Roma09 2009 FINA
Men's World Championships
World

Universal

 

Men's World Championship Teams

Group A Group B Group C Group D
RSA South Africa MNE Montenegro KAZ Kazakhstan USA USA
CAN Canada CRO Croatia SRB Serbia MKD Macedonia
GER Germany CHN China AUS Australia ITA Italy
HUN Hungary BRA Brazil ESP Spain ROM Romania

Photographs History ALL Statistics

Monday, July 20

Age no barrier for ‘old man’ Perez

Rome, Italy (July 20).— When  38-year-old Ivan Perez steered a cross pass into goal with just over a minute remaining on the clock, Spain gained an unassailable two-goal margin over Serbia in the men’s water polo competition.

Perez, the former Cuban who has patrolled international waters for nearly two decades and has a trophy cabinet full of medals, virtually assured Spain of Group C victory on the opening day with the 11-9 margin.

It was the game of the tournament so far when the game was level five times in the second quarter. Serbia was 8-7 ahead with four minutes remaining but Spain struck three times in a minute and a half and the game was titlted in Spain’s favour.

Alexsic narrowed it to one at 1:44 but Perez was Spain’s saviour.

Australia claimed the scalp of Kazakhstan 14-7 in the other group match.

Germany and Hungary won through easily in Group A. Germany rubbed out South Africa 14-4 and the triple Olympic champions of Hungary led their team to a 15-5 win over Canada.
Reigning champion Croatia looked ordinary in its opening match with Brazil before heading back to school with an 11-2 victory in Group B. Montenegro takes top spot on goal difference with a more convincing 14-4 margin over China.

Group D was watched by a large crowd when host Italy unsuccessfully took on Olympic silver medallist the United States of America, losing 9-8. In the earlier game, Romania shook off debuting Macedonia 6-4. - Russ McKinnon

Game #1 RSA RSA 4 vs GER GER 14

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Quarters: 1-4, 0-4, 2-3, 1-3

Extra man: RSA 1/8; GER 2/10

RSA: Dwayne FLATSCHER, Etienne LE ROUX (1), Andrew RIDLEY, Kevin O¹BRIEN (1), Wesley BOHATA, Jason KYTE, Christopher BROWN, Ryan BELL, Rick DIESEL, Pierre LE ROUX, Adam KAJEE, Duncan WOODS (1), Donn STEWART, Head Coach: Vladimir TRNINIC.

GER: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Marko SAVIC, Marko STAMM, Marc POLITZE (1), Heiko NOSSEK (3), Julian REAL (1), Tobias PREUSS (1), Moritz OELER (5), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK (1), Soeren MACKEBEN (2), Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

Referees: Stephen KNIGHTS (NZL), Nenad PERIC (CRO).

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Germany proved a far stronger nut to crack for the South Africans. Germany was solid and persistently attacked the goals while South Africa struggled on attack and getting the ball cleanly to the big man, BELL. OELER proved disruptive to the South Africans and his five goals came quickly with the first four in the first 11 minutes of play when Germany led 5-1. His last-gasp goal in the third period came on counter and he toyed with the goalkeeper before dropping the ball into the goal.

Commentary - Ryan Castle: The Germans easily won this game, mostly off their counter attack and outside shooting game. The South Africans struggled to generate any offense against the German defense, and often made mistakes which cost them down the other side. Both teams have a lot of work to do ahead of them to prepare for Canada and Hungary.

Game #2 CAN 6 vs Hungary HUN 15

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

6 on 5: CAN 1/6; HUN 2/3

Scoring:

CAN : Robin RANDALL, Constantin KUDABA (1), Jonathan RUSE, Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI (1), Justin BOYD, Thomas MARKS, Brandon JUNG, Kevin GRAHAM (4), Aaron FELTHAM, Dusko DAKIC, Devon DIGGLE, Jarod MEELROY, Nicolas YOUNGBLUD. Head Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

HUN: Istvan GERGELY, Marton SZIVOS, Norbert MADARAS (2), Denes VARGA (1), Miklos GOR-NAGY, Norbert HOSNYANSZKI (2), Gergely KISS (2), Zsolt VARGA (2), Daniel VARGA (1), Peter BIROS (3), Gabor KIS (2), Balazs HARAI, Viktor NAGY. Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.

Referees:Patelli (BRA), Mernenko (UZB)
Delegate: Whitehouse

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Hungary used this match as preparation for future games such was its dominance. Hungary led 3-0 but Canada pulled the score back to 4-2 early in the second quarter. However, Hungary surged to 8-2 and 12-3 as the team shared the goals. DAKIC was constantly on the backs of the huge Hungarian centre forwards who managed to score at will despite the close treatment. Hungary is playing with nine Olympic champions with the notable omissions being Tibor BENEDEK, Tamas KASAS and Tamas MOLNAR.

Commentary - Ryan Castle: Although this is considered a young & inexperienced Hungarian team, they easily put the even younger & less experienced Canadians to the sword. The Hungarians were able to easily put pressure on the Canadian offense & forced them to rely on 5m shots. In contrast if the hungarians didnt have a counter attack they were easily able to establish position at center & control their offense.


Game #3 MNE 14 vs China CHN 4

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Goals by Quarter: 4:1, 3:2, 3:1, 4:0

6 on 5: MNE 6/6; CHN 1/8

Scoring:

MNE: Zdravko RADIC, Drasko BRGULJAN, Vjekoslav PASKOVIC (1), Nikola VUKCEVIC, Aleksandar RADOVIC, Milan TICIC, Mladan JANOVIC (1), Nikola JANOVIC (3), Aleksandar IVOVIC (2), Boris ZLOKOVIC (4), Vladimir GOJKOVIC (2), Predrag JOKIC (1), Milos SCEPANOVIC. Head Coach: Petar POROBIC.

CHN: GE Weiqing, LIANG Zhongxing, LI Jun, YU Lijun (1), TAN Feihi (2), WANG Beiming, LI Bin, WANG Yong (1), WANG Yang, XIE Junmin, HAN Zhidong, GUO Junliang, WU Honghui. Head Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

Referees: Kiszelly (HUN) Moner (EGY)
Delegate: Martinez

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: The main excitement of this match was the efforts of the centre forwards who played a huge part in the game. ZLOKOVIC was tireless but so too were the Chinese hole men who might not have been rewarded as much. China had to rely on sneaking goals in on extra but the centre forwards were always willing to turn the bigger Montenegrins and chance their arms.

Commentary - Ryan Castle: In the first half the Montenegro team encountered pretty stiff and resolute defense from the Chinese, who were also able to generate a decent amount of offense to keep the game close, until the 2nd half when the Montenegrins to open the Chinese up, and shut them down on defense. Once the Montenegrins got going, the Chinese struggled to maintain pressure on the ball or control the ball on offense. This was a solid warm up game for the Montenegrins who will need to wake up earlier in their next game against Croatia on Wednesday.

Game #4 CROCRO 11 vs Brazil BRA 2

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

6 on 5: CRO 2/7; BRA 0/3

Scoring:

CRO: CROATIA: Ivo BRZICA, Damir BURIC (1), Miho BOSKOVIC, Niksa DOBUD (2), Ivan BULJUBASIC (1), Strotan ANTONIJEVIC (1), Frano KARAC (1), Andro BUSLJE, Sandro SUKNO (2), Samir BARAC (2), Igor HINIC, Paulo OBRADOVIC (1), Josip PAVIC. Head Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

BRA: BRAZIL: Andre CORDEIRO, Conrado BERTOLUZZI, Marco SANTOS, Lucas VITTA, Marcelo FRANCO, Leandro MACHADO, Felipe SILVA (1), Ruda FRANCO, Erik SEEGERER, Felipe FRANCO (1), Daniel MAMERI, Danilo CORREA, Luis SANTOS. Head Coach: Barbaro DIAZ.

Referees: Koganov (AZE) Ghafouri (IRI)
Delegate: Firoiu

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: For a returning champion, Croatia looked extremely rusty. It was a day at the office Croatia would want to forget against a team it should have wiped. The shooting was atrocious in the first half and Brazil¹s keepers had a field day. Brazil struggled to get any purchase on the ball in attack and took until five minutes into the second quarter before SILVA sent in a slider from five metres. The period scores would hurt coach RUDIC and the shooting statistic of 33 per cent was not good considering in the latter stages there were few misses. Well done, Brazil for making Croatia look far from a champion.

Commentary - Ryan Castle: Much like the previous game, the Croatians were slow off the mark in the beginning and battled to put the ball away in the first half. Brazil managed to get a few lucky blocks to help keep the pressure on the Croatians, but they struggled to create any offense. In the second half the Croatians started to find the net more often, but the Brazilians still gave them trouble. The Croatians will need to be more precise on Wednesday if the hope to get past the Montenegrins, whereas the Brazilians look likely to challenge the Chinese.

Game #5 Kazahkstan KAZ 7 vs AUS AUS 14

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

6 on 5: KAZ  2/11; AUS 4/10

Scoring: KAZ: Alexandr AMISSIMOV, Alexey SHMIDER, Alexandr GAIDUKOV (1), Sergey GOROVOY (2), Murat SHAKENOV, Vladislav ANDREYEV (2), Roman PILIPENKO, Nikita KOKORIN, Rustam UKUMANOV (2), Mikhail RUDAY, Ravil MANFOV, Adil TEMRKHANOV, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

AUS: James STANTON, Richard CAMPBELL, Timothy CLELAND (1), Nicholas O'HALLORAN (1), Robert MAITLAND (3), Anthony MARTIN (1), John COTTERILL (2), Grant RICHARDSON, Thomas WHALAN (4), William MILLER, Rhys HOWDEN (2), Sean BOYD, Luke QUINLIVAN. Head Coach: John FOX.

Referees: Stavroupoulos (GRE), Matache (ROU)
Delegate: Frady

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: The Aussie Sharks looked sharp with excellent cross passing that stung Kazakhstan in the first half. Australia countered the Kazakhs for much of the game but slowed in the final stages. The final quarter was a goal-for-goal period of quality water polo and superb shot selection. Captain WHALAN, a triple Olympian, showed his class with four goals from the top for Australia.

Game #6 Serbia SRB 9 vs Spain ESP 11

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

6 on 5: SRB  5/14; ESP 6/14

Scoring:

SRB: Slobodan SORO, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC (1), Vanja UDOVICIC (2), Slavko GAK, Dusko PIJETLOVIC (1), Slobodan NIKIC (1), Milan ALEKSIC (1), Nikola RADEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (1), Andriya PRLAINOVIC, Stefan MITROVIC (2), Gosko PIJETLOVIC. Head Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

ESP: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, David MARTIN (1), Blai MALLARACH, Guillermo MOLINA (2), Marc MINGUELL, Ivan GALLEGO (1), Albert ESPANOL (1), Xavier VALLES, Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ (2), Xavier GARCIA (3), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR

Referees: Tulga (TUR), Turcotte (CAN)
Delegate: Brochero, Sharanov

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: This game was pure theatre as two class acts combined to thrill a growing crowd. Spain went three goals up at 4-1 but the game was tied three times in the third quarter. It was tied twice more in the fourth before UDOVICIC sent Serbia ahead and another goal went begging that could have had Serbia sitting pretty. Spain fired back into the game with two goals from MOLINA and one from MARTIN to be 10-8 ahead at 2:35. ALEKSIC grabbed one back at
1:44 but then PEREZ scored off the cross at 1:03 for the victory.

Commentary - Ryan Castle: Spain gets the jump on Serbia by being able to easily pass the ball under pressure. Serbians seem off, and new captain Vanja Udovicic is working hard to bring his team together. (Quarter #1)

It took until the 7th min of the 2nd quarter for SRB to settle down, much like CRO & MNE earlier in the day. The normally resolute & tough SRB finally awake as Udonivic establishes his presence on the game. Expect SRB to keep playing high tempo polo in next quarter to break the Spanish down. (Quarter #2)

SRB started as they finished at a really high tempo and scored two quick goals to take the lead. Both teams traded goals but SRB found their rhythm more often and finally got back in the game.(Quarter #3)

Both teams traded the lead but eventually the Dpanish were able to break the deadlock. The Serbians played well but the Spanish were more successful at capitalizing off their opponent mistakes.(Quarter #4)

Game #7 USAUSA 9 vs Italy ITA 8

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

6 on 5: USA 7/9, ITA 4/13

Scoring:

USA: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS (1), Brian ALEXANDER, Jeff POWERS, Adam WRIGHT, Justin JOHNSON, Layne BEAUBIEN (3), Tony AZEVEDO (4), Ryan BAILEY, Tim HUTTEN, Jesse SMITH (1), JW KRUMPHOLZ, Genai KERR. Head Coach: Terry SCHROEDER.


ITA: Stefano TEMPESTI, Federico MISTRANGELO, Alex GIORGETTI, Fabrizio BUONOCORE, Valentino GALLO, Maurizio FELUGO (2), Andrea MANGIANTE (1), Valerio RIZZO (2), Niccolo FIGARI, Alessandra CALCATERRA (3), Matteo AICARDI, Goran FIORENTINI, Tommaso NEGRI. Head Coach: Alessandra CAMPAGNA.

Referees: Borrell (ESP), Balfanbayev (KAZ)
Delegate: Brochero, Diatthessopoulos

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: This was the game of the day with a near full house of 5000 screaming on the host team. The USA took the quarter-time score to 5-2 before SMITH claimed a biting incident and pointed at CALCATERRA. RIZZO lifted the crowd with a shot from deep right-hand catch with two seconds left on the clock. The third period was full of drama with RIZZO converting a penalty and AZEVEDO scoring on extra. FELUGO tickled in a lob for 6-5. MANGIANTE had the game level at the top of the fourth but BEAUBIEN scored on extra and then again 90 seconds later for 8-6. CALCATERRA was stupidly left open at four metres to convert an easy goal for 8-7 at 2:36. AZEVEDO then repeated his ³shovel² shot off a cross pass for 9-7 at 1:23. CALCATERRA scored a captain¹s effort from centre forward when too late to force a draw.

Commentary - Greg Mescall: Battling a tenacious Italian team looking for revenge and perhaps an even more supercharged crowd the United States Men's Senior National battled their way to a 9-8 victory on the opening day of play at the FINA World Championships. Italy, who has fallen to the United States in most of the recent major tournaments including the FINA World League Super Final in June and the Olympic Games in 2008 had a raucous crowd on their side but the United States came through time and again to preserve the win.

The red, white, and blue were on the board early as Layne Beaubien (Coronado, CA/Stanford) found the cage on a player advantage to take a 1-0 lead. Italy countered with a score a minute later but that was answered by Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford) hitting on a quick shot to take a 2-1 lead. A little over 90 seconds later the United States answered again on a man advantage as Jesse Smith (Coronado, CA/Pepperdine) found the corner from outside for a 3-1 advantage.

With 2:52 to go in the opening quarter Brian Alexander (Santa Ana, CA/UCSB) was rolled from the game following an exclusion, but the USA answered with strong defense and a pair of shot blocks. Italy would post one more score to end the quarter trailing 3-2. The United States looked to pull away in the second when Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford) took a pass from Azevedo on a man advantage and hit the net for a 4-2 lead. This was followed shortly after by a six on four advantage for the United States and Azevedo hitting the back of the net for a 5-2 lead.

Defense was a priority throughout in this contest and was a factor late in the second quarter. After the USA was called for a five meter penalty, goalie Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine) stopped the penalty shot to keep the lead at three. Italy would answer in the waning seconds of the quarter as they found the net with just two second remaining to pull into halftime down just 5-3.

Italy inched closer in the early part of the third quarter converting on a five meter penalty to trail by just a goal at 5-4. The USA rallied when Azevedo scored the third of his four goals on the night converting on a player advantage to rebuild the lead to 6-4. Italy answered thirty seconds later with a lob shot to again pull within a score at 6-5. This would be the tally as play moved into the fourth quarter. Early in the fourth Tim Hutten (Seal Beach, CA/UC-Irvine) picked up his third exclusion taking another player out of the rotation for the United States. From there Italy converted on the power play and tied the game at 6-6, the first tie since early in the opening period.

Beaubien would come calling for the United States shortly thereafter as he was the beneficiary of some solid passing to deliver a goal and the lead back to Team USA at 7-6. A minute later with the shot clock winding down Beaubien unloaded another solid shot, this one skipping its way into the cage for a two goal lead at 8-6. Italy hung around to find the net with 2:36 remaining as local hero Alesandro Calcaterra scored the second of his three goals to put it back to a one goal margin at 8-7.

Offensively the difference maker came at the 1:23 mark when Azevedo on a man advantage scored from outside off a solid pass to put the lead back up at 9-7. From there Italy marched down only to be stonewalled by Moses and the game was in hand. A late goal by the Italians with just seven seconds remaining proved not to be a factor as the United States came away winners.

Moses posted nine saves in the victory while the United State was a superb 7/9 on player advantages. Italy turned in a 4/13 performance. The United States is back in action on Wednesday against Macedonia at 5:00pm local Italy time. Macedonia fell to Romania 6-4 in action earlier today.

Game #8 Montenegro MKD 4 vs Romania ROU 6

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

6 on 5: MKD  3/9; ROU 3/9

Scoring:

MKD: Dalibor PERCINIC, ANASTAS BELEV, Ivan VUKSANOVIC (1), Dimitar STOYCEV, Marko MICIC (1), Dimitar DIMOVSKI, Neboysa MILIC, Dimitar STOYCEV, Marko MICIC, Vladimir KRECKAVIC, Dusan KRSTIC, Marko BASIC (2), Nenad, PETROVIC, Daniyel BENIC, Milos UROSEVIC. Head Coach: Stevan NONKOVIC

ROU: Dragusin MIHAI, Cosmin RADU (2), Tiberiu NEGREAN, Nicolae DIACONU (1), Andrei IOSEP (1), Andrei BUSILA, Georghe DUNCA, Alexandru MATEI, Edward ANDREI, Ramiro GEORGESCU, Alexandru GHIBAN (1), Kalman KADAR (1), Dragos STOENESCU. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

Referees: Brguljan (MNE), Margeta (SLO)
Delegate: Bock, Bestit

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: The curtainraiser for the evening¹s main match saw Romania and Macedonia battle to a low-scoring but entertaining encounter. It was Macedonia¹s debut on the world stage but it wasn¹t to a success. Romania had the early lead at 3-1 late in the second quarter but BASIC levelled the game at 3-3 14 seconds from halftime. RADU, IOSEP and  DIACONU dragged Romania to a 6-3 lead. BASIC was the only scorer in the final quarter but it wasn¹t enough.

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Wednesday, July 22

Rome, Italy (July 22) — Being world champion means something. Just ask Croatia.

Balkan neighbours Croatia and Montenegro slugged it out in the men’s water polo pool in Group B with European champion Montenegro suffering a huge lapse against the Croatians.
Montenegrin head coach Petar POROBIC laid the blame at his door, saying “it was the team’s mistake as well as mine.”

While Montenegro lost concentration, Croatia’s mind was well focused as it took a 4-2 lead at quarter time. This became 6-4 at halftime after which Montenegro had to continue without Boris ZLOKOVIC, who injured his elbow.

“We are waiting for any news concerning ZLOKOVIC’S injury. We still don’t know if it is just a minor problem or a more serious one,” Porobic said.

A four-goal burst in the second four minutes of the third period saw Croatia wrap up the game at 11-4. Montenegro scored the only goal of the fourth period — little consolation.

But beware the early result, warns Croatian captain Samir BARAC.

“Today’s key factor was our team spirit in attack as well as in defence. However, in my opinion, this game was not so fundamental. In the past, after we managed to win our preliminary group, we lost in the final round of a tournament.”

China beat Brazil 9-5 in the other Group B match.

Spain was untroubled in beating Australia 13-10 in Group C while Serbia, second in the group, hammered Kazakhstan 20-3.

Group A proved interesting, especially when Germany grabbed a draw with Olympic champion Hungary. The equaliser came 39 seconds from time when Marko STAMM lobbed in a goal from centre forward 39 seconds from time. Canada had little difficulty when downing South Africa 12-1.

Group D witnessed the United States of America in fine form, beating Macedonia 13-6 after a healthy 6-1 start. Italy rounded off the day with a second loss in front of 5000 fans, falling to Romania 6-5. Romania took the lead in the match and Italy always seemed to play catch-up. - Russ McKinnon

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

6 on 5: BRA 1/6; CHN 2/5

Scoring:

BRA: Andre CORDEIRO, Conrado BERTOLUZZI, Marco SANTOS (1), Lucas VITTA, Marcelo FRANCO (1), Leandro MACHADO (1), Felipe SILVA (1), Ruda FRANCO, Erik SEEGERER, Felipe FRANCO, Daniel MAMERI (1), Danilo CORREA, Luis SANTOS. Head Coach: Barbaro DIAZ.

CHN: GE Weiqing, LIANG Zhongxing (3), LI Jun, YU Lijun (1), TAN Feihi (1), WANG Beiming (3), LI Bin (1), WANG Yong, WANG Yang, XIE Junmin, HAN Zhidong, GUO Junliang, WU Honghui. Head Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

Referees: Rotsart (USA), Pinker (RSA)
Delegate: Diatthessopoulos.

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: China came through with the Group B victory that will lift it to at least third place and advancement in the tournament. WANG Beiming gained his three goals from three attempts with one on extra as China pulled away in the second half thanks to a better conversion rate on extra and shots taken.

Game #10 Montenegro MNE 5 vs Croatia CRO 11

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Goals by Quarter: 2:4, 2:2, 0:5, 1:0

6 on 5: MNE 3/16; CRO 6/12

Scoring:

MNE Zdravko RADIC, Drasko BRGULJAN, Vjekoslav PASKOVIC, Nikola VUKCEVIC, Aleksandar RADOVIC, Milan TICIC, Mladan JANOVIC (1), Nikola JANOVIC (1), Aleksandar IVOVIC (1), Boris ZLOKOVIC (1), Vladimir GOJKOVIC (1), Predrag JOKIC, Milos SCEPANOVIC. Head Coach: Petar POROBIC.

CRO: Ivo BRZICA, Damir BURIC, Miho BOSKOVIC, Niksa DOBUD, Ivan BULJUBASIC (1), Strotan ANTONIJEVIC (1), Frano KARAC (1), Andro BUSLJE (2), Sandro SUKNO (3), Samir BARAC (2), Igor HINIC (1), Paulo OBRADOVIC, Josip PAVIC. Head Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

Referees: Turcotte (CAN), Tulga (TUR)
Delegate: Amini, Whitehouse

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Croatia took the Group B lead with a clinical display of water polo over European champion Montenegro. The statistics tell the story with Croatia¹s conversion rate far too good for the Montenegrins. Couple that with the spectacular performaznce by Croatian goalkeeper Josip PAVIC ‹ 17 saves ‹ and Croatia proved why it is the world champion. Montenegro led at the start and levelled the game at 4-4 but the third quarter was a disaster for POROBIC¹S team.

Commentary - Ryan Castle: Nineteen year old Sandro SUKNO, son of 1984 Gold Medal winning Yugolsavia player Goran SUKNO, scored 3 goals as Croatia stun Montenegro 5-11. What started out as a very competitive game in the first half, turned into a very rudimentary training game for the Croatians. Until the unfortunate injury to their center forward Boris ZLOKOVIC halfway through the 2nd quarter, the Montenegrins and Croatians were in an even battle. The second half was a different story as the Montenegrins struggled to convert their 6 on 5 opportunities and get past resilient back up Croatian goalkeeper Josip PAVIC. Montenegro will now finish 2nd in the group, and probably play Australia (if Serbia beats Australia on Friday).

Make a note of Sandro Sukno. This kid is destined to be a water polo superstar in the very near future. He has an excellent shot, is physically gifted already to compete with much older and bigger players, and a water polo brain.

Game #11 Spain ESP 13 vs Australia AUS 10

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Goals by Quarters: 3:2, 3:2, 5:2, 2:4

6 on 5: ESP 3/9; AUS 6/12

Scoring:

ESP: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, David MARTIN (1), Blai MALLARACH (3), Guillermo MOLINA, Marc MINGUELL, Ivan GALLEGO, Albert ESPANOL (1), Xavier VALLES (2), Felipe PERRONE (3), Ivan PEREZ (2), Xavier GARCIA (1), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

AUS: James STANTON, Richard CAMPBELL, Timothy CLELAND, Nicholas O¹HALLORAN (1), Robert MAITLAND (1), Anthony MARTIN (1), John COTTERILL (1), Grant RICHARDSON (2), Thomas WHALAN (3), William MILLER, Rhys HOWDEN, Sean BOYD (1), Luke QUINLIVAN. Head Coach: John FOX.

Referees: Margeta (SLO), Gomez (ITA)
Delegate: El Allam, Firoiu

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Spain turned the screw on Australia in the third period, winning it 5-2, which proved to be the final margin. Australia had the early advantage but Spain soon took control and reached 6-3 at one stage in the second quarter and a stunning 11-5 in the final minute of the third before BOYD made it 11-6. Australia scored four of its extra-man goals when it didn¹t matter in the final quarter. Seven Spaniards made the scorers¹ list.

Game #12 Kazahkstan KAZ 3 vs  Serbia SRB 20

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Goals by Quarter: 1:4, 1:7, 1:3, 0:6

6 on 5: KAZ 0/8; SRB 4/7

Scoring:

KAZ: KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandr ANISSIMOV, Alexey SHMIDER, Alexandr GAIDUKOV, Sergey GOROVOY, Murat SHAKENOV, Vladislav ANDREYEV, Roman PILIPENKO, Nikita KOKORIN, Rustam UKUMANOV, Mikhail RUDAY, Ravil MANAFOV (3), Adil TEMRKHANOV, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

SRB: Slobodan SORO, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC (1), Vanja UDOVICIC (2), Slavko GAK (1), Dusko PIJETLOVIC (5), Slobodan NIKIC, Milan ALEKSIC (1), Nikola RADEN (1), Filip FILIPOVIC (5), Andriya PRLAINOVIC (4), Stefan MITROVIC, Gosko PIJETLOVIC. Head Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

Referees: Spiegel (GER) Stavropoulos (GRE)
Delegate: Bestit

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Serbia used its full arsenal to wipe Kazakhstan, claiming the final quarter with a slow demolition. The Serbs were relentless and countered off every Kazak mistake and then finishing with superb cross passes. A telling factor is that Kazakhstan was guarded so tightly that it couldn¹t take a shot off its eight extra-man chances.

Game #14 USAUSA 13 vs  Macedonia MKD 6

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Goals by Quarter: 3:0, 5:3, 3:2, 2:2

6 on 5: USA 4/8; MKD 3/10

Scoring:

USA: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS (1), Brian ALEXANDER, Jeff POWERS (1), Adam WRIGHT (2), Justin JOHNSON (1), Layne BEAUBIEN (1), Tony AZEVEDO (4), Ryan BAILEY (2), Tim HUTTEN, Jesse SMITH, James KRUMPHOLZ (1), Genai KERR. Head Coach: Terry SCHROEDER.

MKD: Dalibor PERCINIC, Anastas BELEV, Ivan VUKSANOVIC, Dimitar STOYCEV, Marko MICIC, Dimitar DIMOVSKI, Neboysa MILIC (2), Dimitar STOYCEV, Marko MICIC (1), Vladimir KRECKAVIC, Dusan KRSTIC (1), Marko BASIC (1), Nenad, PETROVIC, Daniyel BENIC, Milos UROSEVIC. Head Coach: Stevan NONKOVIC.

Referees: Balfanbayev (KAZ), Knights (NZL)
Delegate: Sharanov

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: The USA gained their second victory with a romp over Macedonia who took nearly half the game to score its first goal. Once the score had reached 6-1, Macedonia became a valued opponent but USA had the luxury of the big margin. AZEVEDO netted four goals but he had a team around him also contributing. For referee Stephen KNIGHTS it was his 50th international match in his sixth appearance at a FINA World Championship. He made history in 1994 at the same venue when he refereed alongside his father, the late Geoff KNIGHTS ‹ the first time a father-son duo had officiated water polo at the same world championship. The record for refereeing at FINA World Championships is held by FINA TWPC Member Eugenio MARTINEZ of Cuba, who refereed every event from the inaugural 1973 event in Belgrade until Rome, 1994 and then his retirement at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta ‹ seven world
championships over 21 years.

Commentary - Greg Mescall: Using a strong offensive first half the USA Men's Senior National Team rolled to victory over Macedonia 13-6 earlier today at the FINA World Championships. The win puts the men at 2-0 in group play with a strong chance to win their group and earn an off day. They will meet up with Romania on Friday in the final match of group play.

As for this match the United States set the tone in the first quarter blanking Macedonia while posting three scores to take a 3-0 advantage. A little over a minute into the contest Layne Beaubien (Coronado, CA/Stanford) got things going with a power play goal thanks to an exclusion drawn by Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine). From there Bailey scored a goal of his own, also on a man advantage and the United States led 2-0 with more than five minutes to play in the period. Bailey would have a hand in the final goal of the period as he set up a cutting Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford) on an alley-oop of sorts for the score and a 3-0 USA lead.

In the second stanza it was more of the same. Azevedo cashed in on a five meter penalty shot and then followed that with a natural goal for a 5-0 lead. At the 3:56 mark Brian Alexander (Santa Ana, CA/UCSB) drew a five meter penalty which was converted by Adam Wright (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA) and the USA was in front 6-0. Macedonia finally cracked the scoring column with back to back tallies to draw within 6-2 at the 2:52 mark but that was quickly snuffed out by Team USA. Jeff Powers (San Luis Obispo, CA/UC-Irvine) worked free for an inside shot to make it 7-2. Then in one of the better sequences in the game the USA sprung out on a counter attack with Azevedo hitting JW Krumpholz (Santa Ana, CA/USC) right at the door step and Krumpholz did the rest for an 8-2 USA lead at the half.

The third quarter saw the United States continue their offensive attack while keeping the Macedonians at bay. After a Macedonia goal made it 8-3 Bailey drew a five meter and then converted the shot for a 9-3 USA advantage. This was followed by Azevedo scoring his fourth goal of the evening on a man advantage for a 10-3 lead. Macedonia struck again to close within four but with just eight seconds left in the period Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford) used a player advantage to his advantage for a score and an 11-4 lead going to the fourth.

Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine) posted five saves through three quarters and was relived by Genai Kerr (Imperial Beach, CA/UC-Irvine) who kept up the defensive effort halting one shot in the quarter. As for the offense, there was more to be had for the red, white, and blue as Wright put home his second score of the day at the 3:49 mark for a 12-4 lead. Moments later Justin Johnson (Trabuco Canyon, CA/UCLA) got in the mix with a score and it was a 13-4 lead, good enough to give the USA the win in this one. Macedonia tacked on two more late goals but they proved to not factor in the outcome.

Team USA was once again solid on man advantages going 4/8 while Macedonia was 2/8. Team US went 3/3 on five meter penalty shots while Macedonia was 1/1. Next up for the United States is Romania on Friday at 12:10pm.

Game #15 Hungary HUN 7 vs  Germany GER 7

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

6 on 5: HUN 2/9; GER 1/9

Scoring:

HUN: Istvan GERGELY, Marton SZIVOS, Norbert MADARAS (1), Denes VARGA, Miklos GOR-NAGY, Norbert HOSNYANSZKI (3), Gergely KISS, Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA (1), Peter BIROS (1), Gabor KIS (1), Balazs HARAI, Viktor NAGY. Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.

GER Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Marko SAVIC (2), Marko STAMM (1), Marc POLITZE (2), Heiko NOSSEK, Julian REAL, Tobias PREUSS, Moritz OELER, Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK (1), Soeren MACKEBEN (1), Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

Referees: Peris (CRO), Borrell (ESP)
Delegate: Brochero, Frady

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Germany came up with a vital point from in this thrilling encounter. The Germans led 3-2 and limited Hungary to one in the second quarter. Denes VARGA and captain BIROS brought up a two-goal margin in the third but MACKEBEN on extra narrowed the deficit to 5-4. Gergely KISS missed a penalty attempt and SAVIC gained his second to level the game at 6-6 with four minutes left. HOSNYANSZKY drilled one from the top at 3:36 for Hungary but in the last minute SZIVOS was ejected and STAMM took the easiest of lobs from two metres to gain the draw at 0:39.

A beaming German captain Marc POLITZE said: "It was great to grab a point for us against Hungary. We haven¹t beaten them for 20 years but we get the odd draw. The result means nothing because now we must beat Canada. Hungary will win the group, for sure." He said discipline was the key to the draw.

We wanted to take our time and run the 30 seconds down each time. The result came in the last quarter when Hungary was nervous (not to lose). Hungarian super coach KEMENY lamented after the game that: You can¹t score seven goals and hope to win the game. He said his team did not play well on attack and that the result was right at the end of the game. He said a late start to his team¹s preparation and the new players made it difficult but that "tomorrow is another day".

Game #16 South Africa RSA 1 vs  Canada CAN 12

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Goals by Quarter: 1:2, 0:4, 0:1, 0:5

6 on 5: RSA 1/11; CAN 3/8

Scoring:

RSA: Dwayne FLATSCHER, Etienne LE ROUX, Andrew RIDLEY, Kevin O¹BRIEN, Wesley BOHATA, Jason KYTE, Christopher BROWN, Ryan BELL (1), Rick DIESEL, Pierre LE ROUX, Adam KAJEE, Duncan WOODS, Donn STEWART, Head Coach: Vladimir TRNINIC.

CAN: Robin RANDALL, Constantin KUDABA (1), Jonathan RUSE, Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI, Justin BOYD, Thomas MARKS (3), Brandon JUNG (2), Kevin GRAHAM (1), Aaron FELTHAM (3), Dusko DAKIC, Devon DIGGLE (2), Jarod MEELROY, Nicolas YOUNGBLUD. Head Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

Referees: Koganov (AZE), Reemnet (NED)
Delegate: Sharanov

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Canada not only beat South Africa but produced one of the best defensive games of the tournament. Canada¹s experience of the bigger games and strength around the pool proved critical and showed the South Africans what they need to do. Canada used its team to the maximum and pulled together strong combinations that South Africa could only watch. The extra-man statistic proved tough for South Africa but at least it did restrict Canada five times.

Game #13 Romania ROU vs 6  Italy ITA 5

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

6 on 5: ROU 4/10; ITA 3/7

Scoring:

ROU: Dragusin MIHAI, Cosmin RADU, Tiberiu NEGREAN (1), Nicolae DIACONU (2), Andrei IOSEP, Andrei BUSILA, Georghe DUNCA, Alexandru MATEI GUIMAN (1), Edward ANDREI DINA (1), Ramiro GEORGESCU, Alexandru GHIBAN, Kalman KADAR (1), Dragos STOENESCU. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

ITA: Stefano TEMPESTI, Federico MISTRANGELO (1), Alex GIORGETTI (1), Fabrizio BUONOCORE, Valentino GALLO (1), Maurizio FELUGO, Andrea MANGIANTE (1), Valerio RIZZO, Niccolo FIGARI (1), Alessandra CALCATERRA, Matteo AICARDI, Goran FIORENTINI, Tommaso NEGRI. Head Coach: Alessandra CAMPAGNA.

Referees: Ciric (SRB), Brguljan (MNE)
Delegate: Bock, Martinez

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Italy failed for the second time this week, dropping the match against a dedicated Romania. Italy looked the better team, spurred on by nearly 5000 fans, in the early stages but Romania struck back in the second quarter. GHIBAN and AICARDI were suspended on a double exclusion just before halftime as the game heated feverishly. MANGIANTE and MATEI exchanged goals on extra in the third but it was GALLO who gave of his best with a blistering shot from deep right to give Italy a 5-4 lead heading into the last quarter of the day. DIACONU scored a second on extra at 5:13 for 5-5. Italy took a timeout and counld not convert but ANDRE-DINA found the gap on extra at 1:20 for 6-5. FELUGO tried to score off a five-metre free throw but could not find the target and Romania had the luxury of wasting 13 seconds for victory.
Points tables:

Commentary - Ryan Castle:

GROUP A

HUN 1-0-1
GER 1-0-1
CAN 1-1-0
RSA 0-0-2

FRIDAYS GAMES

HUN v RSA
GER v CAN

Hungary looks set to win the group as long as they beat South Africa considerably, whereas Germany have the tougher game against Canada coming up. If Germany can beat Canada by 10 or more goals, then they will win the group and avoid China in the crossover group stage.

Whoever wins between Canada and Germany will probably face China in the crossover stage, whereas the loser will have to play Montenegro.

GROUP B

CRO 2-0-0
MNE 1-1-0
CHN 1-1-0
BRA 0-2-0

FRIDAYS GAMES

MNE-BRA
CRO-CHN

Croatia has guaranteed themselves 1st place in the group with their two wins over Montenegro and Brazil. If Montenegro wins then they will lock up the 2nd place in the group and meet up with the loser of the Germany-Canada game from group A. China looks set to finish 3rd (unless they beat Croatia and Montenegro loses) and look set to play the winner of the Canada-Germany Game

GROUP C

ESP 2-0-0
SRB 1-1-0
AUS 1-1-0
KAZ 0-2-0

FRIDAYS GAMES

KAZ-ESP
AUS-SRB

Spain has guaranteed themselves first place in the group with their two wins over Serbia and Australia. Whoever wins between Serbia and Australia will win the coveted 2nd place in the group and avoid Romania in the crossover
stage.

GROUP D

USA 2-0-0
ROU 2-0-0
ITA 0-2-0
MCD 0-2-0

FRIDAYS GAMES

USA-ROU
ITA-MCD

Whoever wins between the USA and Romania will win the group and advance directly into the quarterfinals. The loser will have to face the loser of the Australia ­ Serbia game from group C. Whoever wins between Italy and Macedonia will advance to the cross-over stage and play the winner of the Australia ­ Serbia game.

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Friday, July 24

Hungary heads quarter-final qualifiers in men’s water polo

Rome, Italy (July 24).— Olympic champion Hungary, world champion Croatia, Olympic silver medallist United States of America and Spain have qualified for the quarter-finals of the men’s water polo competition. 

Canada caused the biggest upset of the day with a 5-4 margin over Germany, the team that drew with Hungary earlier in the week. Canada took second spot in Group A while Hungary romped through South Africa 15-5 to secure its quarter-final berth.

Spain was the first to qualify for the quarter-finals with an 11-5 victory over Kazakistan in Group C. Serbia and Australia played to an enthralling 8-8 draw with the former finishing second on the tiebreak, which was the result against Spain. Serbia lost by two and Australia by three.

The United States of America wrapped up Group D by defeating second-ranked Romania 7-5 for three straight victories.  Italy finished third with a first-win 12-5 scoreline against Macedonia. The host will now need to overtake Serbia in the second round to retain hopes of a medal finish.

Croatia took a big step to retaining its title with a 15-5 success over China to head Group B with European champion Montenegro left to battle through the second round despite defeating Brazil 19-5.

The women’s competition reaches the critical second-round stage on Saturday with the main match-ups New Zealand-Netherlands (11:40), China-USA (15:30), Canada-Germany (16:50) and Italy-Greece (21:30).

Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan (09:00) and South Africa-Brazil (10:20) are the encounters in the 13-16 play-off semifinals.

Game #17  Kazhakstan KAZ 5 vs Spain ESP 11

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

6 on 5: KAZ 1/3; ESP 4/6

Scoring:

KAZ: Alexandr ANISSIMOV, Alexey SHMIDER, Alexandr GAIDUKOV (1), Sergey GOROVOY (1), Murat SHAKENOV, Vladislav ANDREYEV (2), Roman PILIPENKO, Nikita KOKORIN, Rustam UKUMANOV, Mikhail RUDAY (1), Ravil MANAFOV, Adil TEMRKHANOV, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

ESP: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, David MARTIN, Blai MALLARACH, Guillermo MOLINA (2), Marc MINGUELL (1), Ivan GALLEGO (1), Albert ESPANOL (1), Xavier VALLES (2), Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ (1), Xavier GARCIA (2), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

Referees:Koganov (AZE), Shiwei (CHN)
Delegate: Whitehouse

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Spain conquered Kazakhstan and Group C with three victories and direct entry to the quarter-finals. Spain controlled the game from the first quarter and led 7-1 early in the third before Kazakhstan¹s RUDAY scored a spectacular centre-forward goal, working his way slowly around before making it 7-2. Kazakhstan came up strong in the final quarter, matching goals with Spain, who were coasting to victory and thinking more of the quarter-finals.

Game #18 Serbia SRB 8 vs Australia AUS 8

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

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

Scoring: SRB: Slobodan SORO, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC (1), Vanja UDOVICIC (1), Slavko GAK (1), Dusko PIJETLOVIC, Slobodan NIKIC (1), Milan ALEKSIC, Nikola RADEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (3), Andriya PRLAINOVIC (1), Stefan MITROVIC, Gosko PIJETLOVIC. Head Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

AUS: James STANTON, Richard CAMPBELL (1), Timothy CLELAND, Nicholas O¹HALLORAN, Robert MAITLAND (1), Anthony MARTIN, John COTTERILL (3), Grant RICHARDSON, Thomas WHALAN (3), William MILLER, Rhys HOWDEN, Sean BOYD, Luke QUINLIVAN. Head Coach: John FOX.

Referees: Turcotte (CAN), Gomez (ITA)
Delegate: Bock, Bestit

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Serbia and Australia struggled to an 8-8 draw with Serbia finishing second in the group because of a smaller deficit to group winner Spain. Serbia lost by two goals and Australia by three. Australia took its first lead two miutes from halftime and maintain the advantage early in the fourth when PRLAINOVIC levelled and NIKIC took the Serbs 8-7 ahead. Aussie Sharks captain WHALAN converted a penalty draw by MAITLAND at 2:37 and both teams missed opportunities to shoot after timeout ploys inside the last nine seconds.

Game #19USAUSA 7 vs Romania ROU 5

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

6 on 5: USA - 3/9 - ROU - 3/8

Scoring:

USA: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS, Brian ALEXANDER, Jeff POWERS, Adam WRIGHT, Justin JOHNSON (1), Layne BEAUBIEN (3), Tony AZEVEDO (1), Ryan BAILEY (1), Tim HUTTEN, Jesse SMITH (1), JW KRUMPHOLZ, Genai KERR. Head Coach: Terry SCHROEDER.

ROU:Eduard DRAGUSIN Cosmin RADU (1), Tiberiu NEGREAN, Nicolae DIACONU, Andrei IOSEP, Andrei BUSILJA (1), Georghe DUNCA, Alexandru MATEI-GUIMAN (2), Edward ANDREI, Ramiro GEORGESCU, Alexandru GHIBAN, Kalman KADAR (1), Dragos STOENESCU. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

Referees: Kiszelly (HUN), Stavropoulos (GRE)
Delegate: Brochero, Sharanov

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: The USA made it straight to the quarter-finals with a third straight win. The Olympic silver medallists worked hard to shrug off Romania who held the lead at 2-1 for eight minutes and kept the USA scoreless for 11 minutes. BAILEY missed a penalty shot during this time. The USA scored twice before halftime and once soon after the break for a 4-2 turnaround. Two quick goals by Romania had the game at 4-4 but USA scored either side of the final break
with BEAUBIEN netting his  third. RADU scored from deep at 5:08 but it wasn¹t until 1:16 that the USA sealed the quarter-final spot with an AZEVEDO goal off a 5m free throw.

Commentary - Greg Mescall: The USA Men's Senior National Team earned a bye into the quarterfinals by virtue of defeating Romania 7-5 earlier today and winning group play. The USA will most likely face Montenegro in their next match Tuesday but that is still to be determined.

Team USA got things started off nicely in this one going into Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine) for the score on a man advantage with 5:51 to go in the first for a 1-0 lead. Romania countered, however, with two straight goals and ended the first period in the lead 2-1. The United States came back in the second but it took some time. Both teams were scoreless until the 2:40 mark of the period when on an especially lengthy possession Layne Beaubien (Coronado, CA/Stanford) converted a man-up for the score and a 2-2 game. Then with just 13 seconds left in the period Justin Johnson (Trabuco Canyon, CA/UCLA) got out ahead of the pack and scored a counter attack goal for a 3-2 advantage going into halftime.

Out of the half it was more Beaubien as he scored off a USA steal to give the red, white, and blue their largest lead of the game at 4-2. Romania would not go quietly as they rattled off two straight goals to tie the game at 4-4 with 5:32 remaining in the period. Less than thirty seconds after the last Romania goal it was Jesse Smith (Coronado, CA/Pepperdine) launching a skip shot that barred in for the lead at 5-4.

That was the score to start the fourth when Beaubien came calling again for his third goal of the day on a man advantage and the United States went back up 6-4. Team USA wasn't out of the woods yet as Romania connected on a player advantage with 5:08 remaining to draw within a goal at 6-5. The two teams then traded possessions with the USA defense holding strong with 12 steals in the game combined with goalie Merrill Moses and his seven saves. The gamebreaker came at the 1:16 mark with the shot clock winding down as Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford) rose up and fired home a shot for the 7-5 lead. Romania would get no closer and the United States came away with the win.

Game #21 South Africa RSA 5 vs  Hungary HUN 15

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

6 on 5: RSA 2/6; HUN 2/3

Scoring: RSA: Dwayne FLATSCHER, Etienne LE ROUX (1), Andrew RIDLEY (1), Kevin O¹BRIEN (1), Wesley BOHATA, Jason KYTE, Christopher BROWN, Ryan BELL, Rick DIESEL, Pierre LE ROUX (1), Adam KAJEE, Duncan WOODS, Donn STEWART, Head Coach: Vladimir TRNINIC.

HUN: Istvan GERGELY, Marton SZIVOS (1), Norbert MADARAS (1), Denes VARGA (4), Miklos GOR-NAGY (1), Norbert HOSNYANSZKI (1), Gergely KISS, Zsolt VARGA (3), Daniel VARGA (1), Peter BIROS (2), Gabor KIS, Balazs HARAI (1), Viktor NAGY. Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.

Referees: Sadekov (RUS) Wengenroth (SUI)
Delegate: Firoiu

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Hungary cruised through the match and had to await the Germany-Canada match to see whether it advanced to the quarter-finals following the shock draw
with Germany earlier in the week. The shocks continued as Canada won and Hungary won the group. The first quarter was sound at 6-1 but South Africa managed to trip Hungary up at times and slowed the progress. The final period was probably a triumph for South Africa before taking on the 13-16 group. Denes VARGA was the class act for Hungary.

Game #22CanadaCAN 5 vs  Germany GER 4

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

6 on 5: CAN 2/6; GER 3/10

Scoring:

CAN: Robin RANDALL, Constantin KUDABA, Jonathan RUSE, Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI, Justin BOYD, Thomas MARKS (1), Brandon JUNG, Kevin GRAHAM (2), Aaron FELTHAM (2), Dusko DAKIC, Devon DIGGLE, Jarod MEELROY, Nicolas YOUNGBLUD. Head Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

GER: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Marko SAVIC (1), Marko STAMM, Marc POLITZE (1), Heiko NOSSEK, Julian REAL, Tobias PREUSS, Moritz OELER (2), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK, Soeren MACKEBEN, Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

Referees: Bruguljan (MNE), Balfanbayev (KAZ)
Delegate:El Allam, Frady

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Canada created an upset by defeating Germany for second spot in Group A behind Hungary. Germany had drawn with Hungary and nearly pulled off another in the dying moments but Canad a had done enough through dynamic defence and expert goalkeeping from RANDELL. The stunning shot of the game came in the last 25 seconds when GRAHAM was left to take a shot at the end of possession time from well outside and he secured the match with a bouncer than smashed into the top of the net after nearly grazing TCHIGIR¹S face. Germany was constantly peppering the Canadian defence but many of the shots were
channelled or lacked purpose.

Game #23MNEMNE 19 vs  Brazil BRA 5

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Goals by Quarter: 4:1, 6:0, 0:0, 9:4

6 on 5: MNE 5/9; BRA 2/4

Scoring:

MNE: MONTENEGRO: Zdravko RADIC, Drasko BRGULJAN (1), Vjekoslav PASKOVIC (1), Nikola VUKCEVIC (1), Aleksandar RADOVIC (2), Milan TICIC (1), Mladan JANOVIC (4), Nikola JANOVIC (4), Aleksandar IVOVIC (2), Boris ZLOKOVIC (2), Vladimir GOJKOVIC, Predrag JOKIC (1), Milos SCEPANOVIC. Head Coach: Petar POROBIC.

BRA: Andre CORDEIRO, Conrado BERTOLUZZI, Marco SANTOS, Lucas VITTA, Marcelo FRANCO, Leandro MACHADO, Felipe SILVA, Ruda FRANCO, Erik SEEGERER, Felipe FRANCO, Daniel MAMERI, Danilo CORREA, Luis SANTOS. Head Coach: Barbaro DIAZ.

Referees: Rotsart (USA) Damcevski (MNE)
Delegate: Diatthessopoulas

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Montenegro collected second place in Group B with a comfortable victory built on speed, agility, counter-attack and superior firepower. Brazil scored consecutive goals early in the third period and Ruda FRANCO scored either side of the final break but it was a JANOVIC scoring fest, Mladjan and Nikola scoring four each for Montenegro, the European champion. The FRANCOS were not to be outdone as Marcelo FRANCO and Felipe FRANCO also made the scoresheet. ZLOKOVIC, who injured an eye two days ago, played without any problems.

Game #24CROCRO 15 vs   China CHN 5

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Goals by Quarter: 3:2, 4:1, 5:0, 3:2

6 on 5: CRO 3/7; CHN 3/8

Scoring:

CRO: Ivo BRZICA, Damir BURIC (1), Miho BOSKOVIC (5), Niksa DOBUD (1), Ivan BULJUBASIC, Strotan ANTONIJEVIC (2), Frano KARAC (1), Andro BUSLJE (1), Sandro SUKNO (2), Samir BARAC (1), Igor HINIC (1), Paulo OBRADOVIC, Josip PAVIC. Head Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

CHN: GE Weiqing, LIANG Zhongxing, LI Jun (1), YU Lijun (1), TAN Feihi, WANG Beiming, LI Bin (1), WANG Yong (1), WANG Yang, XIE Junmin, HAN Zhidong (1), GUO Junliang, WU Honghui. Head Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

Referees: Reemnet (NDL), Mernenko (UZB)
Delegate: Amini

Commentary - Russ McKinnon:Croatia became the fourth team to make the quarter-finals, finishing atop Group B with a handsome victory. RUDIC said he would give the team a half-day off in celebration. It took time for Croatia to settle but at the top of the second quarter the Croatian counter machine took hold and China was shut out from scoring with the exception of a goal to veteran HAN late in the second quarter and one to YU 10 seconds from full time. BOSKOVIC
gained two of his five goals from the penalty line in the first quarter.

Game #20 Macedonia MKD 5 vs  Italy ITA 12

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

6 on 5:

Scoring:

MKD: Dalibor PERCINIC, Anastas BELEV, Ivan VUKSANOVIC, Dimitar STOYCEV, Nebojsa MILIC (3), Dimitar DIMOVSKI, Marko MICIC, Dimitar STOYCEV, Marko MICIC, Vladimir KRECKAVIC, Dusan KRSTIC (1), Marko BASIC, Nenad PETROVIC, Daniyel BENIC (1), Milos UROSEVIC. Head Coach: Stevan NONKOVIC.

ITA: Stefano TEMPESTI, Federico MISTRANGELO, Alex GIORGETTI (1), Fabrizio BUONOCORE, Valentino GALLO (3), Maurizio FELUGO (1), Andrea MANGIANTE (1), Valerio RIZZO (1), Niccolo FIGARI, Alessandra CALCATERRA, Matteo AICARDI (2), Goran FIORENTINI (3), Tommaso NEGRI. Head Coach: Alessandra CAMPAGNA.

Referees: Peris (CRO), Tulga (TUR)
Delegate: Bock, Martinez

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Italy took time to get its act together and finally please an adoring home crowd with a first win of the championship. It means Italy heads to the second round and a clash with Serbia for advancement to the top eight. The biggest crowd of the week saw Italy take just a one-goal lead at quarter time and then kept Macedonia scoreless in the second quarter. If Italy didn’t have a penchant with shooting wide or an addiction with the wood, he score could have been much higher. The third quarter was high quality water polo from both teams while the fourth saw Italy pleasing the crowd with counters but fewer goals.

GROUP A:

TEAM Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Points
HUNGARY 3 2 1   37 18 +19 5
CANADA 3 2   1 23 20 +3 4
GERMANY 3 1 1 1 25 16 +9 3
SOUTH AFRICA 3     3 10 41 -31 0

GROUP B:

TEAM Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Points
CROATIA 3 3     37 12 +25 6
MONTENEGRO 3 2   1 38 20 +18 4
CHINA 3 1   2 18 34 -16 2
BRAZIL 3     3 12 39 +27 0

GROUP C:

TEAM Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Points
SPAIN 3 3     35 24 +11 6
SERBIA 3 1 1 1 37 22 +15 3
AUSTRALIA 3 1 1 1 32 28 +4 3
KAZAKHSTAN 3     3 15 45 -30 0

GROUP D:

TEAM Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Points
USA 3 3     29 19 +10 6
ROMANIA 3 2   1 17 16 +1 4
ITALY 3 1   2 25 20 +5 2
MACEDONIA 3     3 15 31 -16 0

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Sunday, July 26

Germany dismisses European champion Montenegro to lower rungs of men’s water polo.

Rome, Italy (July 26).— Recently crowned FINA World League and European champion Montenegro was tossed by the roadside as top-eight positions were dished out in the men’s water polo competition at Foro Italico today.

The Montenegrins commanded for much of the second-round clash with Germany but saw the lead disappear in the final quarter, only to gain a grasping goal and push the game to extra time.

While Germany had the spunk to score in the first of two extra periods, Montenegro could not get any ball past former Russian goalkeeper Alexander TCHIGIR and succumbed to ignominy and a shot at ninth place at best.

Germany advanced to the quarter-finals and will play Group D winner United States of America on Tuesday.

Hagen Stamm, the former World Cup champion player and head coach of Germany said the match was a “piece of cake”.

“We were supposed to be the losers. Yesterday, our manager sent us a chocolate cake and we pretended that each slice was a player of Montenegro. We ate the whole cake and we enjoyed it. Perhaps the chocolate gave us the right motivation.”

Montenegrin head coach Petar Porobic was dismayed with the result. “It’s difficult to explain what happened. We had a lot of chances but we weren’t able to score enough. Germany fought until the end. We also were a bit unlucky but this is what sport is all about.”

The group 9-12 will be a powerful quartet in its own right with Montenegro being joined by Australia, China and Italy who went down to Serbia 7-5.

World No 8 Australia bowed to Romania 7-5 and Canada controlled China 9-5 in the other second-round encounters.

In the Group 13-16, Brazil nudged out South Africa 8-7 and Macedonia crushed Kazakhstan 11-4.

The women’s quarter-finals are being played on Monday with Hungary against Canada (14:00), Russia up against Olympic champion Netherlands (15:20), World Cup champion Australia taking on Greece (16:40) and Spain playing World League champion USA (21:00). - Russ McKinnon

 

Game #25 RSA RSA 7 vs Brazil BRA 8

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

6 on 5: RSA 2/6; BRA 1/5

Scoring:

RSA: Dwayne FLATSCHER, Etienne LE ROUX (2), Andrew RIDLEY, Kevin O¹BRIEN (1), Wesley BOHATA, Jason KYTE, Christopher BROWN, Ryan BELL (2), Rick DIESEL (1), Pierre LE ROUX (1), Adam KAJEE, Duncan WOODS, Donn STEWART, Head Coach: Vladimir TRNINIC.

BRA: Andre CORDEIRO, Conrado BERTOLUZZI (1), Marco SANTOS, Lucas VITTA, Marcelo FRANCO (1), Leandro MACHADO, Felipe SILVA (1), Ruda FRANCO (1), Erik SEEGERER, Felipe FRANCO (2), Daniel MAMERI (1), Danilo CORREA, Luis SANTOS. Head Coach: Barbaro DIAZ.


Referees: Rostart (USA), Knights (NZL)
Delegate: Amini

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Brazil managed to outlast South Africa in a very tight match at which the scores were locked at one, two, three, five, six and seven. Brazil gained the biggest advantage in the second quarter when BERTOLUZZI scored on extra for 5-3. But South Africa scored either side of the major break to level. But it was Brazil which made the running, scoring the go-ahead goals for most of the game, claiming the winner through Felipe FRANCO on extra at 1:45.

Game #26 KAZ 4 vs MKD MKD 11

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

6 on 5: KAZ 1/9/ MKD 5/11

Scoring:

KAZ: Alexandr ANISSIMOV, Alexey SHMIDER, Alexandr GAIDUKOV, Sergey GOROVOY, Murat SHAKENOV, Vladislav ANDREYEV (2), Roman PILIPENKO, Nikita KOKORIN, Rustam UKUMANOV, Mikhail RUDAY (1), Ravil MANAFOV (1), Adil TEMRKHANOV, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

MKD: Dalibor PERCINIC, Anastas BELEV, Ivan VUKSANOVIC, Dimitar STOYCEV, Neboysa MILIC (4), Dimitar DIMOVSKI, Marko MICIC (1), Dimitar STOYCEV, Marko MICIC, Vladimir KRECKAVIC, Dusan KRSTIC (5), Marko BASIC (1), Nenad, PETROVIC, Daniyel BENIC, Milos UROSEVIC. Head Coach: Stevan NONKOVIC.

Referees: Spiegel (GER), Mernenko (UZB)
Delegate: Whitehouse

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Macedonia was by far the better team but that did not stop Kazakhstan from toiling solidly throughout. With ANDREYEV and RUDAY working tirelessly it was still not enough against the physically stronger team with the presence to impress and intimidate. RUDAY¹S smart drive to two metres gained him a valuable goal. The left-handed KRSTIC, devastating on the drive or even in centre forward, scored five while Nebojsa MILIC was dangerous whenever he had the ball in hand.

Game #27 CanadaCAN 9 vs CHN CHN 5

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

6 on 5: CAN 0/9; CHN 0/10

Scoring:

CAN: Robin RANDALL, Constantin KUDABA (1), Jonathan RUSE, Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI, Justin BOYD (2), Thomas MARKS, Brandon JUNG, Kevin GRAHAM (1), Aaron FELTHAM (3), Dusko DAKIC (1), Devon DIGGLE (1), Jarod MEELROY, Nicolas YOUNGBLUD. Head Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC

CHN: CHINA: GE Weiqing, LIANG Zhongxing (1), LI Jun, YU Lijun (2), TAN Feihi, WANG Beiming (2), LI Bin, WANG Yong, WANG Yang, XIE Junmin, HAN Zhidong, GUO Junliang, WU Honghui. Head Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

 
Referees: Ciric (SRB), Flahive (AUS)
Delegate: Sharnov

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Canada advanced to the top eight in the world for the first time with a disciplined victory over China. The Canadians have never finished this high at World Championship or Olympic level and must fancy their chances against Spain on Tuesday in the quarter-finals. The victory was built on the early start and the 4-1 halftime lead prove insurmountable for China. WANG Beiming dragged China back to a goal behind with his two goals early in the third period but a four-goal burst by Canada had it ahead 8-3 early in the fourth. LIANG and YU stemmed the flow but Feltham¹s cracker goal from a five-metre free throw wrapped up the top-eight spot at 3:50. The extra-man count looks worse than what it was with five goals coming from the man up but between 21 and 25 seconds after the original exclusion.

Game #28 GermanyGER 9 vs MNE MNE 8 (OT)

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

6 on 5: GER 1/11; MNE 4/12

Scoring:

GER: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Marko SAVIC (3), Marko STAMM (1), Marc POLITZE (1), Heiko NOSSEK, Julian REAL, Tobias PREUSS, Moritz OELER (1), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK (2), Soeren MACKEBEN (1), Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

MNE: Zdravko RADIC, Drasko BRGULJAN, Vjekoslav PASKOVIC (1), Nikola VUKCEVIC (1), Aleksandar RADOVIC, Milan TICIC, Mladan JANOVIC (2), Nikola JANOVIC (1), Aleksandar IVOVIC (1), Boris ZLOKOVIC (2), Vladimir GOJKOVIC, Predrag JOKIC, Milos SCEPANOVIC. Head Coach: Petar POROBIC.

Referees: Kiszelly (HUN), Gomez (ITA)
Delegate: El Allam, Bestit

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Germany caused the biggest upset of the tournament with a 9-8 victory in extra time after the game was locked at 8-8 after four periods. Germany¹s win came despite losing to Canada two days earlier and a 7-7 draw with Hungary before that. Montenegro had 3-1, 5-3, 6-4 and 7-5 leads before OELER gave Germany the first tied score since 3-3 at the end of the first quarter. MACKEBEN sent Germany ahead on a searing counter-attack with three minutes remaining, much to the dismay of the huge flag-waving Montenegrin crowd. Mladjan JANOVIC slipped in a low shot on extra at 2:20 to lock the game at 8-8. SAVIC had the ball ripped from his grip with 30 seconds remaining when the goal was at his mercy. Montenegro could not score and Germany¹s shot after a timeout four seconds from time failed to make the line, sending the game to extra time. SAVIC made amends with a goal on extra with 17 seconds left on the clock of the first three-minute period of extra time for 9-8. TCHIGIR saved Montenegro's first extra-man attack of the second period of extra; Germany missed on a lob attempt; TCHIGIR stole the ball off the centre forward; POLITZE mis-passed to a Montenegrin; TCHIGIR deflected a shot over the back line; NAROSKA was excluded at 0:31; GOJKOVIC popped the ball into the post but it was intercepted by Germany, who played out time and the European champion was exiled to the 9-12 play-offs. Germany had earned a top-eight clash with the United States of America.

Game #29 SerbiaSRB 7 vs Italy ITA 5

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Goals by Quarter:  1:1, 3:2, 2:1, 1:1

6 on 5:

Scoring:

SRB: Slobodan SORO, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC (1), Vanja UDOVICIC (2), Slavko GAK, Dusko PIJETLOVIC, Slobodan NIKIC, Milan ALEKSIC (1), Nikola RADEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (1), Andriya PRLAINOVIC (2), Stefan MITROVIC, Gosko PIJETLOVIC. Head Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

ITA: ITALY: Stefano TEMPESTI, Federico MISTRANGELO, Alex GIORGETTI, Fabrizio BUONOCORE, Valentino GALLO (2), Maurizio FELUGO, Andrea MANGIANTE, Valerio RIZZO, Niccolo FIGARI, Alessandra CALCATERRA (3), Matteo AICARDI, Goran FIORENTINI, Tommaso NEGRI. Head Coach: Alessandra CAMPAGNA.

Referees: Tulga (TUR), Stravropoulos (GRE)
Delegate: Brochero, Firoiu

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Serbia took its place in the top eight and a date with Hungary after a convincing win over Italy who relied heavily on captain CALCATERRA. Italy may have scored first but PRLAINOVIC gave Serbia a 2-1 lead with a shot from five metres and one on counter. GOCIC added to Italy’s misery for 3-1 by midway through the second quarter. By halftime Italy was back in the picture but ALEKSIC made it 5-3 for Serbia three minutes into the third period when he scored from the top. CALCATERRA turned outside the near post to score on extra for 5-4 behind halfway through the third period but UDOVICIC pushed in a rebound which fell short of the line soon after for a two-goal margin by the final break. Campagna scored from 5m soon after the restart and RIZZO scored when all alone in front of goal but it was disallowed. UDOVICIC rubbed salt into the wound with a goal on counter for 7-5. Controversy reined at 1:47 when a suspected timeout was called but it was soon sorted and Italy actually took a timeout at 0:47 but it was too late to equalise and force extra time. The ball was lost, Serbia took a timeout and the bad news was all Italy’s.

Game #30 SRB AUS 5 vs Romania ROM 7

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Goals by Quarter: 1:2, 1:1, 1:2, 2:2

6 on 5: AUS 3/9; ROM 3/6

Scoring:

AUS: James STANTON, Richard CAMPBELL (2), Timothy CLELAND, Nicholas O¹HALLORAN, Robert MAITLAND, Anthony MARTIN (1), John COTTERILL, Grant RICHARDSON, Thomas WHALAN (2), William MILLER, Rhys HOWDEN, Sean BOYD, Luke QUINLIVAN. Head Coach: John FOX.

ROM: Eduard DRAGUSIN, Cosmin RADU (2), Tiberiu NEGREAN, Nicolae DIACONU (2), Andrei IOSEP (1), Andrei BUSILA, Georghe DUNCA, Alexandru MATEI, Edward ANDREI, Ramiro GEORGESCU (1), Alexandru GHIBAN, Kalman KADAR (1), Dragos STOENESCU. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

Referees: Borrell (ESP), Margeta (SLO)
Delegate: Bock, Frady

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Romania surged into the last eight with an excellent victory over Australia. The dour match saw the faster Australians fail to exploit their greater mobility while allowing the outside shooters free rein. Australia concentrated on covering powerful centre forward RADU but this allowed other players free movement as Romania led 3-1 early in the second quarter and 5-3 in the third. CAMPBELL pulled it back to one goal but RADU on a wide-open
counter after an Australian mistake and DIACONU with a snap outside shot took the game beyond Australia¹s reach.  Romania now plays Croatia in the quarter-finals.  

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Tuesday, July 28

Hungary to miss men’s water polo semifinals

Rome, Italy (July 27).— Hungary, the dominant Olympic team of this century, will not be battling out Thursday’s semifinals, having lost a titanic extra-time encounter with Serbia in quarter-final men’s play at the Foro Italico today.

Head coach Denes KEMENY laid the blame at his team’s feet, saying “the scoreboard never lies”. He said: “We made a few mistakes in crucial moments of the match.”

Kemeny was expelled from the game early in the fourth quarter as the game headed to an 8-8 draw, forcing extra time. Serbia went ahead through ALEKSIC and Gabor KIS responded on extra.

KIS joined KEMENY in the stands soon after and Filipo FILIPOVIC broke the deadlock and gained the victory for Serbia.

KEMENY explained his ejection from the pool deck, saying: “I was pointing at the 30-seconds board. Instead of making sure what I was doing, the Neopolitan referee (Filippo GOMEZ) showed me the red card. This disappointed me because I thought he was an impartial referee.”

Serbian head coach Dejan UDOVICIC was ecstatic after the match. “What a match! There were so many exciting moments that I am still holding my breath. We won by one goal but I think that we deserved this victory. We proved to be a good team. We do not under-estimate anyone and we do not fear anyone.”

Serbia will play Croatia, who were troubled by Romania before winning 7-5.

Ratko RUDIC, Croatia’s legendary coach, said the match was full of “psychological tension”.

“We didn’t take advantage of the six-on-five, otherwise we would have scored more. Now we will play Serbia and we will do it to get to the final.”

The United States of America used a third-quarter, five-goal burst to dominate and eventually beat Germany 8-5 and will play Spain, who beat Canada 11-4.

Spain had to come back from 4-1 down in the second quarter to slaughter Canada with a 10-goal burst.

In the semifinal series for the 9-12 group, European champion Montenegro struggled with China’s goalkeepers but still romped home 14-5.

Australia swatted aside Italy 8-6 and afterwards, coach Alessandro CAMPAGNA, who was red-carded in the dying moments of the game and will miss the 11th-12th play-off, said his team needed to be “more respectful of wearing the Italian national cap”.

Four teams made their mark and left the competition with South Africa managing to stay ahead of Kazakhstan for 15th place despite losing two players and the head coach to red cards in the final quarter before finishing 6-5 up.

Brazil, like the women’s 13th & 14th place game the day before, went to a penalty shootout with Brazil emerging after the first two shots of sudden death — 16-15.

The women’s semifinals will be played on Wednesday with Canada playing Russia at 16:50 and Greece facing the USA at 21:00.

- Russ Mckinnon

Game #31 South Africa RSA 6 vs Kaz KAZ 5 15th Place Game

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

6 on 5: RSA 2/7; KAZ 3/11

Scoring:

RSA: Dwayne FLATSCHER, Etienne LE ROUX, Andrew RIDLEY, Kevin O¹BRIEN, Wesley BOHATA, Jason KYTE, Christopher BROWN (2), Ryan BELL (1), Rick DIESEL, Pierre LE ROUX (1), Adam KAJEE, Duncan WOODS (2), Donn STEWART, Head Coach: Vladimir TRNINIC.

KAZ: Alexandr ANISSIMOV, Alexey SHMIDER, Alexandr GAIDUKOV (2), Sergey GOROVOY (2), Murat SHAKENOV, Vladislav ANDREYEV, Roman PILIPENKO, Nikita KOKORIN, Rustam UKUMANOV, Mikhail RUDAY (1), Ravil MANAFOV, Adil TEMRKHANOV, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

Referees: Wengenroth (SUI), Koganov (AZE)
Delegate: Amini

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: South Africa finished 15th, one place lower than its best effort of 14th in 1998. For Kazakhstan, 16th place is its worst effort in four appearances and down from 12th, its last appearance at this level in 2001. South Africa won despite the loss of two players and the head coach in a last-quarter confrontation. Big centre forward BELL was red-carded from the exclusion box as Kazakhstan scored on extra. Head coach TRNINIC advanced on the referee and refused to go back so was also red-carded. The referee called for the ball and the low pass was not appreciated and Etienne LE ROUX was excluded for misconduct. With three team personnel in the stands, South Africa pushed on and gained a penalty shot, which captain WOODS had blocked at 2:13. At 6-5 the remainder of the game was tense but South Africa emerged with the victory.

Game #32 Brazil BRA 16 vs MKD MKD 15 13th Place Game 2OT, Extra Penalty shootout

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Goals by Quarter: 0-2, 6-2, 3-4, 2-3, 1-0, 0-1. (FT:11-11. ET:12-12. Pens: 4-3)

Scoring:

BRA: Andre CORDEIRO, Conrado BERTOLUZZI, Marco SANTOS (1), Lucas VITTA, Marcelo FRANCO (4), Leandro MACHADO, Felipe SILVA, Ruda FRANCO (3), Erik SEEGERER, Felipe FRANCO (4), Daniel MAMERI (3), Danilo CORREA (1), Luis SANTOS. Head Coach: Barbaro DIAZ.

MKD: Dalibor PERCINIC, Anastas BELEV, Ivan VUKSANOVIC (1), Dimitar DIMOVSKI, Neboysa MILIC (2), Dimitar STOJCEV, Marko MICIC (3), Vladimir KRECKOVIC (2), Dusan KRSTIC (4), Marko BASIC (2), Nenad PETROVIC, Danijel BENIC (1), Milos UROSEVIC. Head Coach: Stevan NONKOVIC.

Referee: Moner (EGY), Pinker (RSA)
Delegate: Whitehouse

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Brazil won through in sudden-death penalty shootout after controlling much of the middle part of the game. The 13th-place win maintains the country¹s consistency with its third successive 13th place but first appearance since 2003. Its best results were two 12th placings in 1986 and 1998. For Macedonia it was a tough initiation to this level and poor finishing has been the major cause. The team possesses much in experience and shooting firepower but not when it counts. Macedonia dominated the first quarter but could not capitalise and allowed Brazil to rattle in four unanswered goals and six from seven in the second quarter. Macedonia levelled at six and again at eight. The fourth quarter saw Macedonia go to 10-9 early in the fourth. MAMERI scored two quick goals for 11-10 Brazil¹s way with four minutes left. MICIC levelled at 0:23 to force extra time. Brazil led after the first period and MICIC levelled again in the second. In the penalty shootout both teams scored three times to go to sudden death. Felipe FRANCO did what he didn¹t in the first round of penalties, and scored, but KRECKOVIC, who scored his first, had his last attempt blocked to give Brazil the game.

Game #33 CHN CHN 5 vs Montenegro MNE 13 Semi Final 9-12

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Goals by Quarter: 1-2, 0-2, 1-5, 3-4

6 on 5: CHN 1/3; MNE 1/4

Scoring:

CHN: GE Weiqing, LIANG Zhongxing, LI Jun, YU Lijun (4), TAN Feihi (1), WANG Beiming, LI Bin, WANG Yong, WANG Yang, XIE Junmin, HAN Zhidong, GUO Junliang, WU Honghui. Head Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

MNE: Zdravko RADIC, Drasko BRGULJAN (1), Vjekoslav PASKOVIC (2), Nikola VUKCEVIC (2), Aleksandar RADOVIC, Milan TICIC, Mladan JANOVIC, Nikola JANOVIC (2), Aleksandar IVOVIC (2), Boris ZLOKOVIC (1), Vladimir GOJKOVIC (3), Predrag JOKIC, Milos SCEPANOVIC. Head Coach: Petar POROBIC.

Referees: Ghafouri (IRI), Damcevski (MKD)
Delegate: Bestit

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Montenegro was never going to lose but it struggled at times with the excellent Chinese goalkeepers GE and WU who made 13 saves between them. China proved a worthy adversary and YU was a handful with his four goals. Montenegro was excellent on counter but the goalkeepers ruined its statistics at times.

Game #34 ITA ITA 6 vs Australia AUS 8 Semi Final 9-12

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

6 on 5: ITA 1/11; AUS 3/11

Scoring:

ITA: Stefano TEMPESTI, Federico MISTRANGELO, Alex GIORGETTI, Fabrizio BUONOCORE, Valentino GALLO (1), Maurizio FELUGO (1), Andrea MANGIANTE, Valerio RIZZO (1), Niccolo FIGARI, Alessandra CALCATERRA (3), Matteo AICARDI, Goran FIORENTINI, Tommaso NEGRI. Head Coach: Alessandra CAMPAGNA.

AUS: James STANTON, Richard CAMPBELL (3), Timothy CLELAND, Nicholas O¹HALLORAN, Robert MAITLAND, Anthony MARTIN, John COTTERILL (1), Grant RICHARDSON (1), Thomas WHALAN (1), William MILLER (2), Rhys HOWDEN, Sean BOYD, Luke QUINLIVAN. Head Coach: John FOX.

Referees: Ciric (SRB), Spiegel (GER)
Delegate: Bock, Frady

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Italian coach CAMPAGNA might not have liked the scoreline or the way Australia slowed down the taking of the penalty shot inside the last minute, but he must be unhappy with losing the crossover encounter and having to play for 11th place against China. The game was lost earlier with Italy not performing at these championships. The start looked promising at 2-0 but the Aussie Sharks had levelled at 3-3 by halftime. Australia, thanks to two CAMPBELL goals, had the lead at 6-5 by the last break. The ultra-reliable CALCATERRA scored his third on extra for 6-6 early in the fourth but MILLER from seven metres and CAMPBELL from the same distance sent his shot off the bar into the back of the head of NEGRI and into the goal for the victory. CAMPAGNA berated the referee for allowing the Aussies to "mismanage" the penalty attempt, which resulted in FELUGO having his shot blocked by STANTON. He received a red card but failed to leave the pool deck as his team could only watch Australia squander the time to secure the victory.

Game #35 HUN HUN 9 vs Serbia SRB 10 (OT) Quarter Final

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

6 on 5: HUN 5/13 ; SRB 3/20

Scoring:

HUN: Istvan GERGELY, Marton SZIVOS, Norbert MADARAS (2), Denes VARGA (2), Miklos GOR-NAGY, Norbert HOSNYANSZKI (1), Gergely KISS (1), Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA, Peter BIROS, Gabor KIS (1), Balazs HARAI, Viktor NAGY.
Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.

SRB: Slobodan SORO, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC, Vanja UDOVICIC (3), Slavko GAK, Dusko PIJETLOVIC, Slobodan NIKIC, Milan ALEKSIC (2), Nikola RADEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (2), Andriya PRLAINOVIC (3), Stefan MITROVIC, Gosko PIJETLOVIC. Head Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

Referees: Gomez (ITA) Borrell (ESP)
Delegate: Brochero, Firoiu

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: The red cards kept coming as Serbia rolled Hungary the team with a handful of triple Olympic champions ‹ in extra time. This match had everything but what it missed, and Hungary in particular, was heroic head coach KEMENY, who had to sit and swelter with the crowd in the middle tier of the stands. He gained his red card three minutes into the fourth period and spent the rest of the game relaying his messages via the third bench official to the assistant coach. A Serbian assistant coach also gained a red card but only in the dying minutes of the second period of extra time. Big centre forward Gabo KIS was suspended for a heavy foul at 9-9 and FILIPOVIC scored the extra-man goal that sealed the match. Hungary had a chance to level on extra with the final seconds ticking down the clock but MADARAS unexpectedly received deep and knew he had to shoot only to see it blocked by PRLAINOVIC whose grin spread from one side of the pool to the other. Serbia¹s biggest advantage was 5-2 in the second period but Hungary went 7-5 ahead. The 8-8 goal came at 4:42 in the fourth period

Game #36 CroatiaCRO 7 vs ROU ROU 5 Quarter Final

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

6 on 5: CRO 3/9; ROU 1/6

Scoring:

CRO: Ivo BRZICA, Damir BURIC (2), Miho BOSKOVIC (2), Niksa DOBUD (1), Ivan BULJUBASIC, Strotan ANTONIJEVIC, Frano KARAC (1), Andro BUSLJE, Sandro SUKNO (1), Samir BARAC, Igor HINIC, Paulo OBRADOVIC, Josip PAVIC. Head Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

ROU: Eduard DRAGUSIN, Cosmin RADU (3), Tiberiu NEGREAN, Nicolae DIACONU, Andrei IOSEP, Andrei BUSILA, Georghe DUNCA (1), Alexandru MATEI, Edward ANDREI, Ramiro GEORGESCU (1), Alexandru GHIBAN, Kalman KADAR, Dragos STOENESCU. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

Referees: Turcottte (CAN), Sadekov (RUS)
Delegate: Bock, Frady

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: World champion Croatia had to work to rightfully claim its place in the semifinals. Croatia was slow but steady and by 5:37 of the third quarter had a 5-1 lead. The goals then dried up as Romania started to gain momentum but it was RADU who was left to score the goals, claiming his second and third either side of the final break . When BUSILJA scored from the top at 3:32, Croatia was looking a little shaky, especially as it hadn¹t scored for more than 10 minutes. It was only a penalty attempt that staved off Romania with KARAC giving Croatia a 7-4 advantage with just over two minutes remaining. GEORGESCU¹S counter-attack goal six seconds from time was too late.

Game #37 ESP ESP 11 vs CAN CAN 5 Quarter Final

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

6 on 5:

Scoring:

ESP: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, David MARTIN, Blai MALLARACH (1), Guillermo MOLINA (2), Marc MINGUELL (2), Ivan GALLEGO, Albert ESPANOL (1), Xavier VALLES, Felipe PERRONE (2), Ivan PEREZ, Xavier GARCIA (3), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

CAN:  Robin RANDALL, Constantin KUDABA, Jonathan RUSE, Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI (1), Justin BOYD, Thomas MARKS (1), Brandon JUNG (1), Kevin GRAHAM, Aaron FELTHAM, Dusko DAKIC, Devon DIGGLE (1), Jarod MEELROY, Nicolas YOUNGBLUD. Head Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

Referees: Brguljan (MNE), Flahive (AUS)
Delegate: Brochero, Firoiu

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Canada dared to think it could do the impossible and beat a nation as good as Spain, with its history of high achievement at Olympic and World Championship level. What then when the score favoured the North Americans 4-1 five minutes into the second quarter? There was despair in the vast Spanish armada of spectators. But then the Spaniards listened to the poolside music “Yellow Submarine” and sunk Canada with a withering burst of seven unanswered goals by the final break. The heroes of Spain had proven yet again why they deserved to be in the semifinals. Two of those goals came on counter and three from extra. Another came from the penalty line. The onslaught continued in the final quarter with three more goals for Spain while Canada’s attack had become blunt.

Game #38 USAUSA 8 vs GER GER 5 Quarter Final

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

6 on 5: USA 1/11; GER 3/7

Scoring:

USA: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS (1), Brian ALEXANDER (1), Jeff POWERS (1), Adam WRIGHT (1), Justin JOHNSON, Layne BEAUBIEN, Tony AZEVEDO, Ryan BAILEY (1), Tim HUTTEN (1), Jesse SMITH (1), JW KRUMPHOLZ (1), Genai KERR. Head Coach: Terry SCHROEDER.

GER: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER (1), Marko SAVIC (1), Marko STAMM, Marc POLITZE (2), Heiko NOSSEK, Julian REAL, Tobias PREUSS, Moritz OELER, Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK, Soeren MACKEBEN (1), Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

Referees: Margeta (SLO), Peris (CRO)
Delegate: Bestit, Sharanov

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: The USA eased into the semifinals, based on a five-goal, third-quarter spurt and a team in which eight different players scored. The power of the USA at the centre-forward position was evident with POWERS, KRUMPHOLZ and HUTTEN scoring excellent goals from two metres. AZEVEDO missed a penalty attempt midway through the second quarter, which could have made it 2-2 but the USA levelled at two and three before heading clear of Germany en route to the semifinals.

Commentary - Greg Mescall: The USA Water Polo Men's Senior National Team will be assured a chance at a medal after defeating Germany 8-5 earlier today in a low scoring affair at the FINA World Championships. Behind eight different goal scorers and stifling defense the United States improved to 4-0 in tourney play and will meet the winner of Spain/Canada on Thursday.

Germany took command early in the game with the first goal at the 5:22 mark on a counter attack to post a 1-0 lead. Two minutes later the United States answered as Adam Wright (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA) converted a penalty shot for a tie game at 1-1. Germany used a man advantage moments later to re-take the lead at 2-1 with 1:50 to play in the period and that would be the score headed to the second.

The second quarter saw just one goal in what was ultimately a low scoring first half. The lone tally came near the end of the period as on a power play a long shot bounced off the cage back to Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford) who quickly dealt to Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford) for the score and a 2-2 game.

The Germans wouldn't go quietly to start the second half as they came out with the first goal just 21 seconds into the period to take a 3-2 lead. That score, however, would be the end of their good fortune as the United States would turn it up a notch on offense. Just 20 seconds after the Germany score it was Jesse Smith (Coronado, CA/Pepperdine) connecting from long range for a tie game at 3-3. Then at the 6:32 mark center Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine) stepped out and put one home from downtown for a 4-3 USA lead.

There was more where that came from when Jeff Powers (San Luis Obispo, CA/UC-Irvine) got free inside and hit on a turnaround shot for a 5-3 lead at the 4:13 mark. Then following a Germany kick-out Brian Alexander (Santa Ana, CA/UCSB) worked in on the near side and found the cage for a three goal lead at 6-3. The defense kept up their end of the deal as a sure opportunity for Germany was snuffed out by goalie Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine) who went on to record 10 saves. The scoring was closed out in the period by center JW Krumpholz (Santa Ana, CA/USC) who executed a wicked backhand out of two meters for a 7-3 lead that put the USA in control.

Starting off the fourth quarter the Germans looked  to chip away at the deficit when they tallied a score at the 6:31 mark to come within 7-4. The two teams would trade possessions after that until a Germany exclusion was called with 2:56 to play and Krumpholz delivered a quick pass to Tim Hutten (Seal Beach, CA/UC-Irvine) who rattled home the goal for an 8-4 lead. Germany tacked on a late score on a man advantage with just 1:23 to play but by then the game was in hand as the United States pulled out the 8-5 victory.

Team USA moves into the medal round looking to claim their first ever medal at the World Championships. They will take on the winner of Canada/Spain. In this match the United States turned in a 1/2 performance on penalty shots while going 3/11 on power plays. Germany did not attempt a penalty shot and went 3/7 on power plays.

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Thursday, July 30

Serbia and Spain to clash for gold in men’s water polo

Rome, Italy (July 30).— Serbia will play Spain for the gold medal at the FINA World Championships men’s water polo competition on Saturday night. Serbia ended the reign of Croatia in a pectacular game of tough, rugged and skilled water polo in front of a large crowd at the Foro Italico. Spain upset world No 2 United States of America 7-6 after trailing for much of the first half.

Croatia looked the team to beat and started with the first two goals but Serbia took 4-3, 7-6 and 10-9 leads at the break and kept clear until the end of the game. Croatia had the final chance to level but the shot speared across the crossbar and Serbia, the bronze medallist from the Beijing Olympic Games, guaranteed a better finish than fourth at Melbourne two years ago. Serbian head coach Dejan UDOVICIC said: “Both teams  played a great game. We had a few problems in the first quarter but then we started playing the way we anted to. We were good in defence and the guys strictly followed what I wanted them to d0. We have almost reached the top of the mountain and on Saturday we will know who will be the world champion.

“We showed our power, even though we had some players out of the pool. It’s exciting to win in these conditions,” he said. But Croatian head coach Ratko RUDIC said his team was “too nervous and played hastily”. “We had to chase them for the whole match and when we drew we were incapable of taking advantage of the situation.”

“I’m not used to it. We played a wonderful match, although there were many fouls (32).” The USA could not advance the game plan past a two-goal margin in the first quarter and allowed Spain to return and eventually lead there times in the second half. The third lead proved an unassailable mountain and Spain will now shoot for a third title to go with those won in Perth in 1998 and Fukuoka in 2001.

Sitting in the stands was former Spanish coach Juan JANE who took Spain to those glory days, including the Olympic title in Atlanta in 1996. The Spanish duo of Guillermo MOLINA (three goals) and Xavier Garcia (two) prove a thorn that the USA could not pluck from under its skin.

The USA won silver in Beijing  but now must be content with a bronze-medal shot at  Croatia.

Hungary sauntered into the play-off for fifth with a 13-8 victory over Romania but only led by two goals at halftime.

Germany will face Hungary for fifth after turning a 5-1 lead into a 9-5 difference against Canada.

Australia blew a three-goal advantage in the final quarter to give FINA World League and European champion Montenegro ninth place with an 8-7 victory. The calm Montenegrins did what was needed, keeping the Aussie Sharks scoreless for six minutes.

In the play-off for 11th and 12th, Italy won 14-7 a far cry from victory here in 1994.

It is gold-medal day in women’s water polo on Friday with a North American final between Canada and the United States of America at 21:00.

The bronze medal will be battled out at 16:00 between Russia and Greece.

Olympic champion Netherlands and World Cup champion Australia will play for fifth at 10:40 and Russia and Spain will face off for seventh at 09:00. - Russ McKinnon

Game 39 China CHN 7 vs Italy ITA 14 11th Place

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

6 on 5: CHN 4/9; ITA 2/6

Scoring:

CHN:
GE Weiqing, LIANG Zhongxing (3), LI Jun, YU Lijun (1), TAN Feihi, WANG Beiming (2), LI Bin, WANG Yong, WANG Yang (1), XIE Junmin, HAN Zhidong, GUO Junliang, WU Honghui. Head Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

ITA: Stefano TEMPESTI, Federico MISTRANGELO (4), Alex GIORGETTI (2), Fabrizio BUONOCORE, Valentino GALLO, Maurizio FELUGO, Andrea MANGIANTE (1), Valerio RIZZO (2), Niccolo FIGARI, Alessandra CALCATERRA, Matteo AICARDI (5), Goran FIORENTINI, Tommaso NEGRI. Assistant Coach: Amadeo POMILIO.

Referees: Matache (ROU), Rotsart (USA)
Delegate: Amini

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: The difference was finesse versus brute strength. The Chinese have the strength and the outside shooting prowess (wayward in the second and third periods) but the Italians had typical flair, simple touches and time to use situations to their advantage. Sometimes they tried tricky passing to no avail but they had the time and goal differential to please one of the smallest attendances of the tournament. It was, after all, the play-off for 11th place. MISTRANGELO and AICARDI revelled in the chance to score more goals than they could have hoped for while their regular head coach, Alessandro CAMPAGNA, watched from the stands while serving a game suspension. Eleventh place is a long way from the last time the championships were staged here when Italy won gold. China moved up one placing from 2007. The match marked the end of an era in which captain CALCATERRA announced his retirement from the national team, following the lead of Italian women¹s captain Tania DI MARIO and team-mate Sylvia BOSURGI the previous day. CALCATERRA had been a fixture in the Italian team since
the early 1990s.

Game 40 Montenegro MNE 8 vs Australia AUS 7

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

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

Scoring:

MNE: Zdravko RADIC, Drasko BRGULJAN, Vjekoslav PASKOVIC (1), Nikola VUKCEVIC, Aleksandar RADOVIC, Milan TICIC, Mladan JANOVIC (1), Nikola JANOVIC (1), Aleksandar IVOVIC (3), Boris ZLOKOVIC (1), Vladimir GOJKOVIC, Predrag JOKIC (1), Milos SCEPANOVIC. Head Coach: Petar POROBIC.

AUS: James STANTON, Richard CAMPBELL (2), Timothy CLELAND (1), Nicholas O'HALLORAN (1), Robert MAITLAND, Anthony MARTIN (1), John COTTERILL, Grant RICHARDSON, Thomas WHALAN (1), William MILLER (1), Rhys HOWDEN, Sean BOYD, Luke QUINLIVAN. Head Coach: John FOX.


Referees: Balfanbayev (KAZ), Stravropoulos (GRE_
Delegate: Bestit

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Australia imploded in the final four minutes of their encounter with World League and European champion Montenegro, turning a 7-4 lead into an 8-7 loss. Australia had the better of more than three quarters of the match only to abandon the game plan and planned extra-man plays and gift the game to the determined Montenegrins. When CAMPBELL took Australia 7-4 ahead early in the fourth with a long, low shot, the writing was on the wall. Montenegro turned that to graffiti with a sculptured game that saw Nikola JANOVIC from five metres, Jokic on extra, Ivovic from the field and, despite two Australian timeouts, ZLOKOVIC with a backhand goal from two metres for victory. Australia had no answer. At the Beijing Olympics the match-up saw a tie; at the FINA World League this year it was Montenegro by two and here in Rome it was one goal to the Europeans ‹ enough not to go into double-digit ranking.

Game 41HungaryHUN 13 vs Romania ROU 8

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

6 on 5: HUN 1/7; ROU 0/5

Scoring:

HUN: Istvan GERGELY, Marton SZIVOS (1), Norbert MADARAS (2), Denes VARGA (1), Miklos GOR-NAGY, Norbert HOSNYANSZKI (1), Gergely KISS (3), Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA (2), Peter BIROS (2), Gabor KIS, Balazs HARAI (1), Viktor NAGY. Asisstant Coach: Csaba MATEPALUY.

ROM: Eduard DRAGUSIN, Cosmin RADU (1), Tiberiu NEGREAN (1), Nicolae DIACONU (1), Andrei IOSEP (1), Andrei BUSILA , Georghe DUNCA, Alexandru MATEI, Edward ANDREI DINA (1), Ramiro GEORGESCU (1), Alexandru GHIBAN (1), Kalman KADAR (1), Dragos STOENESCU. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

Referees: Borrell (ESP), Sadekov (RUS)
Delegate: Brochero, Whitehouse

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Hungary, without the services of head coach Denes KEMENY, who was ostracised to the stands following a red card two days earlier, cruised to a 13-8 victory over Romania but it wasn¹t easy in the middle stages. Hungary was comfortable in the first quarter but Romania resisted the temptation to roll over against the Olympic champion and stuck close until halftime. But then the relentless assaults of Hungary, swift passing and pinpoint shots were like a rolling train. Still, the advantage was just four at the final break. Hungary released its built-up tensions at not making the medal round and romped away in the final quarter, gaining a shot a fifth place on Saturday.

Game 42 Canada CAN 5 vs Germany GER 9

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

6 on 5: CAN 3/6; GER 3/7

Scoring:

CAN: Robin RANDALL, Constantin KUDABA, Jonathan RUSE, Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI, Justin BOYD (2), Thomas MARKS, Brandon JUNG, Kevin GRAHAM (1), Aaron FELTHAM, Dusko DAKIC, Devon DIGGLE (2), Jarod MEELROY, Nicolas YOUNGBLUD. Head Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

GER: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA (1), Fabian SCHROEDTER, Marko SAVIC (2), Marko STAMM, Marc POLITZE (4), Heiko NOSSEK, Julian REAL, Tobias PREUSS, Moritz OELER (1), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK, Soeren MACKEBEN (1), Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

Referees: Tulga (TUR), Koganov (AZE)
Delegate: Bock, Bestit

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Germany rammed its way into the play-off for fifth against Hungary with a solid yet unexciting display. Canada has appealed for parts of the tournament but not so in this game until the final quarter when the odds were stacked highly against it. Germany started strongly but could not maintain the momentum before halftime. Added drive came at the start of the third period and the impetus was retained until the break with captain POLITZE firing in a penalty goal 11 seconds from time. Canada struck form with two goals in a minute but SAVIC lobbed RANDALL for 7-4 at 6:33. BOYD responded but the Canadian push stopped there, leaving Germany to rifle in the last two goals, one on penalty to POLITZE and the last by NAROSKA.

Game 43SerbiaSRB 12 vs Croatia CRO 11

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

6 on 5: SRB 5/11; CRO 4/15

Scoring:

SRB: Slobodan SORO, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC, Vanja UDOVICIC (3), Slavko GAK (1), Dusko PIJETLOVIC (1), Slobodan NIKIC, Milan ALEKSIC (1), Nikola RADEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (4), Andriya PRLAINOVIC (2), Stefan MITROVIC, Gosko PIJETLOVIC. Head Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

CRO: Ivo BRZICA, Damir BURIC, Miho BOSKOVIC (3), Niksa DOBUD (2), Ivan BULJUBASIC (1), Strotan ANTONIJEVIC, Frano KARAC (2), Andro BUSLJE, Sandro SUKNO (1), Samir BARAC (1), Igor HINIC, Paulo OBRADOVIC (1), Josip PAVIC. Head Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

Referees: Gomez (ITA), Kiszelly (HUN)
Delegate: Sharanov, Frady

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Serbia ended the rein of Croatia as world champion with a controlled match against a team expected to go back to back under super coach Ratko RUDIC. It was not to be despite a 2-0 lead to the Croatians at the start. Then, with PRLAINOVIC and FILPOVIC combining with the exceptional captain UDOVICIC, Serbia was in the box seat. This trio scored nine of the goals as Serbia had the better of the shooting if not the foul count, which was mounting and a problem should the game go into extra time. Three times Serbia led by two oals in the second quarter and only twice in the third. FILIPOVIC sent in a slow five-metre, free-throw shot that RUDIC disputed late in the third quarter that gave Serbia a 10-9 advantage after DOBUD levelled the game on a superb cross pass in front of goal. PRLAINOVIC and FILIPOVIC gave Serbia two-goal margins in the fourth either side of a KARAC penalty by 2:32. BULJUBASIC hit the crossbar and the ball fell just over the line at 1:17 for 12-11, setting the scene for a fantastic finale. Serbia took a timeout but could not score and Croatia gained the final phase after a timeout, earning a a short period on extra. No one wanted to shoot and the final shot came from the top but it was at least 30cm above the bar and Croatia¹s reign had ended. The story is in the major fouls. Croatia managed to get four Serbians excluded on three majors ‹ including UDOVICIC ‹but netting the chances proved fatal.

Game 44Spain ESP 7 vs USA USA 6

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

6 on 5:

Scoring:

ESP: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, David MARTIN, Blai MALLARACH, Guillermo MOLINA (3), Marc MINGUELL, Ivan GALLEGO, Albert ESPANOL, Xavier VALLES, Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ (1), Xavier GARCIA (2), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

USA: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, David MARTIN, Blai MALLARACH, Guillermo MOLINA (3), Marc MINGUELL, Ivan GALLEGO, Albert ESPANOL, Xavier VALLES, Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ (1), Xavier GARCIA (2), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

Referees: Margeta (SLO), Brguljan (MNE)
Delegate: Firoiu, Sharanov

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Spain will be out to recreate history when it takes on Serbia in the gold-medal final on Saturday night. Spain trailed for much of the first quarter before drawing level at halftime and scoring three go-ahead goals to win the encounter. The USA began the better of the two with two with KRUMPHOLZ on extra and then POWERS who received a long pass on to the hand on the far post to score. MOLINA drilled from the top to round out the first quarter. GARCIA showed why is one of the best players here with a shot from the top for 2-2.  BAILEY used his bulk to score from two metres but PERRONE scored from deep left for 3-3. AZEVEDO scored his 10th goal of the tournament on counter but GARCIA was at it again, spoiling the USA’s party with a pile-driver from the top. MOLINA took Spain ahead for the first time at 2:59 of the third period with POWERS replying for 5-5 at the close of the third. PEREZ, the sleeping giant, emerged with  a score off the post on extra at 631 for 6-5. The USA squared the game on extra when HUTTEN received the last of three swift passes on the far post to score at 4:19. MOLINA struck again at 3:38 on extra when Spain received two shots after MOSES deflected the first attempt. The USA went to a timeout with a minute to go but lost the ball. With 25 seconds left the USA regained the ball and employed two centre forwards. Spain went into power defence and the final shot came from the hard-working BEAUBIEN but  AGUILAR stopped it and the game was over.

Commentary - Greg Mescall: The USA Men’s Senior National Team will play for a Bronze Medal at the 2009 FINA World Championships after falling to Spain 7-6 in the semi-final round. Team USA, which had been undefeated in tourney play prior to the loss will meet Croatia on Saturday at 4:00pm local Italy time in attempt to win their first ever World Championship medal.

The United States got off to a great start in this one posting the first two goals of the match. After a scoreless opening five minutes of action Team USA jumped out on a counter attack with JW Krumpholz (Santa Ana, CA/USC) coming free on the break to find the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. Then at the 2:31 mark they struck again on the fast break as this time Brian Alexander (Santa Ana, CA/UCSB) found Jeff Powers (San Luis Obispo, CA/UC-Irvine) for the tally and it was a 2-0 lead.

Spain would answer in the waning seconds of the period with a power play goal and it was 2-1 in favor of the USA going to the second. Spain won the sprint to open the second quarter and got down to business shortly thereafter with another player advantage goal to tie the game at 2-2 with 7:20 to play. Less than 30 seconds later the United States got it back as they went inside to Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine) who beasted his defender and fired home the score for a 3-2 lead.

The Spanish countered less than a minute later with another goal off a player advantage and the see-saw battle was knotted up again at 3-3. At the 5:11 mark the United States got out in transition again and this time Adam Wright (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA) hit Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford) for a quick shot and a score to re-take the lead at 4-3.  No lead lasted very long in the first half and it proved true again when Spain came back with a score with 3:50 left in the period to tie the match at 4-4. That would also be the score going into halftime.

A low scoring battle emerged in the third quarter with no goals being registered in the first five minutes of play. Spain struck the first blow with a score at the 2:59 mark and they jumped back up 5-4. This was short lived as at the 1:21 mark, after a Spain exclusion, Powers used a series of fakes to beat the Spanish goalie and tie the match at 5-5.

It was a 5-5 game to start the fourth and Spain came out swinging again scoring the period’s first goal on a player advantage with 6:31 to go for a 6-5 lead. The USA would not go quietly as they battled back for a score with 4:19 left in the period. For that score Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford) worked the ball over to Tim Hutten (Seal Beach, CA/UC-Irvine) who was able to put away the power play goal.

Tied at 6-6 Spain would come up with what proved to be the pivotal goal. Following a USA exclusion the Spaniards found the cage at the 3:38 mark for a 7-6 lead. The United States would have opportunities down the stretch including a look at the cage with just two seconds remaining in the game but it was not to be. Spain came away the winners 7-6 and will meet Serbia for the Gold Medal on Saturday evening.

Merrill Moses patrolled the net for Team USA turning in 11 saves while Powers led on offense with two scores. The USA went 2/6 on man advantages while Spain was 4/6, neither team attempted a penalty shot.

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Saturday, August 1

Udovicic spearheads Serbia to men¹s gold in sudden-death penalty shootout

Rome, Italy (August 1).‹ Serbia needed a sudden-death penalty shootout to capture a gold medal in its own right in the men¹s water polo final at Foro Italico late tonight.

In a game that lasted nearly two hours and had the capacity crowd of more than 5000 sitting on the edge of their seats, the Serbians proved king of the pool, missing just two shots in the shootout compared to Spain¹s three. For the record, the game ended at 6-6 and 7-7 after extra time. Both teams missed two shots in the initial shootout to finish the rotation 10-10.

The first three players for each team converted their shots with Guillermo MOLINA and Andrija PRLAINOVIC making up for their initial misses. Then Blai MALLARACH, who barred out with his first attempt, had the horror situation of having his second shot blocked and then watched as Milan ALEKSIC barrelled in his shot, sending his ecstatic team-mates and support staff into the water for celebrations.

This was one of the most dynamic finals in recent times with superb defence, power shots and controlled play from both teams for the entire match. Two of the tournament¹s best players sat up and took centre stage with the star player all fortnight ‹ Vanya UDOVICIC ‹ scoring the first three goals for Serbia, the team he captains. He scored twice in the shootout for a personal tally of five.

Spain relied heavily on the powerful left-hander Xavier GARCIA whose immense contribution to the final did not gain the reward he so sorely sought. He scored a magnificent five goals in regular time and did not disappoint with his two shots in the shootout.

It was Garcia who sent Spain to extra time with his shot off extra-man with just 11 seconds remaining in the game.

Serbia has had many incarnations as a water polo nation. Yugoslavia won two gold, one silver and three bronzes at world championships. Serbia Montenegro won gold and bronze and now as Serbia alone, it has a gold medal. Spain gained its sixth world championship medal following victories in 1998 and 2001 plus three previous silver medals.

Croatia won the bronze medal under the guidance of super-coach Ratko RUDIC. It didn¹t have the golden hue of that won in Melbourne two years ago but it was gained against the No 2-ranked team in the world, the United States of America.

Rudic declared after the match: ³The gold medal (match) is not always the best one. The bronze medal we won today was extremely worth it if we look at the many issues we have been through in our training and our tournament. My players played and strived with all their heart. It¹s a young team with a great potential for the future. Truly, Rome brings me luck,² he said in reference to his leading Italy to the championship here in 1994. Captain Samir BARAC said: "Now the whole summer makes sense to me. I dedicate this victory to my family, especially to my daughters Emma and Sara."

The fairytale ending that the USA women enjoyed last night albeit under the shadow of a Canadian protest, which was not upheld today ‹ the USA men did not perform under pressure when needed most.

The USA led for much of the match but Croatia tasted the lead for the first time in the third period and thrust the knife in the throat with two quick goals in the dying minutes for a two-advantage.

USA head coach Terry SCHROEDER said: "Obviously we came here to win a medal. We failed, but we are satisfied with the good tournament we played." Captain Tony AZEVEDO said his team started well. "Towards the end of the match, Croatia took advantage of their six on five while we didn't." In the battle for minor places Olympic champion Hungary defeated Germany 9-6 and Romania beat Canada by the same score for fifth and sixth.

Game 45: ROU 9 vs CAN 6 7th Place

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

6 on 5: ROM 1/6; CAN 2/9

Scoring:

ROU: Eduard DRAGUSIN, Cosmin RADU (2), Tiberiu NEGREAN, Nicolae DIACONU, Andrei IOSEP (1), Andrei BUSILJA (1), Georghe DUNCA, Alexandru MATEI GUIMAN (2), Edward ANDREI DINA (1), Ramiro GEORGESCU (2), Alexandru GHIBAN, Kalman KADAR, Dragos STOENESCU. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

CAN: Robin RANDALL, Constantin KUDABA, Jonathan RUSE, Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI (1), Justin BOYD, Thomas MARKS (2), Brandon JUNG, Kevin GRAHAM (2), Aaron FELTHAM, Dusko DAKIC, Devon DIGGLE (1), Jarod MEELROY, Nicolas YOUNGBLUD. Head Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

Referees: Ciric (SRB), Reemnet (NED)
Delegate: Bock, Amini

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Romania boosted its ranking from 11th in Melbourne with a win from the front. In a relatively quiet game for the referees, Romania maintained the pressure throughout and never allowed Canada a chance to overtake, although CONSTANTIN-BICARI scored for Canada on extra with eight seconds left in the third quarter for 6-5. IOSEP took Romania two ahead at the start of the fourth and this led to victory. Canada advanced from 12th in Melbourne in what has been a good year for the North Americans. Canada came close to a
top-four finish but will also be happy to have a top-eight ranking.

Game 46: Hungary HUN 9 vs GER 6 5th Place

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

6 on 5: HUN4/5; GER 3/12

Scoring:

HUN: Istvan GERGELY, Marton SZIVOS (1), Norbert MADARAS (1), Denes VARGA (1), Miklos GOR-NAGY, Norbert HOSNYANSZKI (1), Gergely KISS (1) Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA (1), Peter BIROS, Gabor KIS (1), Balazs HARAI, Viktor NAGY. Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.

GER: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Marko SAVIC (1), Marko STAMM, Marc POLITZE (3), Heiko NOSSEK, Julian REAL (1), Tobias PREUSS, Moritz OELER (1), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK, Soeren MACKEBEN, Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

Referees: Peris (CRO), Stravropoulos (GRE)
Delegate: Brochero, Bestit

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Hungary has nine world championship medals but this year is not going to swell the medal cabinet. Fifth place over Germany was the same as 2001, meaning Hungary drops after the Olympic gold achievement. Germany moved up from eighth in 2007 but wasn¹t in a position to claim fifth, trailing 5-1 at halftime and 8-2 at the final break. Hungary used the game to good effect with four from five on extra ‹ the best statistics by any team at the
tournament.

Game 47 Croatia CRO 8 vs USA 6 MENS BRONZE MEDAL GAME 10:00 am Eastern

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

6 on 5:  USA 5/11; CRO 4/8

Scoring:

CRO: Ivo BRZICA, Damir BURIC (1), Miho BOSKOVIC (1), Niksa DOBUD, Ivan BULJUBASIC, Strotan ANTONIJEVIC, Frano KARAC, Andro BUSLJE (1), Sandro SUKNO, Samir BARAC (2), Igor HINIC, Paulo OBRADOVIC (2), Josip PAVIC. Head Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

USA: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS (1), Brian ALEXANDER (1), Jeff POWERS (1), Adam WRIGHT, Justin JOHNSON, Layne BEAUBIEN, Tony AZEVEDO (2), Ryan BAILEY, Tim HUTTEN, Jesse SMITH, James KRUMPHOLZ (1), Genai KERR. Head Coach: Terry SCHROEDER.

Referees: Borrell (ESP), Flahive (AUS)
Delegate: Sharanov, Firoiu

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Croatia won its second medal at world championship level, following up from gold in Melbourne two years ago. The USA missed a chance to become the first team outside Europe to gain a medal at the FINA World Championships. The USA went 3-1 up in the first quarter but allowed BOSKOVIC to score on extra to close the period in the searing afternoon heat. The USA scored its second-quarter goal on extra while Croatia¹s sole goal came from the penalty spot through OBRADOVIC. BARAC levelled at 4-4 with an unguarded shot from the top two minutes into the third period. BUSLJE let loose a cannon from the top left to give Croatia the first lead at 1:40 after several good shooting opportunities from the USA failed to find their mark. POWERS scored from two metres off a cross pass on extra for 5-5 at 5:46 in the last quarter but then the damage was done soon after as Croatia went two ahead through OBRADAVIC and BURIC. The first was on extra but the second was from a powerful centre-forward turn while guarded by two players. The USA¹s final real chance to narrow the gap came when BEAUBIEN creased the bar on extra at 1:47. Croatia¹s goal attempt went wide, the USA took a timeout and gained consecutive exclusions. AZEVEDO drilled the ball from the top for 7-6 at 0:59. Croatia gained an exclusion and, after the excluded player returned, HINIC scored off the set pass down the left for 8-6 at 0:27. The final USA attempt stopped short of the line.

Commentary - Greg Mescall: The USA Men’s Senior National Team fell just short of a Bronze Medal at the FINA World Championships as they lost to Croatia earlier today 8-6. With the loss the United States finishes in fourth place overall, a marked improvement from ninth in 2007 and ends tourney play with a 4-2 record overall.

Team USA played a tremendous first half and got started early scoring the first goal less than 60 seconds into the match. Team Captain Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford) took a feed from Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine) to hit on a power play goal for a 1-0 lead. Croatia would answer some two minutes later to tie the game at 1-1 but that was short lived.

At the 3:01 mark in the period JW Krumpholz (Santa Ana, CA/USC) was the recipient of some great passing on the counter attack as Layne Beaubien (Coronado, CA/Stanford) fired a pass to Jeff Powers (San Luis Obispo, CA/UC-Irvine) who quickly found Krumpholz for the score and a 2-1 lead. The USA added just minutes later on a player advantage as Brian Alexander (Santa Ana, CA/UCSB) moved in on the near side and cashed in the score for a 3-1 lead. Croatia added a score late in the period but it would remain a USA lead at 3-2.

In the second the United States built their lead using another power play goal this time from Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford) who lit the proverbial lamp for a 4-2 lead at the 4:37 mark. The USA defense stayed strong as well, especially after the Varellas goal. Croatia would get three attempts on the cage in a single possession all denied by the USA defense and keeper Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine) who finished with 9 saves. However, late in the period the United States was called for a five meter penalty, Croatia converted and it was a 4-3 game in favor of the USA at halftime.

The third quarter belonged entirely to Croatia. After winning the opening sprint they were able to keep the United States scoreless for the entire period. From there they added two scores to take a 5-4 lead at the 1:40 mark in the third quarter. In the fourth the United States battled back. Jeff Powers made his way to the net and received a nice pass which he used to beat the Croatian goalie for a time game at 5-5.

It was a short lived tie as less than a minute later Croatia used a power play to take the lead at 6-5. Then moments later at the 4:06 mark in the period Croatia went inside to get a score out of two meters for a two goal lead at 7-5. The Croatia defense was there as well halting a USA man-up opportunity with just 1:47 to play. Despite time winding down the United States stuck with it getting a double exclusion against Croatia with 59 seconds left. Azevedo received a quick pass and found the cage to draw within 7-6. But it was Croatia that would answer last scoring a backbreaking man-up goal with just 27 seconds left to seal the game and the Bronze Medal at 8-6.

Serbia wins Gold in Double overtime, 2 penalty shootouts

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Goals by Quarter: 3-2, 0-0, 1-2,2-2, 1-1, 0-0, Pens: 7-6

6 on 5: 

Scoring:

SRB: Slobodan SORO, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC, Vanja UDOVICIC (5), Slavko GAK, Dusko PIJETLOVIC (1), Slobodan NIKIC, Milan ALEKSIC (2), Nikola RADJEN (1), Filip FILIPOVIC (4), Andriya PRLAINOVIC (1), Stefan MITROVIC, Gosko PIJETLOVIC. Head Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

ESP: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, David MARTIN, Blai MALLARACH, Guillermo MOLINA (3), Marc MINGUELL, Ivan GALLEGO, Albert ESPANOL (2), Xavier VALLES, Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ, Xavier GARCIA (7), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

Referees: Margeta (SLO), Koganov (AZE)
Delegate: Frady, Whitehouse

Commentary - Russ McKinnon: Serbia won in sudden death penalty shootout in an action packed game that pleased the capacity crowd. Theatre and drama ruled in this fantastic testament to the game of water polo. The game was set alight by miracle men Vanya UDOVICIC and Xavier GARCIA. By the end of the first quarter they had scored the five goals as Serbia led 3-2. The power shooting of both teams was matched by the excellent defence in the second quarter as no goal eventuated. One did come a nano-second after the buzzer at halftime, a rebound flicked in by the centre forward but no shift on the scoreboard. The forest of arms was in action in the third quarter but Garcia scored his third on extra from deep right after a timeout play. FILIPOVIC stunned the Spanish defence with a lob just after exclusion time for a 4-3 lead for Serbia at 5:49. MOLINA scored off the drive down the left with a long slider under SORO¹S left arm to level the game at 3:41. The capacity crowd was thrilled by massive shots but had to be impressed with the channelling of the shots and stoppages of the ball. The fourth quarter promised much and delivered quickly with FILIPOVIC gaining his second from the top on action on the first Serbian attack. Serbia used a timeout and when the expulsion time was over the ball slipped into IJETLOVIC at two metres on the hand and he sent it in with a reflex action. GARCIA proved why he is on the all-star team at these championships with a screamer from well outside into the top left corner for 6-5 at 2:51. The pool was electric and GARCIA was helping spark the fire. Serbia took a second timeout at 1:59 after gaining an ejection but the ball was stolen from the player¹s hand on the third pass. Spain went to a timeout only 10 seconds into the counter. The resulting shot bounced to halfway and the last minute had arrived. Spain eventually shot and regained the ball. Time was ticking and the ball twice made it to GARCIA¹s steady hand. While heavily guarded, he shot off his left arm and tied the game with just 11 seconds remaining and to the thunderous roar of the appreciative crowd. FILIPOVIC tried a lob just before full time but no score and the game went to extra time. PEREZ earned an extra man in the first period of extra time and MOLINA blasted past SORO at 2:16. RADJEN returned the favour for Serbia with a shot off the post on extra above the goalkeeper¹s head for 7-7 at 0:59. MINGUELL missed a sitter on a two-on-one with the goalkeeper, hoping to get a penalty shot but he turned away from the goal. The second period of extra time saw PRLAINOVIC score off a free throw but it was disallowed. Serbian coach UDOVICIC complained about his player not receiving a kickout when three players moved on the centre forward. It was worth a yellow card. When Serbia regained the ball soon after a timeout was called with q10 seconds left. FILIPOVIC took the final shot of extra time but it careered over the crossbar, forcing the game into a penalty shootout. Spain won the toss and elected to shoot first. MOLINA missed the first shot for Spain and PRLAINOVIC, the third Serbian also had his shot blocked. MALLARACH then had his bounce up into the bar. It came down to GOCIC to win the match for Serbia but he missed and the shooting went to sudden death. The rotation saw the first six shooters score and then MALLARACH had his shot blocked at 13-13. ALEKSIC stepped up and scored to give Serbia the title on the 18th shot in the shootout. The tournament¹s best goalkeeper, SORO, had saved the day for Serbia.

Triple women's champions enjoy spotlight.

In the aftermath of the women's gold-medal water polo final, two athletes were happier than most. Captain Brenda Villa and outside shooter Heather Petri were positively glowing at the press conference. They came to Rome as double champions and left as triple world champions.
The pair also won in Barcelona in 2003 and Melbourne in 2007.

No country had taken three golds at a FINA World Championships for women before and the USA broke the deadlock with the Netherlands and Italy. Villa and Petri also won silver in Montreal in 2005.

Their trophy cabinets at home also contain three Olympic medals (silver in 2000, bronze in 2004 and silver again in 2008. Throw in four FINA World League golds and a silver and these women can rightfully be called "heavy metal".

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