stroll against Egypt. The Serbian side scored 31 goals, one less than the average of one goal per minute of play. Once more the Africans could not score any goal.
Serbia played with 12 players, as #9 Aleksandar Ciric was out for illness.

An attentive Italian side faced Montenegro in a much different and much more confident spirit than the previous match. Italy’s coach Paolo Malara decided a turnover, replacing Alessandro Calcaterra and Fabio Bencivenga respectively with Michele Lapenna and Paride Saccoia. Orchestrated by Alberto Angelini, Italy’s number 8 and former captain (also the game’s best scorer, with 4 goals), the home team played well for most of the match, at least until almost two minutes inside the last quarter, when it was up three goals - leading 9-6. Then Montenegro scored three consecutive goals with Uskokovic, Janovic and Zlokovic and tied 9-9.  With just 1minute and 24 seconds to the end, a formidable action goal from Angelini – a missile from the distance – gave Italy a new edge, and when #2 Presciutti after a steal followed up by a fast break, scored Italy’s last goal with 55 seconds missing to the end, the game seemed over. It was not so. Seventeen seconds later Janovic scored for Montenegro on extra-man, and with just 3 seconds to the conclusion, Montenegro’s #3 Paskovic  found himself alone on the two-metre line, receiving a pass following a change over and tied at 11-11. Penalty shootouts were required, and again Italy seemed to have it won when Tempesti saved on Gojkovic the third penalty for Montenegro. But Presciutti, Italy’s 5th shooter, in his turn saw his throw saved by Milos Scepanovic (who had replaced Zdravko Radic in the 4th quarter, after Italy scored its 9th goal); Janovic, instead, scored for Montenegro. At 15-15 more penalties were required.  Scepanovic, the hero of the evening, made a new great save on Sottani; again Janovic converted his throw, sealing the end of the match and giving Montenegro a 16-15 win. For Italy this was the second game resolved on penalty shootouts as well as the second consecutive burning defeat. Unless China beats Montenegro, which seems unlikely, Italy will not go through to the final.

Game #9  EgyptESP 8 vs ChinaCHN 6 (A)

Goals by Quarter: 3-0, 0-2, 3-2, 2-2

6 on 5: ESP 3/5; CHN 1/8

ESP: Marsal 1 (rig.), Espanyol 2, Fernandez 1 (rig.), Mallarach 2, Rodriguez 2, Pinedo.
CHN: Yuangzhong Qiu 1, Lijun Yu 2, Tan, Bin Li 1, Zhiyu Wu 1, Han 1.

Game #10GreeceGRE 6 vsCanadaCAN 9 (B)

Goals by Quarter: 1-3, 2-1, 2-1, 1-4

6 on 5: GRE 3/6; CAN 2/9

GRE: Kocheilas 1, Papadopoulos 1, Blanis 4 (2 rig.).
CAN: Kudaba 1, Diggle, Mitchell 1, Graham 4, Feltham 1, Robinson, Sayegh 2.

Game #11EgyptEGY 0 vsSerbiaSRB 31 (B)

Goals by Quarter: 0-10, 0-6, 0-5, 0-10

6 on 5: EGY 0/3; SRB 2/3

SRB: Prlainovic 8, Pijetlovic 1, Savic, Ikodinovic 5, Nikic 3, Filipovic 2, Sapic 10 (2 rig.), Pekotic 2,

Game #12 ItalyITA 15 vs  MontenegroMNE 16 (11-11 at reg.) (A)

Goals by Quarter: 2-2, 4-2, 1-2, 4-5

6 on 5: ITA 5/8; MNE 6/13

ITA: Presciutti 1, Binchi 1, Gallo 2, Gitto 1, Angelini 4 (1 rig.), Sottani 2.
MNE: Paskovic 2, Janovic 2, Janovic 2, Uskokovic 3, Ivovic, Zlockovic 1, Gojkovic 1.

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Thursday, June 19

In the opening game of the day Montenegro achieved a clear cut victory over China, 13-7, nearing doubling the number of goals scored by the hosts of the next Olympic Games.

The split scores were all in favour of Montenegro, except for the first period, which was a tie, 2-2.  Montenegro gained the lead with two goals in the first half of the first quarter; amazingly, the Chinese managed to tie scoring twice in the last minute, with Zhiyu WU (#8) at 0.54 and Zhidong  HAN, with just 4 seconds to the end. The score at the end of the first quarter was 2-2.

In the second quarter the players from Montenegro flooded their opponents with 5 goals to just one and that was the end of the story. In the second half Montenegro consolidated their lead winning both quarters with the same score, 3-2.

Brguljan and Ivovic scored twice for Montenegro, and so did Lijun YU for China.
This win allowed Montenegro to jump on top of Group A, while China stayed in the last place with no points.

The second game too did not offer many thrills. The supremacy of the solid USA team over a young and tired Spanish side ( who played their 4th match in as many days) was clear from the early stages of the game. Similarly to the previous game, the first quarter ended 2-2; in the second quarter, five unanswered goals of the Americans decreed the end of hostilities. The 3rd quarter was another tie 2-2; in the last quarter the USA wrapped up their victory with two more unanswered goal. US’s left handed #2 Peter Varellas emerged as the best scorer, with four goals overall.
The outcome of this game allowed the United States to climb up in second place of the Group A – one point ahead of Spain and one point behind Montenegro. The supremacy of the Group will be resolved on Friday, 20 June, when Montenegro and the USA will play each other.

Without much fuss Serbia collected its 3rd consecutive win, this time over Canada, in Genoa and consolidated its lead in Group B. After the forfeit of Aleksandar Ciric, Serbia’s coach Dejan Udovicic completed his team’s line-up with the great Vladimir Vujasinovic, who was left out in the first two matches (to recover from the fatigue of the Italian championship that he recently won playing for Recco (Italy’s most prestigious club, based in the outskirts of Genoa). The final score, 11-4, reflected the difference in the rank existing between the two teams. Serbia’s #2 Andrija Prlainovic was the game’s best scorer with three goals.

Opposed to the Greeks, the Australians went out strongly and at half time the score was already 8-4 in their favour. But it was no easy stroll for them. In the 3rd  period the Hellenics scored four times, the Aussies just two and the gap between the two teams was halved: the score at the end of the period was 10-8 for Australia. In the last period the Aussies scored thrice, including a controversial late goal scored by the goalkeeper James Stanton, who throw the ball directly from his posts in the opposite goal while the final siren was heard. The score at the end of the game was therefore 13-9 for Australia (whose #10 Gavin Woods was the best scorer with 3 goals).

Game #13ChinaCHN 7 vsMontenegroMNE 17 (A)

Goals by Quarter: 2-2, 1-5, 2-3, 2-3.

6 on 5: CHN 2/11; MNE 4/6

CHN: Zhongxing Ling 1, Lijun Yu 2, Jun Li 1, Zhiyu Wu 1, Jinmin Xie 1, Zhidong Han 1.
MNE: Brguljan 2, Paskovic 1, Danilovic 3, Nikola Janovic 1, Radovic 1, Mladan Janovic 1, Barba, Ivovic 2 (1 rig.), Trajkovic 1, Gojkovic 1c.
Referees: Turcotte (Can) e Hatem (Egy).
Delegate: Firoiu (Ger).

Game #14EgyptESP 4 vsUSAUSA 11(A)

The USA Men's Senior National Team produced perhaps their most convincing win thus far of the 2008 FINA World League Super Final as they dispatched Spain 11-4 following a sluggish opening quarter. The squad now meets up with Montenegro on Friday to find out potential placing in the semi-final on Saturday.

Both teams were off to a slow start in the first as the score was tied at 2-2 after one. In the second Team USA came alive opening up a 7-2 advantage as their defense took it up a notch creating counter attack opportunities. In the third quarter Spain cooled the USA offense as both teams scored two goals apiece but it was enough to leave Team USA in control at 9-4 with playing going to the fourth.

In the final frame Team USA tacked on two more goals and pitched a shutout to come away with the 11-4 victory. The team was effective in the man-up game going 6-11 in 6x5 while Merrill Moses was solid in the cage turning aside 11 shots. "This was a good win for us. We played very well as a team and we look forward to returning to the top four of the World League which we haven't done in a long time," said Team USA Head Coach Terry Schroeder.

Goals by Quarter: 2-2, 0-5, 2-2, 0-2.

6 on 5: ESP 3/8; USA 5/1

ESP: Marsal 1, Roca 1, Esteller, Mallarach 1, Rodriguez 1.
USA: Varellas 3, Powers 1, Beaubien 1, Azevedo 3, Bailey 1, Hutten 2.
Referees: Argyros (Gre) e Margeta (Slo).
Delegate: Whitehouse (Aus).
Game #15CanadaCAN 4 vsSerbiaSRB 11(B)

Goals by Quarter: 0-1, 2-5, 1-2, 1-3.

6 on 5: CAN 2/6; SRB 5/10

CAN: Mitchell 1,Graham 2, Feltham 1, Miller 1.
SRB: Prlainovic 3, Savic 1, Ikodinovic 1, Pijetlovic 1, Filipovic 2, Sapic 3.
Referees: Galkin (Rus) e Gomez (Ita).
Delegate: Firoiu (Ger).

Game #16GreeceGRE 9 vsAustraliaAUS 13 (B)

Goals by Quarter: 2-5, 2-3, 4-2, 1-3.

6 on 5: GRE 6/13; AUS 4/6

GRE: Katsoulakis 1, Kocheilas 2, Delakas 1, Papadopoulos 1, Blanis 1, Katsaounis 2, Vougakaris 1.
AUS: Stanton 1, Campbell 1, Franklin 1, Figlioli 1, Maitland, Martin 1, Neesham, McGregor 1, Whalan 2 (1 rig.), Woods 3, Cotterill 1, Beadsworth 1.

Referees: Arbitri: Patelli (Bra) e Adzic (Mne)
Delegate: E. Martinez (Cub)

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Friday, June 20

Game #17MontenegroMNE 6 vs USAUSA 7 (A)

Genova, Italy -- The USA Men's Senior National Team scored their biggest win the FINA World League Super Final upending Montenegro 7-6 on a goal by Tony Azevedo with just two seconds remaining. The victory keeps the team in contention for a title at the tournament as they take on Australia on Saturday in the semi-final round.

Tied at six goals apiece in the fourth quarter Team USA Head Coach Terry Schroeder called a timeout. Azevedo received the ball as play resumed and following an ordinary foul delivered the winning goal from five meters out on the restart. The tally capped a back and forth contest that saw the lead change hands several times.

Montenegro got things going early with a score on a man advantage midway through the first quarter to lead 1-0. That would be all the scoring in a defensive-minded opening stanza. In the second Team USA came to life with two goals in a row on consecutive man-up opportunities to take their first lead at 2-1. Montenegro answered right back with two goals of their own and at the half it was a 3-2 advantage for Montenegro.

In the third quarter USA took a brief lead at 4-3 before Montenegro rebounded with a pair of scores to build a 5-4 advantage going into the final quarter. In the fourth the two teams jockeyed for the lead before tying at 6-6 which led to the winning goal by Team USA. Team USA turned in a 4-10 performance on the man advantage while Merrill Moses was sturdy in the net putting aside eight shots.

"This is another positive step in the direction that we want to go. It was a game to help build our confidence and show that we can play at that next level, and we are beginning to play with some consistency," said Team USA Head Coach Terry Schroeder. The team takes on Australia for the fourth time in two weeks tomorrow as the two squads just finished a three game exhibition set in Southern California on June 10.

Goals by Quarter: 1-0, 2-2, 2-2, 1-3.

6 on 5: MNE 2/4: USA: 4/10

MNE: Paskovic 1, Radovic, Nikola Janovic 1, Ticic 1, Uskokovic 1, Trajkovic 1, Gojkovic 1.
USA: Varellas 1, Powers 2, Azevedo 2, Bailey 1, Hutten 1.

Referees: Arbitri: Argyros (Gre) e Turcotte (Can).
Delegate: Martinez (Cub).v

Game #18SerbiaSRB 11 vs AustraliaAUS 5 (B)

Goals by Quarter: 3-3, 2-0, 4-0, 2-2.

6 on 5: SRB 5/10; AUS 1/9

SRB: Sefik, Prlainovic 1, Gocic, Vanja Udovicic 2, Savic 1, Ikodinovic, Nikic 1, Filipovic 1, Pijetlovic, Sapic 3 (1 rig.), Vujasinovic 2.
AUS: Franklin 1, Figlioli 1, Neesham 1, McGregor 1, Whalan

Referee: Arbitri: Moliner (Esp) e Aaron (Usa)
Delegate: Firoiu (Ger)Firoiu (Ger).

Game #19CanadaCAN 17 vs EgyptEGY 1 (B)

Goals by Quarter: 4-0, 3-0, 5-0, 5-1.

6 on 5: CAN 4/6; EGY 08

CAN: Diggle 4, Mitchell 2, Boyd 2, Marks 1, Jung 3, Graham, 1 Ruse 3, Miller 1.
EGY: Ashraf 1.

Referees: Patelli (Bra) e Dunli Chn).
Delegate: Whitehouse (Aus).

Game #20ChinaCHN 8 vs ItalyITA 15 (A)

Goals by Quarter: 1-5, 2-5, 4-3, 1-2.

6 on 5: CHN 3/11; ITA 6/8

CHN:Zhongxing Ling 1, Yuangzhong Qiu 1, Lijun Yu 1, Thiyu Wu 1, Jinmin Xie 1, Zhidong Han 2 (1 rig.), Jun Liang Guo 1.
ITA: Binchi 1, Gitto 1, Giorgetti, Felugo, 1 Mangiante 2, Gallo 3, Bencivenga 1, Michele Lapenna 1, Sottani 4, Mistrangelo 1.

Referees: Ciric (Srb) e Hart (Aus).
Delegate: E. Martinez (Cub).

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Saturday, June 21

China placed itself in 9th place of the VII FINA World League when it defeated Egypt 23-5 in the first match of the day. All Chinese players but two (the goalie and #7 Bin LI) scored at least one goal, with #6 Feihu TAN, #11 Zhidong HAN and #13 Yang WANG scoring three goals each. The 1st, 2nd and 4th quarters ended all with the same score, 5-1 for China. The 3rd quarter was the most prolific: the Chinese made 8 goals, the Egyptians two.

The first of the two games between teams fighting for a place from 5th to 8th was very balanced. Spain and Greece, both lining-up numerous young hopefuls, fought fiercely for supremacy. In the last minute Spain had the narrowest edge and was leading 7-6 but with two seconds to the conclusion Greece’s #6 Papadopoulos scored an extra-man goal and tied 7-7. The game had to be resolved through penalty shootouts. The penalty goal scored by the second striker for Spain, #7 Espanyol, was disallowed by the referees (irregular execution). All the other Spanish players converted their respective penalty while Greece’s last two strikers, #3 Katsoulakis and #12 Voulgarakis saw their ball either being saved or hitting the post.
On the last day of the tournament, on Sunday, Spain will play for the 5th place, Greece for the 7th place.

The third game – the second for the places from 5th to 8th – was balanced. Italy won the 1st quarter 2-1; all three goals were scored on man-up. Italy’s goalie Tempesti saved on a penalty shoot by Canada’s #9 Feltham. Canada prevailed in the second fraction 4-2; most of the six goals in this fraction were scored on action. At half time Canada was leading 5-4. Both teams traded goals in the 3rd quarter the split score was 3-3; of the six goals scored in this quarter four came from left handed players: Canada’s #8 Kevin Graham (top scorer of the game with 5 goals) and Italy’s #11, Leonardo Sottani (3 goals in the match). In the 4th period Canada consolidated its victory scoring two more goals answered by just one from the Italians. The final score was 10-8 for Canada, who on the last day will play Spain for the 5th place. The Italian side was missing two pivotal players for the second consecutive time, Alessandro Calcaterra and Alberto Angelini (both injured). Moreover, its players made too many mistakes, both in shooting and defence; their defeat, although surprising, was inevitable. On Sunday Italy will play Greece for the 7th place.

In the first quarter of the first semi-final Serbia and Montenegro lighted up the game with some brilliant combinations. Then Serbia’s superiority quietly but gradually emerged and the defending World League champion comfortably won by a large margin, 13-3, qualifying as the first finalist. Eight Serbian players scored at least one goal; #11 Vujasinovic was the top scorer with 3 goals. Serbia is now poised to win the World League for the fourth consecutive time (they have already won this competition in 2005, 2006 and 2007).

The second semi-final between the United States and Australia was hard fought, tense and well played by both teams. The USA prevailed 11-10 after penalty shootouts. On Sunday they will play the final for the gold medal while Australia will face Montenegro for the silver medal. At half time the Americans were leading 5-2. In the 3rd quarter the Australians scored three times - with Campbell, Figlioli and Neesham - and managed to catch up and tie 5-5 (the Americans scored no goals).  In the last period the USA went up again by two goals, with Azevedo and Powers (assisted by Azevedo), both goals in superiority. Two consecutive goals by Australia’s #2 Richie Campbell prompted a new tie, 7-7. Further efforts from both teams to win within the regular time were unproductive. At the penalty shootouts the United States managed a lucky win when Australia’s 4th shooter, Campbell, hit the bar and both the USA and Australia 5th shooters missed their chances: Bailey’s throw was saved by the Aussie goalie Luke Quinlivian while Martin hit the post at the left of USA’s goalie Brandon Brooks.

Game #21CHNCHN 23 vs EGYEGY 5    9th and 10th Place

Goals by Quarter: 5-1, 5-1, 8-2, 5-1

6 on 5: CHN 13/15 ,EGY 2/6.

CHN: Weiqing Ge, Zhongxing Ling 1, Yuangzhong Qiu 2, Lijun Yu 2, Jun Li 2, Feihu Tan 3, Bin Li, Zhiyu Wu 2, Thiyu Wu 2, Jinmin Xie 2, Zhidong Han 3, Jun Liang Guo 1, Yang Wang 3.
EGY: Ashraf 2, Assem 2, Sallam, Nasr 1.

Referees:Hart (Aus) , Argyros (Gre).
Delegate: Firoiu (Ger).

Game #22ESPESP 11 vs GREGRE 10

Goals by Quarter: 5-1, 5-1, 8-2, 5-1 (7-7 after regulation)

6 on 5: ESP 3/6, GRE 4/11.

ESP: Marsal 2 (1 rig.), Fernandez 3, Mallarach 2.
GRE: Kocheilas 2, Delakas 2, Papadopoulos 1, Blanis 1, Katsaounis 1.

Referees: Chaney (Usa), Abid (Tun)
Delegate: E. Martinez (Cub)

Game #23CANCAN 10 vs ITAITA 8

Goals by Quarter:1-2, 4-2, 3-3, 2-1

6 on 5: CAN 2/5, ITA 5/9.

CAN: Kudaba 1, Mitchell 2, Graham 5, Sategh 2, Miller.
ITA: Giorgetti 1, Felugo 1, Bencivenga 1, Michele Lapenna 1, Sottani 3, Mistrangelo 1.

Referees: Adzic (MNE) Ciric (SRB)
Delegate: Whitehouse (AUS)

Game #24SRB SRB 13 vs MNEMNE 3

Goals by Quarter: 2-1, 4-1, 3-0, 4-1

6 on 5: SRB 5/10 MNE 1/9.  

SRB: Prlainovic 2, Vanja Udovicic 1, Savic 2 (1 rig.), Ikodinovic 1, Nikic 1, Pijetlovic 1, Sapic 1, Vujasinovic 3, Pekovic 1.
MNE: Brguljan 1, Mladan Janovic 1, Gojkovic 1.

Referees: Galkin (Rus) Patelli (Bra)
Delegate: Firoiu (Ger).

Game #25USA USA 11 vs AUSAUS 10 (Shootout)

The USA Men's Senior National is now just one win away from Gold at the 2008 FINA World League Super Final after an 11-10 shootout victory over Australia in the semi-final on Saturday. Team USA was able to pull out the victory after losing an early 5-2 lead. Brian Alexander's make on the fourth round in the shootout proved to be the difference maker as both teams had made their first three attempts and Australia would go on to miss their last two.

Things got started early for Team USA as Ryan Bailey scored the game's first goal out of the center spot with a power move to build a 1-0 lead. Peter Varellas then connected on a man-up opportunity to build a 2-0 lead for USA. Australia answered late in the quarter and it was 2-1 headed to the second. In the second quarter Bailey again wheeled inside to score and the goals kept on coming as Tony Azevedo and Varellas found the net leaving USA up 5-2 at halftime.

Coming out to start the second half Australia was back on their game scoring three unanswered goals and just like that the game was tied at 5-5 with play going to the fourth. In the fourth quarter each team exchanged goals ending at a 7-7 tie after regulation. In the shootout each team connected on their first three chances. On the fourth try Alexander came through with a score while Australia was off the mark. On the fifth attempt each team failed and USA came away the victors.

Team USA now meets Serbia for in the championship game. This is the first appearance for Team USA in the FINA World League Super Final title game. Brandon Brooks recorded 11 saves in net for the team while USA went 4-9 on man up scenarios.

Goals by Quarter: 2-1, 3-1, 0-3, 2-2 (7-7 after regulation) Penalty shootout

6 on 5: USA 4/7, AUS 3/9. 

USA: Varellas 1, Hudnut, Powers 2, Azevedo 2, Bailey 2.
AUS: Campbell 3, Figlioli 2, Neesham 2.

Referees: Margeta (Slo) e Gomez (Ita)
Delegate: Martinez (Cuba)

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice


Sunday, June 22

GREGRE 7 vs ITAITA 11    7th and 8th Place

Goals by Quarter: 0-1, 4-3, 4-0, 3-3

6 on 5: ITA 4/8, GRE 2/10

ITA: Presciutti 1, Saccoia 1, Mangiante 1, Gallo 3 (1 rig.), Bencivenga 2, Sottani 3,
GRE: Delakas 3 (2 rig.), Papadopoulos 1, Blanis 1 (rig.), Mourikis 1, Vougakaris 1,

Referees:Moliner (Spa) e Dunli (Cin).
Delegate: Martinez (Cuba)

ESPESP 10 vs CANCAN 9  5th and 6th Place

Goals by Quarter: 3-3, 3-3, 2-1, 1-3

6 on 5: CAN 6/8, ESP 5/9

Canada: Ruse 2, Boyd 1, Marks 3, Jung 2, Feltham 1,
Spain:Marsal 3, Roca 3, Fernandez 1 (rig.), Malarach 2, Rodriguez 1

Referees: Hart (AUS) Adzic (MNE).
Delegate: Firou (GER)

MNEMNE 7 vs AUSAUS 8   3rd and 4th Place

Goals by Quarter: 3-2, 2-1, 0-2, 2-3.

6 on 5: MNE 5/11, AUS 4/7.

Montenegro: Paskovic 1, Radovic, Nikola Janovic 1, Uskokovic 1, Gojkovic 4,
Australia:Franklin 1, Figlioli 2, Maitland 1, Martin 1, Neesham 1, Whalan 1, Woods 1,

Referees: Galkin(Rus) e Patelli (Bra)
Delegate: E. Martinez (Cub)

SRBSRB 7 vs USAUSA  3 1st and 2nd Place

The USA Men's Senior National Team's bid for a Gold Medal at the FINA World League Super Final was halted after a 7-3 loss to Serbia on Sunday. Despite the loss this is still the best ever finish for Team USA at this event and is the last major tournament prior to the start of the 2008 Olympic Games in August.

The game started off evenly for each squad as after the first quarter it was tied at 1-1. In the second Serbia started to inch ahead claiming a one goal lead as their defense kept Team USA scoreless. Coming out of the halftime holding a 2-1 lead the Serbians tacked on two more goals. This was countered by two goals from Team USA and the contest remained tight headed to the fourth as Serbia led by just a score at 4-3.

In the fourth is where the game was decided as Serbia was able to post three goals while shutting out Team USA to come away with the 7-3 victory and overall championship of the tournament. Team USA struggled mightily in the man-up game going 1-9 on the day. Tony Azevedo led the Team USA offense with two goals and Merrill Moses was solid in net putting aside nine shots.

"I am very proud of the way the guys played and work today all week. We are showing much better consistency overall. We have definitely closed the gap, and we will continue to build from here," said Team USA Head Coach Terry Schroeder.

Goals by Quarter: 1-1, 1-0, 2-2, 3-0

6 on 5: SRB 1/7 USA 0/7

Serbia : Prlainovic 1, Raden, Vanja Udovicic 2, Savic, Ikodinovic 1, Sapic 1, Vujasinovic 2
USA :Azevedo 2, Bailey 1,

Referees: Margeta (Slo) Turcotte (Can)
Delegate: Firoiu (GER)

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice