Shanghai_11_logo 2011 FINA
Men's World Championships
World

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Men's World Championship Teams

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

 

Monday, July 18

Russell McKinnon, FINA Press Office:

It's not often that Hungary finds itself in a two-goal-down situation twice in a match but it did not seem to phase the team that has won the past three Olympic titles.

Hungary, however, needed a 4-1 final quarter to turn the tables on Montenegro in Group A action in what was an exhilarating start to the men's water polo competition at the Natatorium.

Super coach Denes KEMENY urged his players on but the writing was on the wall and Montenegro looked good to win the match at the final break.

Hungary poured on the power and the goals with three from extra-man advantage to go 11-9 ahead inside two minutes, giving up a Montenegro goal at 1:26 and hold on for victory.

The match was in stark contrast to the other Group A match where Spain stumped Kazakhstan 18-5 with a 10-1 start.

Group B offered its own excitement when Romania looked odds on to beat Australia before the Aussie Sharks clawed back from 4-1 down and needed 4-1 in the final period to win 9-8.

There were gasps of excitement and despair at the final whistle as Romania rued the lost opportunity in a group featuring world champion Serbia.

Serbia appeared to spend little energy in swatting aside China 17-5, although the home team put in a tremendous effort against insurmountable odds.

Group C action in the first session saw 2007 world champion Croatia defeat Brazil 14-5 with Miho BOSKOVIC scoring three goals in 90 seconds in the opening quarter and finishing with four.

Canada also gained a win, defeating Japan 11-5 by keeping it scoreless in the third period and ramming home the final three goals.

Group D started with Germany's destruction of United States of America, going 5-0 ahead before USA brought the game to within one goal three times only to see the game slip away.

Italy took the early group lead with a 17-1 romp over South Africa.

Game #1 09:30 HUN HUN 11 vs MNE MNE 10

 Start List   Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: NAUMOV Sergei (RUS), TULGA Erhan (TUR)
Delegate: AMINI Khosrow, FOSTER Richard

Extra Man: HUN: 4/5. MNE: 6/8

Pen: HUN: 1/1

HUNGARY: Viktor NAGY, Miklos GOR NAGY (1), Norbert MADARAS (1), Denes VARGAS (1), Marton SZIVOS, Norbert HOSNYANSZKY (1), Gergely KISS (1), Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA (1), Peter BIROS (4), Adam STEINMETZ (1), Balazs HARAI, Zoltan SZECSI. Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.

MONTENEGRO: Denis SEFIK, Drasko BRGULJAN (1), Aleksandar RADOVIC (1), Damjan DANILOVIC (1), Nikola VUKCEVIC (1), Milan TICIC, Filip KLIKOVAC, Nikola JANOVIC (2), Aleksandar IVOVIC (2), Darko BRGULJAN, Antonio PETROVIC (1), Predrag JOKIC (1), Milos SCEPANOVIC. Coach: Petar POROBIC.

What a spectacular match to start the men's competition! Two of the finest teams in the world playing like gladiators in front of an adoring crowd. With the game on a knife's edge at halftime, the second half proved to be, as the cliché says, a game of two quarters. Montenegro held sway for much of the period and it was only the closing efforts of the 35-year-old BIROS who kept Hungary in the game. BIROS earlier scored what will probably become the goal of the tournament when he broke clear, had time to swan around in the attacking zone and accepted a long pass from goalkeeper NAGY, turn and then take his time in scoring a magnificent goal for 3-4. BIROS later took Hungary 6-5 ahead on penalty but his next goal was needed to stop the rot as Montenegro had shot to an 8-6 advantage. BIRO drilled from the top but DRASKOVIC grabbed a second goal on extra to give the Montenegrins a fantastic two-goal lead. There the celebrations ended as Hungary surged to the front and went 11-9 ahead inside the final two minutes. Three of those goals came on extra while KISS secured the 1-9 goal with his pile-driving left arm from close in. There was some hope for Montenegro when JANOVIC was allowed to move from six metres to three metres and score on extra at 1:26. Then, in the final minute, Montenegro took a timeout but the resulting play did not allow the shot on extra and JANOVIC was left stranded to take a meaningless shot from the side, which NAGY was able to easily save. Hungary had secured a morale-boosting win and seemingly dominance of the group.

Game #2 10:50 KAZ KAZ 5 vs ESP ESP 18

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 1-3,0-4,2-5, 2-5

Referees: CABRAL Roberto (BRA), ROTSART Steven (USA)
Delegate: TOYGARLI Haluk, FIROIU Niculae

Extra Man: KAZ: 2/3. ESP: 4/7

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandr SHVEDOV, Sergey GUBAREV, Murat SHAKENOV, Roman PILIPENKO, Alexey PANFILI, Alexandr FENOCHKO, Alexandr AXENOV (1), Rustam UKUMANOV, Evgeniy ZHILYAYEV (3), Mikhail RUDAY (1), Ravil MANAFOV, Nikita KOKORIN, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

SPAIN: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA (1), Eric MARSAL (1), Francisco FERNANDEZ (1), Guillermo MOLINA (3), Marc MINGUELL (3), Mark ROCA, Albert ESPANOL, Xavier VALLES (1), Felipe PERRONE (3), Ivan PEREZ (3), Javier GARCIA (2), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

When Spain led 10-1, Kazakhstan awoke and started to make a mark on the game, but by then the damage had been done. While stars MOLINA, MINGUELL and PERRONE were slamming in goals, Kazakhstan was in the wings. Then old-stager ZHILYAYEV (38) bristled at the opportunity and fired in three of his own to bring Kazakhstan to 13-4 behind. Ivan PEREZ, another player not far from the pension, produced two immaculate goals of his own and Spain was comfortably 14-4 ahead. RUDAY gave Kazakhstan a fifth but MINGUELL collected his third one the final buzzer, cutting it finely on counter. Spain enjoyed a 56% shooting average compared to Kazakhstan's 25%.

Game #3 12:10 ROU ROU 8 vs AUS AUS 9

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: PERIS Nenad (CRO) KOGANOV Mark (AZE)
Delegate: FARID Wahid IBERN Manue

Extra Man: ROU: 2/2. AUS: 4/6

Pen: ROU: 1/1

ROMANIA: Dragos STOENESCU, Cosmin RADU (2), Tiberiu NEGREAN (2), Nicolae DIACONU, Andrei IOSEP (1), Andrei BUSILA, Mihnea CHIOVEANU, Alexandru MATEI, Dimitri GOANTA, Ramiro GEORGESCU (2), Alexandru GHIBAN, Kalman KADAR (1), Mihai DRAGUSIN. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

AUSTRALIA: Joel DENNERLEY, Richard CAMPBELL (2), Tim CLELAND, Mitchell BAIRD, Robbie MAITLAND, Anthony MARTIN, Aidan ROACH (2), Sam McGREGOR, Aaron YOUNGER (1), Gavin WOODS, Rhys HOWDEN (1), Billy MILLER (3), Luke QUINLIVAN. Coach: John FOX.

Australia may have won the game by a single goal but the manner in which it came had fans wondering what was going on. Romania had the game secure at 4-1 after the Aussie Sharks opened the scoring. By the final break Romania was still comfortably in control at 7-5 but the desperate Sharks were circling and went in for the kill to tie the game at seven and again at eight after RADU scored one of the easiest counter-attack goals of his life. Australia, not so hot on extra-man plays earlier — even failing to shoot when two men up — then scored two brilliant goals when a man up. The first came when CAMPBELL scored off a cross pass and then YOUNGER scored off the first pass with 44 seconds left for 9-8. Romania went to a timeout but the shot came from the acute deep right and QUINLIVAN smacked down the ball, regained and sent it to the side to waste time and win an almost impossible victory. Romania would be gutted with NEGREAN scoring his team's first two goals and converting a penalty in a game where heavy fouling was the norm. The goal of the match came when MILLER drove cross-cage and seemed to tip on a low projectile for his third when two defenders had him nearly underwater. That goal brought up the 7-7 scoreline and breathed life into Australia's early campaign.

Game #4 13:30 Brazil BRA 5 vs CRO CRO 14

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 1-6, 1-2, 2-2, 0-5

Referees:GONZALEZ Osvaldo (PUR) CIRIC Mihailo (SRB)
Delegate: MARTIN G.O. SHAW Bill

Extra Man: BRA: 1/1. CRO: 4/4

BRAZIL: Marcelo CHAGAS, Emilio VIERIA, Henrique MIRANDA (1), Bernardo GOMES, Marcelo FRANCO (1), Gustavo GUIMARAES, Jonas CRIVELLA (2), Felipe SILVA, Bernardo ROCHO, Ruda FRANCO, Joao Felipe COELHO, Danilo CORREA (1), Vincius ANTONELLI. Head Coach: Goran SABLIC.

CROATIA: Josip PAVIC, Damir BURIC, Miho BOSKOVIC (4), Niksa DOBUD (2), Maro JOKOVIC, Petar MUSLIM (1), Frano KARAC, Andro BUSLJE (1), Sandro SUKNO (2), Samir BARAC. Fran PASKVALIN (3), Paulo OBRADOVIC (1), Ivan BULJUBASIC. Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

When a team like Croatia takes on a lower-ranked team like Brazil it is a chancy affair. Chancy perhaps for Brazil who, once the shell-shock had subsided and the scoreboard read 7-0 midway through the second quarter thought it was time to join the action. The tentative steps saw the game go to 8-2 and 11-2 before SUKNO drove right to score for 11-2 inside the final three minutes of the third period. FRANCO, with a donut shot from three metres and CRIVELLA with his second from the top, brought Brazil to 11-4. It was 22 seconds from time before Brazil scored again and BOSKOVIC, who scored three goals in 90 seconds in the first quarter, completed the scoring for a relaxed Croatian team when he shot from five metres with 10 seconds left. Croatia gained some extra-man attack practice and looked strong all over the pitch but will probably not be really tested until the second week, with matches against Canada and Japan to finish the group. Croatia had 10 more shots than Brazil at 37.

Game #5 17:00 JPN JPN 5 vs CAN CAN 11

Start List  Results   Play by Play

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

Referees:WILLIAMS Cory (NZL) ALEXANDRESCU Adrian (ROU)
Delegate: KRYUKOV Andrey, IBERN Manuel

Extra Man: JPN: 2/5. CAN: 1/2

Pens: CAN: 1/2

JAPAN: Katsuyuki TANAMURA, Kan AOYAGI (1), Koji TAKEI (1), Shota HAZUI, Mitsuaki SHIGA (1), Akira YANASE (1), Yisuke SHIMIZU (1), Atsushi NAGANUMA, Hiroki WAKAMATSU, Yoshinori SHIOTA, Keigo OKAWA, Satoshi NAGATA, Naoki SHIMIZU. Head Coach: Hideki TAKAGI.

CANADA: Robin RANDALL, Constantine KUDABA, Omar TOUNI, Nicolas CONSTANTIN, Justin BOYD (2), Scott ROBINSON (1), John CONWAY, Kevin GRAHAM (5), Devon DIGGLE (3), Dusko DAKIC, Oliver VIKALO, Jared McELROY, Dusan ALEKSIC. Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

With Kevin GRAHAM on fire and Canada looking better as the game went on, Japan had no answer for the North American team that has come on in leaps and bounds under head coach JOVANOVIC. The superior shooting average saw Canada complete the second half 5-2. GRAHAM used his left arm to its powerful best, scoring five goals — four from his favoured deep left-hand-catch position — with one on counter-attack. His only blemish was a missed penalty attempt late in the second quarter, the ball making solid contact with TANAMURA's left hand at full stretch. DIGGLE scored three more with the first two coming in quick success to make a decisive three-goal margin at 5-2. Japan tried to break through but the Canadian defence left few gaps in the trees. Five Japanese scored but when needed — the third period — they were wanting — and Canada had the game stitched up at 8-3, keeping Japan scoreless for the period. The goal of the match came from ROBINSON on extra for 10-5 when he took the ball on the two-metre line close to the post on the right side with his right arm and sent in a high backhand shot.

Game #6 18:20 USA USA 7 vs GER GER 9

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: BRUGULIAN Mario (MNE) STAVRIDIS Georgios (GRE)
Delegate: BADREDDINE Boukezouha MARTIN G.O.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Press :

Two of the most experienced teams in the competition battled out an unusual match on a day of unusual matches. The USA has had the better of the results in recent years and has competed at the highest level with the best silver at the Beijing Olympic Games. Germany has been out of the limelight but changed that today. It would be fair to say that the USA contingent at the pool was utterly stunned by a five-goal deficit and the fact that the USA did not score until more than halfway through the second quarter. Germany was then stunned as the awakening giant moved from 6-1 down to 6-5. A blocked penalty attempt by superstar AZEVEDO could have narrowed the game to one again but he atoned with a score eight seconds from the final break. OELER made sure of a shot on extra three minutes into the final quarter for his third but there was still time for the patient USA. BEAUBIEN converted extra but KREUZMANN sent one in on the next attack for 9-7. Both teams shut up shop but USA's chances in the final minute came to nought, especially after the ball was stolen with the last chance. Germany was better prepared for the match and the sluggish USA had no answers early. Head Coach STAMM said after the match that for two quarters (first two) "We played the best that we can". The win was achieved without the services of NAROSKA, who sat on the bench with an injured shoulder but is gaining traditional Chinese treatment. For the yellow wall of German spectators, it was the best possible start to the championships and reason to celebrate with the local Tsingtao beer.

Greg Mescall, USA Water Polo:

Shanghai, China - July 18 - Despite a furious second half rally the USA Men's National Team was unable to come all the way back and fell to Germany 9-7 to open their competition at the FINA World Championships. Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) led the team on offense with two goals while Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) went the whole way in net stopping 11 shots. Team USA trailed by deficits of 5-0 and 6-1 early in the match before rallying to close within one on several occasions. The USA Men are back in action on Wednesday with a match against Italy.

A slow start doomed the United States on this day as Germany rolled up a 4-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. In the second they continued to build going up 5-0 some 90 seconds into the quarter. The United States would finally break through at the 3:13 mark when Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club) found the cage on a power play for a 5-1 match.  Germany would come back minutes later skipping home a shot bar down to put the lead back to five goals at 6-1 with 1:46 to play. The red, white, and blue were able to end the half on a promising note when Adam Wright (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC) banged home a shot from distance for a 6-2 Germany lead at halftime.

Down four goals the United States came out guns blazing to open the third quarter. Things got started less than a minute into the quarter when Azevedo found the left corner for a 6-3 match. Less than two minutes later Tim Hutten (Seal Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) connected from outside to make it 6-4. Team USA kept chipping away as Peter Hudnut (Encino, CA/Stanford/LAWP) hit for a power play goal to make it 6-5 on the United States was on the verge of coming all the way back. Germany quieted their rally with a score forty seconds later to push the lead back to two at 7-5 with 3:13 left in the quarter. A golden opportunity was missed when the United States failed on a penalty shot try with 2:13 remaining but the squad made amends when Azevedo tallied a power play goal with just eight seconds remaining in the period. Germany would hold just a one goal advantage at 7-6 with play moving to the fourth.

Three minutes into the period Germany delivered a crucial shot on a player advantage to take an 8-6 lead. At the 4:30 mark the United States answered when Layne Beaubien (Coronado, CA/Stanford/NYAC) found the cage after some solid passing for an 8-7 Germany lead. The Germans would score a backbreaking goal on the next possession hitting from deep to go back up two at 9-7. The United States would squander a six on five advantage at the 2:45 mark and was unable to complete the rally as Germany came away winners 9-7.

The United States went 4/9 on power plays while Germany was 5-10. The United States were hampered by an estimated 17 turnovers.


USA 7 (0, 2, 4, 1) T. Azevedo 2, L. Beaubien 1, A. Wright 1, P. Varellas 1, T. Hutten 1, P. Hudnut 1
GER 9 (4, 2, 1, 1)

Saves – USA – M. Moses 11

6x5 – USA – 4/9 – GER – 5/10
Penalties – USA – 0/1 – GER – 0/1

Flash Quotes

Tony Azevedo, Attacker – Team USA

“The end result was 17 turnovers for us and we started off terribly, you can’t go down 4-0 and expect to win a game. We fought back pretty strong, it shows the team has heart, but we just couldn’t finish.”

Game #7 19:40 ITAITA 17 vs RSA RSA 1

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 5-0, 3-0, 5-0, 4-1

Referees: BALFANBAYEV Alan (KAZ) MENENDEZ Juan (CUB)
Delegate: SHARANOV Evgeny SOSTAR Alexsandar

Extra Man: ITA: 2/2. RSA: 0/2

Pens: ITA: 2/2

ITALY: Stefano TEMPESTI, Amaurys PEREZ (2), Niccolò GITTO, Pietro FIGLIOLI (1), Alex GIORGETTI (3), Maurizio FELUGO, Niccoloi FIGARI (1), Valentino GALLO (2), Christian PRESCIUTTI (2), Deni FIORENTINI (1), Matteo AICARDI (1), Arnaldo DESERTI (4), Giacomo PASTORINO. Coach: Alessandro CAMPAGNA.

SOUTH AFRICA: Grant BELCHER, Pat McCARTHY, Jared WINGATE, Wesley BOHATA, Bevan MANSON, Jason KYTE (1), Gavin KYTE, Ryan BELL, Gareth SAMUEL, Donn STEWART, Adam KAJEE, Nicholas MOLYNEUX, Matthew KEMP. Head Coach: Brad ROWE.

Italy's surge up the international rankings following silver at last month's FINA World League meant bad news for South Africa. The Italians played modestly, with flair and with no desire to fire the afterburners. The shooting talent was on display and the defence was even better. South Africa failed to learn the lessons from the earlier quarters, much to its distress. The only South African goal came two minutes into the fourth period when Jason Kyte fired one of the true missiles from the top through the middle of the net. But too often South African drives were stymied and the extra punch needed to gain ejections was missing. Italian supremo CAMPAGNA utilised his full bench, as the spread of goals attests, and was untroubled in any quarter. GIORGETTI enjoyed two penalty strikes among his three goals. South Africa missed two extra-man chances but the most damning section of the game was turnovers, committing 25 compared to Italy's 12.

Game #8 21:00 SRB SRB 17 vs CHN CHN 5

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 5-1,3-0,2-2, 7-2

Referees: FLAHIVE Daniel (AUS) REMNET Gideon (NED)
Delegate: FARID Wahid KRYUKOV Andrey


SERBIA: D Pijetlovic (2), Prlainovic (2),  Cuk (3),  Mitrovic,  Aleksic (2), Filipovic (3), Udovivic (3),Avramovic

CHINA:  Liang, Zhang, Xie, Guo, Pan

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

 

Wednesday, July 20

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-2

Referees: Georgios STAVRIDIS (GRE), Steven ROTSART (USA)
Delegate: TOYGARLI Haluk WHITEHOUSE John

Extra Man: SRB: 5/6. ROU: 1/1

Pen: ROU: 1./1

SERBIA: SORO Slobodan, Marko AVRAMOVIC (1), Zivko GOCIC, Vanja UDOVICIC (3), Marko CUK (1), Dusko PIJETLOVIC (4), Slobodan NIKIC (1), Milan ALEKSIC, Nikola RADJEN, Filip FILIPOVIC, Andrija PRLAINOVIC (2), Stefan MITROVIC, Gojko PIJETLOVIC. Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

ROMANIA: Dragos STOENESCU, Cosmin RADU (2), Tiberiu NEGREAN (1), Nicolae DIACONU, Andrei IOSEP, Andrei BUSILA (1), Mihnea CHIOVEANU, Alexandru MATEI, Dimitri GOANTA, Ramiro GEORGESCU, Alexandru GHIBAN, Kalman KADAR (1), Mihai DRAGUSIN. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

Serbia is the team to beat here in Shanghai. There is no doubt about that. The ease with which Serbia dispensed with Romania was wonderful to watch. The score might not have been huge but between two big teams it was a delight to see how the Serbs could penetrate small gaps, placing the ball accurately on the hand of close-in players. Serbia constantly took the ball to the goal-line and cross-passed to players breathing down the neck of STOENESCU. The best such goal was scored by AVRAMOVIC to close the first half. He received a fantastic cross pass from a tricky MITROVIC to score. Sharp passing and even quicker shooting were the key points of the game. The dominance of Dusko PIJETLOVIC at centre forward was also a key factor. All four of his goals came from the two-metre zone with two on extra but his ability to gain ejections was all too evident. Captain UDOVICIC, FINA’s player of the year in 2010, proved he was also in a class above, netting three, including the gift counter with a second remaining. His coolness in shooting off the water before the clock stopped was excellent. All round, the Serbs are near perfect. Romania showed grit and some strong teamwork but failed to close down tiny gaps that Serbia loved walking through. RADU scored from the penalty line and on extra while KADAR rocketed in a missile from the top for 9-4. Serbia took half as many shots again as Romania.

Game #10 10:50 CAN CAN 4 vs CRO CRO 11

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: Sergio BORRELL (ESP), Cory WILLIAMS (NZL)
Delegate: BADREDDINE Boukezouha FIROIU Niculae

Extra Man: CAN: 1/5. CRO: 5/7

Pens: CAN: 1/1. CRO: 1/2

CANADA: Robin RANDALL, Constantine KUDABA, Omar TOUNI, Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI (1), Justin BOYD (1), Scott ROBINSON (1), John CONWAY, Kevin GRAHAM (1), Devon DIGGLE, Dusko DAKIC, Oliver VIKALO, Jared McELROY, Dusan ALEKSIC. Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

CROATIA: Josip PAVIC, Damir BURIC, Miho BOSKOVIC (2), Niksa DOBUD (4), Maro JOKOVIC (1), Petar MUSLIM (1), Frano KARAC (1), Andro BUSLJE, Sandro SUKNO, Samir BARAC. Fran PASKVALIN, Paulo OBRADOVIC (1), Ivan BULJUBASIC (1). Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

Croatia gained a second win but met stiff resistance from Canada. However, by creating a shut-out in the second half, it proved that Croatia will be hotly favoured to progress to the quarter-finals. At 6-4 by halftime we had a game that looked more than very interesting but PAVIC nailed boards across his goal and Canada could not wrench them free. In fact, he stopped an incredible 81.8% — 18 from 22, possibly a percentage not to be beaten here. Croatia’s DOBUD reaped four goals to go with the two from the clash with Brazil on day two. The powerful centre forward sent in a quick and powerful backhand to close the scoring and earlier fired one from the top. RANDALL saved his best defence for a block to the right on MUSLIM’s penalty to slow Croatia’s march after two DOBUD goals in the third period. Probably the best shot of the game was that struck by BULJABASIC. He drove to the right and received the ball. In hand, he drove back across the cage, taunting RANDALL and then, while facing his own goal, flicked the ball backwards, over his head and off his right hand — a cunning shot if you ever saw one. A telling factor for Canada’s loss was the extra-man count.

Game #11 12:10 BRA BRA 11 vs JPNJPN 13

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: Mario BRGULJAN (MNE), NI Shi Wei (CHN)
Delegate: MARTIN G.O. SHARANOV Evgeny

Extra Man: BRA: 3/5. JPN: 6/9

BRAZIL: Marcelo CHAGAS, Emilio VIERIA, Henrique MIRANDA, Bernardo GOMES, Marcelo FRANCO (1), Gustavo GUIMARAES (1), Jonas CRIVELLA, Felipe SILVA (3), Bernardo ROCHO, Ruda FRANCO (3), Joao Felipe COELHO, Danilo CORREA (3), Vincius ANTONELLI. Head Coach: Goran SABLIC.

JAPAN: Katsuyuki TANAMURA, Kan AOYAGI, Koji TAKEI (3), Shota HAZUI, Mitsuaki SHIGA (1), Akira YANASE (1), Yisuke SHIMIZU (4), Atsushi NAGANUMA (1), Hiroki WAKAMATSU, Yoshinori SHIOTA (2), Keigo OKAWA (1), Satoshi NAGATA, Naoki SHIMIZU. Head Coach: Hideki TAKAGI.

Japan need shock tactics to get into the game and had to come from 3-1 and 5-2 down before some authority on the game. The three-goal momentum gained in the second quarter to level the game at 5-5 and then 6-6, continued in the third period after FRANCO took Brazil ahead on extra. YANASE from a short drive to four metres, TAKEI with a blistering shot from eight metres and SHIMIZU with an easy conversion of extra from three metres, gave Japan a two-goal advantage at the final break. FRANCO netted a second with a twisting lob from outside five metres to open the final quarter inject hope into Brazil but SHIMIZU swept back a ball from the near-post position on extra for 10-8. OKAWA took it to three ahead with a lob on counter but Brazil struck back twice, through SILVA with a doughnut shot on extra and Marcelo FRANCO after the extra-man advantage for 10-11 at 3:19. The game virtually finished when TAKEI and SHIMIZU both scored their third goals just before the last minute. Ruda FRANCO slipped in a goal on extra for his third 41 seconds from time. Japan used its time and Brazil called a timeout at 0:12 but the shot failed to find a home. Brazil had three more shots than Japan but with a poorer percentage.

Game #12 13:30 RSA RSA 8 vs  GER GER 16

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 2-3, 2-4, 1-4, 3-5

Referees: Mihailo CIRIC (SRB), Adrian ALEXANDRESCU (ROU)
Delegate: IBERN Manuel SHAW Bill

Extra Man: RSA: 5/5. GER: 6/7

Pen: RSA: 1/1

SOUTH AFRICA: Grant BELCHER, Pat McCARTHY, Jared WINGATE, Wesley BOHATA, Bevan MANSON (1), Jason KYTE (3), Gavin KYTE, Ryan BELL (3), Gareth SAMUEL, Donn STEWART (1), Adam KAJEE, Nicholas MOLYNEUX, Matthew KEMP. Head Coach: Brad ROWE.

GERMANY: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Julian REAL, Marko STAMM (1), Marc POLITZE (1), Erik BUKOWSKI, (1) Paul SCHUELER (4), Tobias KREUZMANN (2), Moritz OELER (5), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK (2), Dennis EIDNER, Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM. OELER placed himself to the forefront with five goals as Germany overcame early jitters to pull away from South Africa and post a respectable score.

Germany got better and better as the game went on but it was OELER who enjoyed the festival atmosphere of the match. He scored in each of the first two quarters, twice in the third and pulled down a high rebound on the one-metre line in the fourth when his team was far in front. His best goal was when he received a long diagonal pass from back inside Germany’s half, to catch and score in one motion. South Africa may have gone two down early but Jason KYTE, MANSON and STEWART had the game squared early in the second quarter. MANSON’s goal was exceptional as he twisted around his defender when Germany went on attack, stole the ball, shook off the defender again and lobbed the goalkeeper. While OELER was everywhere, SCHUELER was just as capable with two from the top and a strong centre-forward goal to close Germany’s scoring. BELL, who plays professionally in Spain, converted the only penalty of the game in the last minute.

Game #13 18:20 USA USA 5 vs  ITA ITA 8

Start List  Results  Plat by Play

Quarters: 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 2-3

Referees: Boris MARGETA (SLO), Erhan TULGA (TUR)
Delegate: KRYUKOV Andrey SOSTAR Alexsandar

Extra Man: USA: 2/6. ITA: 3/4

UNITED STATES: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS, Peter HUDNUT, Jeff POWERS, Adam WRIGHT, Brian ALEXANDER (2), Layne BEAUBIEN (1), Tony AZEVEDO (1), Ryan BAILEY, Tim HUTTEN (1), Jesse SMITH, Shea BUCKNER, Andrew STEVENS. Coach: Terry SCHROEDER.

ITALY: Stefano TEMPESTI, Amaurys PEREZ, Niccolò GITTO (2), Pietro FIGLIOLI, Alex GIORGETTI (1), Maurizio FELUGO (2), Niccoloi FIGARI, Valentino GALLO (1), Christian PRESCIUTTI (1), Deni FIORENTINI, Matteo AICARDI (1), Arnaldo DESERTI, Giacomo PASTORINO. Coach: Alessandro CAMPAGNA.

Greg Mescall, USA Water Polo:

Italy looked the classier opponent, a team willing to take the quick shots and reap the rewards. The USA looked a little more pedestrian with the decision-making process in comparison, allowing the agile Italians to fill the laneways. Italy rode the luck, took chances and put doubt into the North Americans’ minds. FELUGO was the playmaker for the Italians. He opened the scoring and in the third period he took the team to two ahead with a slow, deliberate shot from nine metres on the free throw for 5-3. BEAUBIEN scored the USA’s only goal of the second period and HUTTEN opened the third to bring the game to 3-4 but FELUGO started a roll that saw GITTO from six metres and AICARDI with a goal from centre forward for 7-3 seconds from the final break. AICARDI deftly pushed off his opponent to gain the advantage but it was so subtle. At four goals down, the Beijing Olympic silver medallist looked gone for all money but ALEXANDER converted extra with a cross-cage shot that bounced off the right upright into goal at 5:35. The USA was still in the hunt for a first win in Shanghai. GITTO then scored perhaps the best goal of the game when he took a pass from GALLO across the two-metre line, turned to his left and planted the ball in the back of the net from his post position on extra, putting the game beyond the USA’s reach. AZEVEDO scored his third goal of the tournament and first for the match when he took the USA’s third shot in succession at 2:07. Despite a timeout each, neither side could score and the USA will be looking for a win over South Africa on Friday to advance. Italy faces Germany in the group decider

Flash Quotes

“We gave up too many bad goals. We didn’t do a very good job of getting the ball to our centers. We’ve got to be able to get the ball into the centers more to be effective. If we aren’t scoring from outside than we aren’t going to be able to get the ball into our centers and if our centers aren’t effective than the outside shooters aren’t going to be as close in.  Definitely a stronger effort (than Germany) but unfortunately the same result, we have to keep getting better as the tournament moves on.” – Terry Schroeder, USA Head Coach

“We just have a tougher path, you know to put it in a positive way, we need the games. We’re hopefully going to get better as the tournament goes along. Just (need) a little stronger effort defensively, we gave up too may goals. We try to hold teams under six goals, we’re not there yet, we’ve got some work to do.” – Terry Schroeder, USA Head Coach

Game #14 18:20 ESP ESP 7 vs MNE MNE 9

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 1-3, 1-2, 2-1, 3-3

Referees:CAPUTI Massimiliano (ITA) BOCK Torsten (GER)
Delegate:FARID Wahid FOSTER Richard

Extra Man: ESP: 0/4. MNE: 2/4

Pen: MNE: 1/1

SPAIN: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, Eric MARSAL (1), Francisco FERNANDEZ, Guillermo MOLINA, Marc MINGUELL (2), Mark ROCA, Albert ESPANOL, Xavier VALLES (2), Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ, Javier GARCIA (1), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

MONTENEGRO: Denis SEFIK, Drasko BRGULJAN, Aleksandar RADOVIC, Damjan DANILOVIC (1), Nikola VUKCEVIC (1), Milan TICIC (1), Filip KLIKOVAC, Nikola JANOVIC (2), Dragan DRASKOVIC, Darko BRGULJAN (2), Antonio PETROVIC (1), Predrag JOKIC, Milos SCEPANOVIC. Coach: Petar POROBIC.

This was the match of the day. The superstar Montenegrins against the Spaniards who promised so much but it came down to the power of the lob rather than sheer speed and power. The belligerence of the teams was evident throughout as both decided they could win the game. But Spanish supporters might not have thought it possible for some time as the Montenegrins dominated most of the first half, keeping Spain scoreless for 13 minutes. The third period opened with GARCIA clawing one back only to have DANILOVIC score on extra for 6-3. MINGUELL scored his second, this time on extra to close the three-quarter mark 6-4. VALLES created havoc when his shot at the top of the fourth just sneaked across the line, despite the protestations of the Montenegrin players. More than four minutes later MARSAL equalised with a score on extra from the deep right, squeaking under SEFIK’s left arm. By this stage Montenegro had only scored one goal in 17 minutes! Darko BRGULJAN reined in a rebound off the post just after the exclusion period to take the edge at 2:23. Then VALLES thought he must have been on extra as he managed to find the post position and accepted a high pass, which he dragged into goal, for 7-7. The huge crowd thought this was going to be a draw but no-one counted on Montenegro’s determination and pride. However, it was not the raw power but the hopeful and humble lob that had the walls reverberating with noise. PETROVIC was four metres wide of the goal and less than four metres from the back line when he lobbed for 8-7. PEREZ turned the ball over at the far end and Montenegro had another chance. TICIC opened his tournament scoring with a lob from seven metres and out wide, that destroyed AGUILAR and his team-mates. It’s not a goal he will forget or even repeat, possibly! The true figure for the extra-man count saw Spain scoring just one from nine and Montenegro converting two from 13. Spain scored at 47.1% and Montenegro at 37.5% but having extra shots helps.

Game #15 19:40 HUNHUN 16 vs  KAZ KAZ 5

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Referees: PERIS Nenad (CRO) DESLIERES Marie (CAN)
Delegate: AMINI Khosrow SOSTAR Alexsandar

Quarters: 4-1, 4-0, 3-2, 5-2

Extra Man: HUN: 5/9. KAZ: 1/4

HUNGARY: Viktor NAGY, Milos FERVENCY, Norbert MADARAS (3), Dense VARGAS (3), Marton SZIVOS (1), Norbert HOSNYANSZKY (3), Gergely KISS (1), Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA (1), Peter BIROS (3), Adam STEINMETZ, Balazs HARAI (1), Zoltan SZECSI. Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandr SHVEDOV, Sergey GUBAREV (1), Murat SHAKENOV, Roman PILIPENKO, Alexey PANFILI, Alexandr FENOCHKO, Alexandr AXENOV (1), Rustam UKUMANOV, Evgeniy ZHILYAVEV (2), Mikhail RUDAY (1), Ravil MANAFOV, Nikita KOKORIN, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

Hungary’s victory over Kazakhstan was easier than the opening day when it fended off Montenegro 11-10. Hungary used the match to work on swift passing with excellent finishing. No sooner had the ball arrived on the players’ hands than it was in the back of the net. This was used with short passes as well as long cross passes. Rarely did the ploy not work, such was the Hungarians’ accuracy. Kazakhstan tried hard but the Hungarians had all the answers. It took the wily skills of ZHILYAYEV to score twice with one slipping under the left arm of GOR NAGY — a rare mistake for him. GUBAREV was another to send in a quick outside shot. But it was the Hungarians who were the quickest team with the shooting action almost blurred. The crowd loved veteran BIROS who opened the scoring on counter and scored his third on counter inside the final half minute — his second goal in quick succession. For Hungary it was another training game with London 2012 the big carrot.

Game #16 21:00 AUSAUS 12 vs CHN CHN 7 

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Referees: KORYZNA Radoslav (POL) PINKER Guy (RSA)
Delegate: FARID Wahid KRYUKOV Andrey

Quarters: 1-2, 1-2, 3-2, 7-1

Extra Man: AUS: 4/8. CHN: 4/5

Pen: CHN: 1/1

AUSTRALIA: Joel DENNERLEY, Richard CAMPBELL (3), Tim CLELAND, Mitchell BAIRD, Robbie MAITLAND, Anthony MARTIN (2), Aidan ROACH, Sam McGREGOR (1), Aaron YOUNGER (3), Gavin WOODS (1), Rhys HOWDEN, Billy MILLER (2), Luke QUINLIVAN. Coach: John FOX.

CHINA: GE Weiqing, TAN Feihu, LIANG Zhongxing (1), YU Lijun, GUO Junliang, PAN Ning (2), LI Bin (2), WANG Yang, XIE Junmin (1), LI Li, ZHANG Zhufeng (1), DONG Tianyi, WU Honghui. Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

This was a game that Australia was meant to win but China failed to follow the script written by the Aussie Sharks head coach. Australians in the stand were stunned when China led 4-1 two minutes in the second quarter. At 4-2 by halftime, it did not look good for the Australians. The third quarter proved more eventful with five goals, the Aussies holding the edge at 3-2. Australia clawed back to 3-4, 4-5 and 5-6 with the last goal from YOUNGER four seconds from time on counter. MILLER scored the equaliser on extra, sending his shot from the deep left cross cage, somehow slipping through GE’s left hand at 7:05. Any celebrations were short lived as PAN rifled in a shot from the top right on extra and soon after MILLER protested to the referee as he was ejected, earning a suspension foul. China called a timeout but the resulting shot went high. YOUNGER levelled on extra with his third goal at 4:40 and just over a minute later MARTIN scored after a multitude of passes that went well over the exclusion period. MARTIN scored less than a minute later for good measure, driving down the middle. It was 4-1 for the period, the same score Australia posted in the final quarter against Romania in the first match. Triple Olympian WOODS lobbed a goal from two metres at 1:43 and captain McGREGOR converted extra with a swift strike and the game was in the bag at 11-7. CAMPBELL finished the game with the Sharks’ seventh goal of the period from the deep left with four seconds left. It was a tremendous game by the Chinese but had no answer to the determination of the team it frustrated for most of the game. No team can expect to win letting the opposition in seven times in the period. Australia now meets Serbia for the group victory while China needs to beat Romania to advance.

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

 

Friday, July 22

Croatia, Italy, Hungary and Serbia won their groups and advanced to the quarter-finals of the men's water polo competition on the last day of preliminary-round games at the Natatorium today.

Hungary edged out Spain 12-11 to win Group A in a near packed house in a game where Spain held sway in the first half but Hungary took control just before halftime and never relinquished the lead. Montenegro clinched second with a 16-5 success over Kazakhstan.

In Group B, defending champion Serbia beat previously unbeaten Australia 12-9 while in the last game of the night, Romania defeated China 14-10.

Serbia had a bonus four minutes when Aussie SHARK Tim CLELAND was ejected from the pool for brutality, an unusual occurrence at World Championship level and a second player, Aaron YOUNGER, was also excluded for violence but with replacement.

In Group C, Croatia downed Japan 18-7 for three straight wins while Canada finished second with a 13-9 margin over Brazil in the Americas face-off.

In Group D, Italy came from two goals down in the third quarter to overhaul a heavily supported Germany 7-6. The winless United States of America breathed a sigh of relief, defeating South Africa 20-3 to secure third place.

The second round of the women's competition will be played on Saturday with the four group winners having the day off.

Game #17 09:30  BRA BRA 9 vs CAN CAN 13

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: BRGULIAN Mario (MNE) FLAHIVE Daniel (AUS)
Delegate: AMINI Khosrow TOYGARLI Haluk

Extra Man: BRA 2/8. CAN: 5/15

Pens: BRA: 2/3. CAN: 2/2

BRAZIL: Marcelo CHAGAS, Emilio VIERIA, Henrique MIRANDA, Bernardo GOMES (1), Marcelo FRANCO (1), Gustavo GUIMARAES (3), Jonas CRIVELLA (1), Felipe SILVA, Bernardo ROCHO (2), Ruda FRANCO, Joao Felipe COELHO, Danilo CORREA (1), Vincius ANTONELLI. Head Coach: Goran SABLIC.

CANADA: Robin RANDALL, Constantine KUDABA, Omar TOUNI (1), Nicolas CONSTANTIN (3), Justin BOYD (2), Scott ROBINSON (1), John CONWAY, Kevin GRAHAM, Devon DIGGLE (5), Dusko DAKIC, Oliver VIKALO, Jared McELROY (1), Dusan ALEKSIC. Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

Canada, as expected, surged through to second place in the group, always playing from the front. Slowly it built a lead and only looked a trifle suspect at the top of the fourth quarter when it squandered an extra man and gave up a goal at the other end for Brazil to come within four. If that was the only fault then so be it. Canada’s superior outside shooting told heavily with shots coming at will from the bigger men with the stronger arms. Brazil kept fighting solidly and was determined to upset Canada at every opportunity. One such occasion and referee BRGULJAN jumped on the offender — Ruda FRANCO — who appeared on the poolside replay screen to move the palm of his hand quickly into the face of the person who won the swim-off at the start of the second half. The red card was shown and FRANCO was in disbelief. However, as he marched from the pool deck the replay clearly showed the offence. DIGGLE scored in every quarter for his five goals, two coming on extra and the last from the penalty line in the last two minutes as three were called. Brazil had its first shot blocked and the second successful to close the game at 13-9 with seven seconds left. RANDALL went low and smothered GUIMARAES’ attempt at 1:11, the only blot on the Brazilian’s copybook as he topped his team with three goals. Brazil’s 4-3 win in the final quarter was just too late.

Game #18 10:50 JPN JPN 7 vs CRO CRO 18

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 1-6, 1-3, 2-4, 4-3

Referees: NI Shi Wei (CHN) BALFANBAYEV Alan (KAZ)
Delegate: BADREDDINE Boukezouha FOSTER Richard

Extra Man: JPN: 3/9. CRO: 5/12

Pens: CRO: 1/1

JAPAN: Katsuyuki TANAMURA, Kan AOYAGI, Koji TAKEI (2), Shota HAZUI, Mitsuaki SHIGA, Akira YANASE (2), Yisuke SHIMIZU (2), Atsushi NAGANUMA (1), Hiroki WAKAMATSU, Yoshinori SHIOTA, Keigo OKAWA, Satoshi NAGATA, Naoki SHIMIZU. Head Coach: Hideki TAKAGI.

CROATIA: Josip PAVIC, Damir BURIC (2), Miho BOSKOVIC (2) Niksa DOBUD, Maro JOKOVIC (3), Petar MUSLIM (2), Frano KARAC (1), Andro BUSLJE, Sandro SUKNO (1), Samir BARAC (1), Fran PASKVALIN (2), Paulo OBRADOVIC (2), Ivan BULJUBASIC (2). Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

Croatia is in the form that shows its capable of maintaining its medal-winning run of the past two championships. However, Croatia did take Japan lightly at times and lost the ball on more occasions than head coach RUDIC would expect from his charges. The win secured the group with three straight victories, while Japan finished third behind Canada. The frequency at which the Croatians visited the Japanese goal was imposing with a 9-2 lead at halftime. Japan is no easy match-up so it was impressive by the Asians that they could hold the Croatians to 3-1 in the second period. SUKNO started the match with a penalty goal but it was the impressive power shooting from the top that had people talking and Japan wondering. Japan was more settled and wanting to be a bigger part of the action in the third period, latching on to Croatia lapses and defending heavily. Croatia applied more pressure in the final quarter but the best play was in the early part of the game when then was more flow. DOBUD, who scored six goals in the previous two games, did not play and JOKOVIC top-scored for Croatia with three, including a power goal from two metres.

Game #19 12:10 USA USA 20 vs RSA RSA 3

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 5-0, 4-1, 5-0, 8-2

Referees: REEMNET Gideon (NED) MENENDEZ Juan (CUB)
Delegate: FARID Wahid FIROIU Niculae

Extra Man: USA: 5/10. RSA: 1/6

Pens: USA: 2/2

UNITED STATES: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS, Peter HUDNUT, Jeff POWERS, Adam WRIGHT, Brian ALEXANDER, Layne BEAUBIEN, Tony AZEVEDO, Tim HUTTEN, Jesse SMITH, Shea BUCKNER, Z, Andy STEVENS. Coach: Terry SCHROEDER.

SOUTH AFRICA: Grant BELCHER, Pat McCARTHY, Jared WINGATE, Wesley BOHATA, Bevan MANSON, Jason KYTE, Gavin KYTE, Ryan BELL, Gareth SAMUEL, Donn STEWART, Adam KAJEE, Nicholas MOLYNEUX, Matthew KEMP. Head Coach: Brad ROWE.

The USA found itself in an unusual predicament, fighting to stay in the competition after two far-from-convincing matches, both lost.  It needed not worry as the experience in the USA team far outweighed that of the South Africans. The USA now goes to the top 12 in an appointment with Canada while South Africa will do battle with Brazil in the round of 13-16. The USA was relentless in its desire for goals and captain AZEVEDO scored twice in the opening period. HUTTEN scored consecutive goals in the second before STEWART registered South Africa’s first goal at 8-1 with a bouncer on extra. AZEVEDO added three more in the third period as the score marched to 14-1. BELL stopped the rot, slightly with a goal on extra at 5:55 and 16-2. HUTTEN gained a third in the next spurt of USA goals and the goal ended with MOLYNEUX score from close in on the final buzzer. The USA shot at 69% compared to RSA’s 15%.

Greg Mescall, USA Water Polo:

Shanghai, China - July 22 - After two straight losses to open the FINA World Championships the USA Men's National Team exercised some frustration with a 20-3 demolition of South Africa to close out group play. The win secures a third place finish in Group D and a preliminary matchup with Canada on Sunday at 4:50pm local time/1:50am pst. Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) led an army of goal scorers for the United States with five tallies on the day while Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) and Andy Stevens (Villa Park, CA/LMU/NYAC) split time in the cage stopping eight shots.

The scoring came early and often in this match as Team USA got it started less than thirty seconds into the game going inside to Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) who delivered the backhand score and a quick 1-0 lead. Less than a minute later Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club) got the ball on a counter attack and beat the keeper to make it 2-0 USA. At the 4:15 mark the USA kept building when Azevedo cut to the cage and was the recipient of a nice lead pass which he putaway for a 3-0 match. Azevedo came back two minutes later with a lob shot from five meters to fool the keeper and give the United States a 4-0 lead. Azevedo wasn't done as on the next USA possession he fed Jeff Powers (San Luis Obispo, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) nicely for a score and a 5-0 advantage after one quarter.

In the second things began much like the first. Less than a minute into the period the ball went back inside to Bailey who shook off his defender and found the cage for a 6-0 lead. The next two minutes saw Tim Hutten (Seal Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) score back to back power play goals and just like that it was 8-0. South Africa broke through moments later with a power play goal to get on the board at 8-1. The USA closed the half with another score when Varellas lobbed one in from four meters out for a 9-1 lead at the break.

The third quarter was more of the same as Azevedo opened with a power play goal and then cashed in a penalty drawn by Peter Hudnut (Encino, CA/Stanford/NYAC) to make the game 11-1 in favor of the United States. Layne Beaubien (Coronado, CA/Stanford/NYAC) knocked in a shot from outside at the 4:07 mark and then with 1:42 left Hudnut and Azevedo repeated the same play from before with Azevedo scoring off Hudnut's drawn penalty. Jesse Smith (Coronado, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) closed the quarter with a power play score and it was 14-1 USA going to the fourth.

In the final period the United States kept building on their lead and it started with Shea Buckner (Villa Park, CA/USC/NYAC) scoring from outside for a 15-1 lead. Brian Alexander (Santa Ana, CA/UCSB/Olympic Club) scored next to make it 16-1. South Africa got one back on a power play to get to 16-2 but the USA answered with four straight goals. Beaubien, Smith, Hutten, and Alexander all hit the back of the net to make it 20-2. South Africa had the final word scoring as time expired to end the contest 20-3 in favor of the United States. Team USA went a staggering 8/9 on power plays and 2/2 on penalties while South Africa was 2/6 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot. Moses tallied six saves while Stevens added two. The United States and their next opponent, Canada, met most recently at the FINA World League Prelims in Southern California with the United States winning both games.

Saves - USA - M. Moses 6 - A. Stevens 2

Game #20 ITA Italy 7 vs GER Germany 6

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: BORRELL Sergio (ESP) STAVRIDIS Georgios (GRE)
Delegate: IBERN Manuel MARTIN G.O.

Extra Man: ITA: 3/9. GER: 2/6

ITALY: Stefano TEMPESTI, Amaurys PEREZ, Niccolò GITTO (1), Pietro FIGLIOLI (1), Alex GIORGETTI, Maurizio FELUGO (1), Niccoloi FIGARI, Valentino GALLO, Christian PRESCIUTTI, Deni FIORENTINI (1), Matteo AICARDI (3), Arnaldo DESERTI, Giacomo PASTORINO. Coach: Alessandro CAMPAGNA.

GERMANY: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Julian REAL (2), Marko STAMM, Marc POLITZE (2), Erik BUKOWSKI, Paul SCHUELER (1), Tobias KREUZMANN, Moritz OELER (1), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK, Dennis EIDNER, Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

Group D supremacy came down to this game and the huge crowd, with a little German bias, went crazy throughout the match. But there could be only one group winner and Italy emerged victor after trailing for much of the match. Goals were swapped in the opening quarter over six minutes and the score was 2-2. POLITZE gave his team the edge with his second goal to go into the second quarter with optimism. That optimism was rewarded when REAL scored his first goal of the tournament from the top right, threading the ball between two players and sliding the ball under the left arm of TEMPESTI. This goal took more than six minutes coming after both teams hit the wood or sprayed shots. AICARDI replied with his second when he accepted a cross pass on the two-metre line when on extra at 0:37. OELER brought up his tenth goal of the tournament with a shot on extra from the point position, finding the top right of the goal with five seconds to halftime. FELUGO and REAL traded goals early in the third period, the former on extra and the latter from eight metres. FIORENTINI ended four minutes with no goals when he converted extra with a shot from deep left after a pass from behind him for 5-6. AICARDI nearly scored from two metres but the ball bounced off the shoulder of keeper KONG, who came into the game after halftime. Germany regained and immediately earned extra at the far end and took a timeout at 0:10. The play was for POLITZE to shoot from the top but he ball went bottom right and TEMPESTI stopped. Italy was back in the game. FELUGO found the body of KONG when Italy was three on one at the start of the fourth period. The other two were quickly defended and FELUGO was left deep right. Germany didn’t have a serious shot at goal in the period (outside lob at end of possession earlier) until on extra at 3:30. Italy countered and AICARDI made it three for the match and fifth for the tournament from deep right at 3:14 for 6-6. GITTO sent in a screamer off a cross pass from six metres at 2:18 for the lead, the first time since the first quarter.  Germany had an extra-man chance blockaded, and Italy lost the ball leaving Germany on attack just in the last minute. Germany had the last full attack after a rebound but dropped the ball to the hole man short and Italy swam away with the game — an almost unlikely win.

Game #21 17:00HUNHUN 12 vs  ESP ESP 11

Start List  Results  Play by Play  

Quarters: 5-5, 4-3, 2-1, 1-2

Referees: PERIS Nenad (CRO) KOGANOV Mark (AZE)
Delegate: KRYUKOV Andrey SOSTAR Alexsandar

Extra Man: HUN: 4/9. ESP: 2/13

Pens: HUN: 2/2. ESP: 1/1

HUNGARY: Viktor NAGY, Miklos GOR NAGY, Norbert MADARAS (3), Denes VARGA (1), Marton SZIVOS (1), Norbert HOSNYANSZKY (1), Gergely KISS (1), Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA, Peter BIROS (2), Adam STEINMETZ, Balazs HARAI (3), Zoltan SZECSI. Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.

SPAIN: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, Eric MARSAL, Francisco FERNANDEZ (1), Guillermo MOLINA (2), Marc MINGUELL (1), Mark ROCA, Albert ESPANOL (2), Xavier VALLES, Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ (3), Javier GARCIA (1), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

Hungary and Spain are two countries at their peak, especially the Hungarians less than one year from defending its Olympic title in London. Spain came with a form team but left under-nourished as Hungary played catch-up in the first half and then became a front-runner in the second. Who would have thought that 10 goals would come from the first period between these two very talented teams? HARAI netted twice for Hungary but they were catch-up goals. PEREZ, in his 40th year and with the body of one half his age, scored twice en route to a 5-3 advantage. Denes VARGA and HARAI for his third levelled nine seconds from the break. Triple Olympic champion KISS stepped up for a penalty goal to start the second quarter but PEREZ on double extra in a goalmouth scramble and ESPANOL from deep right gave Spain a 7-6 lead. SZIVOS, on the cusp of emulating his father and grandfather as Olympic champions, sent one in on extra after a cross-cage pass on two metres for level. MADARAS scored from the right and PERRONE levelled at 8-9 from the left side of the pool about the five-metre mark. With 29 seconds left, HOSNYANSZKY found the net with a long-range missile to give Hungary a 9-8 halftime lead. Scoring slowed in the third period as defence played a bigger part. FERNANDEZ with a shot from deep after extra and MADARAS with a penalty maintained the status quo. Hungary earlier tried some fancy long passing shots to no effect but it worked at 1:32 when BIROS got his fingertips to a lobbing pass from KISS, dragging the ball down into goal on the far-post position for 11-9. Both goalkeepers by now had the eyes in and were making magnificent saves. BIROS opened the fourth period at 5:19 when he scooped up a rebound at centre forward and slammed the ball home for a three-goal margin. BIROS in centre forward? Yes!  Spain called a timeout at 5:08. The shot did not come in time but MINGUELL casually took a foul outside five metres and converted the free throw for 12-10. Hungary went to a timeout and the ploy was to go for extra man, which it achieved but a pass was stolen and Spain charged to goal at the last minute mark. The ubiquitous BIROS stole the ball and shot at the end of possession, giving Spain a timeout at 0:19 and a chance to narrow the gap to one. Spain moved forward and a penalty was called, sending MOLINA to the line to convert for 12-11. Spain’s conversion, or lack of it, of extra man, proved crushing.

Game #22 18:20 KAZ KAZ 5 vs  MNE MNE 16

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 2-5, 0-5, 0-2, 3-4

Referees: KORYZNA Radoslav (POL) GONZALEZ Osvaldo (PUR)
Delegate: BADREDDINE Boukezouha MARTIN G.O.

Extra Man: KAZ: 1/9. MNE: 3/9


KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandr SHVEDOV, Sergey GUBAREV, Murat SHAKENOV, Roman PILIPENKO, Alexey PANFILI, Alexandr FENOCHKO, Alexandr AXENOV, Rustam UKUMANOV, Evgeniy ZHILYAVEV, Mikhail RUDAY, Ravil MANAFOV, Nikita KOKORIN, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

MONTENEGRO: Denis SEFIK, Drasko BRGULJAN, Aleksandar RADOVIC, Damjan DANILOVIC, Nikola VUKCEVIC, Milan TICIC, Filip KLIKOVAC, Nikola JANOVIC, Aleksandar IVOVIC, Darko BRGULJAN, Antonio PETROVIC, Predrag JOKIC, Milos SCEPANOVIC. Coach: Petar POROBIC.

Montenegro finished second in the group with a workmanlike effort over the Kazakhs. At 5-2 ahead after the first period, it looked like Montenegro was going to have to work but with superior defence and a desire up front, Montenegro kept Kazakhstan scoreless until the final break and had a 12-2 lead. RADOVIC scored twice on extra at the end of the first half and scored again in the third but that period, while fruitless for Kazakhstan, yielded just two goals to the Montenegrins. In fact, RADOVIC's goal came at 5:46 and no goal came after that. The goal of the match came from KLIKOVAC at centre forward, With four players smothering him, he turned, set and thundered the ball into goal for 13-2 to start the final quarter. RADOVIC scored his fourth to get to 14-2 before Kazakhstan staged a mini revival with GUBAREV using his left arm to good effect twice and captain ZHILYAYEV adding another to the two he collected in the first quarter. Kazakhstan goes to the last-four competiti

Game #23 19:40 SRBSRB 12 vs  AUS AUS 9

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Referees: CAPUTI Massimiliano (ITA) BOCK Torsten (GER)
Delegate: SHARANOV Evgeny SHAW Bill

Quarters: 5-3, 2-1, 3-2, 2-3

Extra Man: SRB: 8/15. AUS: 1/11

Pens: SRB: 2/2

SERBIA: SORO Slobodan, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC, Vanja UDOVICIC (2), Marko CUK, Dusko PIJETLOVIC (2), Slobodan NIKIC, Milan ALEKSIC, Nikola RADJEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (5), Andrija PRLAINOVIC (1), Stefan MITROVIC (2), Gojko PIJETLOVIC. Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

AUSTRALIA: Joel DENNERLEY, Richard CAMPBELL (2), Tim CLELAND, Mitchell BAIRD, Robbie MAITLAND (2), Anthony MARTIN, Aidan ROACH, Sam McGREGOR, Aaron YOUNGER (1), Gavin WOODS (1), Rhys HOWDEN (1), Billy MILLER (2), Luke QUINLIVAN. Coach: John FOX.

Serbia rightfully collected the Group victory but gained a little help when Australian CLELAND was called for striking and issued a brutality foul when Serbia was 6-4 ahead two minutes from halftime. Late in the third period YOUNGER was suspended for heavy player, leaving the Sharks two down. Up until then it was an enthralling display of water polo with the Aussie Sharks opening the scoring through a MAITLAND drive and cross-pass goal. FILIPOVIC then stamped his authority on the game with three straight goals, two on extra and the middle one from the penalty stripe. Goals were traded until the quarter break with PIJETLOVIC scoring off the far-post position on extra at 1:03 for 5-3. MAITLAND scored again in the second quarter and PIJETLOVIC took the game to 6-4 before CLELAND ended up chatting to the referee for some time. Confusion reigned but eventually FILIPOVIC went to the penalty line and converted for 7-4. Despite a timeout, Serbia could not convert again with goalkeeper QUINLIVAN stopping a few beauties including one off his head to end the period. PRLAINOVIC made the most of the extra situation at 7:05 but the Sharks were back to full strength meaning just two goals lost in the four-minute brutality period. MITROVIC scored from deep and so did MILLER for 9-5 at 4:30. YOUNGER made it two in a row for Australia, bouncing in the shot off extra at 3:15. Australia called timeout at 1:28 but the shot selection was poor. On the next Serbian attack YOUNGER was suspended for attacking a player strongly, giving Australia a shortened bench and UDOVICIC made the most of the moment. To go 10-6 up at 0:31, the last score of the quarter. CAMPBELL struck on extra at 4:55 in the last and MITROVIC responded after extra-man, sneaking one in from the bottom left. HOWDEN surged to the left post and received a pass to score at 4:00 and 11-8. FILIPOVIC scored his fifth with a tight lob from deep right at 2:41 to make it too hard for Australia to come back. CAMPBELL thought otherwise and shot for 12-9 from eight metres. Serbian coach UDOVICIC was angry and called timeout at 1:15 but then his team threw the ball away and Australia went into the final minute on attack. MAITLAND shot but it grazed the left post. Serbia had the last say, trying to score twice on extra to no avail to close.

Game #24 21:00ROM ROM 14 vs   China CHN 10

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Referees: ROTSART Steven (USA) DESLIERES Marie (CAN)
Delegate: WHITEHOUSE John

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

 

Sunday, July 24

Russell McKinnon, FINA Press Commissioner

Montenegro, Spain, United States of America and Germany have fired through to the quarter-finals of the FINA World Championships men's water polo competition at the Natatorium today.

The second-round games went as predicted but the pressure was firmly put on the Spaniards as Australia came back from 7-2 down only to fall a goal short at 9-8.

Montenegro, who missed the top eight two years ago in Rome, beat Romania 84; the United States of America which was fourth in Rome, rumbled North American cousin Canada 127-4 and Germany put paid to Japan's hopes with a rousing 8-6 success in front of 150 screaming German youth camp swimmers.

In the round 13-16 semifinals, Kazakhstan beat China 8-7 in a rematch of last November's Asian Games in Guangzhou. The margin in both matches was one. Brazil beat South Africa 7-4 after leading 4-0 at quarter time.

Monday's programme is a full roster of eight matches in the women's competition with the first two games, starting earlier because of the swimming competition, classification matches for 13th to 16th places.

The quarterfinal matches start at 14:00 and the China-Canada match has been switched to 21:00 form its original 15:20 time.

Game #25 KAZ KAZ 8 vs CHN CHN 7

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

Referees: ALEXANDRESCU Adrian (ROU) WILLIAMS Cory (NZL)
Delegate: FOSTER Richard TOYGARLI Haluk

Extra Man: KAZ: 5/12. CHN: 5/10

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandr SHVEDOV, Sergey GUBAREV, Murat SHAKENOV (1), Roman PILIPENKO (2), Alexey PANFILI (2), Alexandr FENOCHKO, Alexandr AXENOV (1), Rustam UKUMANOV, Evgeniy ZHILYAVEV (1), Mikhail RUDAY (1), Ravil MANAFOV, Nikita KOKORIN, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

CHINA: GE Weiqing, TAN Feihu (1), LIANG Zhongxing (2), YU Lijun, GUO Junliang, PAN Ning (1), LI Bin, WANG Yang, XIE Junmin (2), LI Li, ZHANG Zhufeng (1), DONG Tianyi, WU Honghui. Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

In a rematch of last year’s Asian Games gold-medal final, Kazakhstan beat China. Last year it was more convincing for the Kazakhs despite the 7-6 win with their style and strength. This time around China had posted some remarkable quarters of play against the stronger teams on the planet. Against Kazakhstan, despite leading 2-0, China was not allowed to dominate like it did in the first halves against Australia and Romania. Kazakhstan drew level through two PILIPENKO goals and two PANFILI goals in the early part of the second quarter had the Kazakhs on track. With a 5-4 lead, Romania was comfortable. A shutout in the third proved China’s downfall with SHAKENOV scoring a flick-in of a rebound on the two-metre line and RUDAY banging in a classic centre-forward goal. LIANG opened the fourth on extra but AXENOV replied. China took a timeout at 2:22 and it resulted in firstly TAN converting extra with a blast from the top and XIE creaming a goal off the near post on extra at 1:01. Kazakhstan controlled the last part of the game, using up time, even on extra. China regained for seven seconds but two things happened. Goalkeeper GE was slow to make the pass and the slowly breaking YU on the right seemed to forget about the game and did not offer a shot as the buzzer sounded.

Game #26 BRA BRA 7 vs RSA RSA 4

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

Referees: JUHAZ Gyorgy (HUN) RUSTAMOVA Natalya (UZB)
Delegate: FARID Wahid AMINI Khosrow

Extra Man: BRA: 3/12. RSA: 0/5

BRAZIL: Marcelo CHAGAS, Emilio VIERIA, Henrique MIRANDA (1), Bernardo GOMES (1), Marcelo FRANCO (2), Gustavo GUIMARAES, Jonas CRIVELLA, Felipe SILVA, Bernardo ROCHA (1), Ruda FRANCO (1), Joao Felipe COELHO, Danilo CORREA (1), Vincius ANTONELLI. Head Coach: Goran SABLIC.

SOUTH AFRICA: Grant BELCHER, Pat McCARTHY, Jared WINGATE, Wesley BOHATA, Bevan MANSON (2), Jason KYTE (1), Gavin KYTE, Ryan BELL, Gareth SAMUEL, Donn STEWART, Adam KAJEE, Nicholas MOLYNEUX (1), Matthew KEMP. Head Coach: Brad ROWE.

Brazil won a lacklustre match to advance to the play-off for 12th place against Asian champion Kazakhstan. South Africa, who seemed to be missing in the first quarter with passes going close but players swimming past them, bounced back in the following quarters but could not find the net as often as required. The wood seemed to be a friend. South Africa, however, did manage to stem the flow in the second quarter after a Brazilian burst, which was commendable. KEMP prowled the cage like an African lion all game and in the third period stopped one of the biggest chances of the tournament. COELHO found himself with half the pool to himself after gaining an exclusion foul. The ball was fired down to him and he had the ball in hand. Just KEMP stood between him and immortality. He took his time but KEMP eyeballed him and deflected the shot sideways. Brazil failed to convert the rest of the extra period. Ruda FRANCO scored on extra for 5-1 a minute later but South Africa had the better of the rest of the period when MOLYNEUX bounced one in and MANSON scored a rare tip in from a cross pass on two metres, stopping the clock at 0:01. The resurgence was stymied when Marcelo FRANCO and GOMES scored identical goals on extra for a 7-3 lead at 2:26. Jason KYTE threw one in from six metres at 2:01 but no more goals came, despite both teams taking a timeout.

Game #27 MNE MNE 8 vs ROU ROU 4

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

Referees: TULGA Erhan (TUR) KOGANOV Mark (AZE)
Delegate: MARTIN G.O. SOSTAR Alexsandar

Extra Man: MNE: 4/11. ROU: 1/9

MONTENEGRO: Denis SEFIK, Drasko BRGULJAN, Aleksandar RADOVIC, Damjan DANILOVIC (1), Nikola VUKCEVIC, Milan TICIC, Filip KLIKOVAC, Nikola JANOVIC (1), Aleksandar IVOVIC (1), Darko BRGULJAN (2), Antonio PETROVIC (1), Predrag JOKIC (2), Milos SCEPANOVIC. Coach: Petar POROBIC.

ROMANIA: Dragos STOENESCU, Cosmin RADU (2) Tiberiu NEGREAN, Nicolae DIACONU, Andrei IOSEP, Andrei BUSILA (1), Mihnea CHIOVEANU, Alexandru MATEI, Dimitri GOANTA, Ramiro GEORGESCU, Alexandru GHIBAN (1), Kalman KADAR, Mihai DRAGUSIN. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

Montenegro did not want to make the same mistake twice. Montenegro went into the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome as the European champion and emerged with ninth place. Romania finished seventh. The roles were reversed today and Montenegro maintained hopes of a medal shot while Romania, who emerged third from its group behind Serbia and Australia. The first half was tight as the score suggests. All three goals came from extra-man and IOSEP conveniently had his shot bounce at the chest of RADU who pushed in for 1-1. BUSILA cross-caged for 2-2 at 4:39 in the second period. JANOVIC cleverly threaded the ball left on the narrowest of angles from deep left on extra for 3-2. RADU equalised after a timeout ploy and after the exclusion period at 2:41 for his 12th goal of the tournament. DANILOVIC took it to 4-3 either side of Romanian shots that partially crossed the line. VUKCEVIC argued with the referees and was suspended. Darko BRGULJAN scored from the deep right. The best goal of the match and possibly the tournament came from PETROVIC, who found himself in the hole position on extra. The ball was passed directly down the line. He hesitated with the ball in the air and calmly pulled his right arm back behind him over his right shoulder, sending the ball wide of an unsuspecting goalkeeper. Montenegro went to the fourth period 6-3 ahead. JOKIC sent in an extra-man goal across the face of STOENESCU to start the fourth period. GHIBAN responded immediately on extra man. Darko BRGULJAN converted extra, finding himself wide open in the middle of the goal for 8-4 at 3:51, the final score of the game. Any hopes Romania had on qualifying for the Olympics will have to wait until next year.

Game #28ESP ESP 9 vs AUS AUS 8

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

Referees: BRGULIAN Mario (MNE) ROTSART Steven (USA)
Delegate: SHAW Bill FIROIU Niculae

Extra Man: ESP 2/9. AUS: 2/7

Pen: ESP: 1/1

SPAIN: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, Eric MARSAL, Francisco FERNANDEZ, Guillermo MOLINA, Marc MINGUELL (2), Mark ROCA, Albert ESPANOL, Xavier VALLES, Felipe PERRONE (3), Ivan PEREZ (1), Javier GARCIA (3), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach: Rafael AGUILAR.

AUSTRALIA: Joel DENNERLEY, Richard CAMPBELL (1), Mitchell BAIRD, Robbie MAITLAND, Anthony MARTIN (1), Aidan ROACH (2), Sam McGREGOR, Aaron YOUNGER (2), Gavin WOODS, Rhys HOWDEN (2), Billy MILLER, Luke QUINLIVAN. Coach: John FOX.

Spain, silver medallist in Rome two years ago, was on the verge of not making the top eight. However, a nail-biting final quarter came to a conclusion that pleased the Spanish but not the Aussie Sharks. Spain deserved the win on the strength of a magnificent first half of 5-2 and the first two goals of the second quarter for a massive 7-2 lead. GARCIA opened with the first two goals, one from penalty before ROACH responded. PEREZ, MINGUELL and PERRONE were on target in the second quarter with CAMPBELL the only Shark to reply. Spain looked unbeatable when MINGUELL and PERRONE repeated the dose in the third. Australia took a timeout and everything changed. The whole complexion of the game was turned on its head as the crowd sensed something spectacular. The underdog was gnashing at the Spaniards’ feet. The youngsters against the old heads. YOUNGER, ROACH and HOWDEN turned the scoreboard respectable for Australia but GARCIA nailed an extra-man goal at 0:49. HOWDEN, caught on the deep right, caught the ball, half turned and fired a wishful shot at the goal, slipping the ball into the bottom right under the arm of AGUILAR, 21 seconds from the final break and 8-6. YOUNGER, the youngest member of the Sharks in his 20th year, set himself for a foul and shot from five metres. Spanish head coach AGUILAR gained a yellow card. The game was red hot at 6:37. PERRONE converted a too-late extra-man play after some snappy cross-cage passing from the deep left for what appeared a safe 9-8 at 5:43. Australia gained an extra-man attack and the ball found MARTIN on the near post and he scored, bouncing the ball off the top of AGUILAR’s head — 9-8 and all the time in the world to overhaul Spain. By now, the Sharks had won the previous seven minutes 6-2. Both teams took a time out but neither could breach the defences. Australia looked hesitant with some shots and Spain just smothered, fighting for its life and a chance to make another world final. Australia played with just 12 on the roster as Tim CLELAND was struck out for a game after receiving a brutality foul in Friday’s round game with Serbia.


Game #29 CAN CAN 4 vs USA USA 17

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Quarters: 2-5, 0-6, 2-4, 0-2

Referees: CIRIC Mihailo (SRB) KORYZNA Radoslav (POL)
Delegate: BADREDDINE Boukezouha KRYUKOV Andrey

Extra Man: CAN: 2/9. USA: 4/6

Pens: CAN: 0/2. USA: 1/2

CANADA: Robin RANDALL, Constantine KUDABA, Omar TOUNI (1), Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI (1), Justin BOYD (1), Scott ROBINSON, John CONWAY, Kevin GRAHAM, Devon DIGGLE (2), Dusko DAKIC, Oliver VIKALO, Jared McELROY, Dusan ALEKSIC. Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

UNITED STATES: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS (1), Peter HUDNUT (1), Jeff POWERS (3), Adam WRIGHT (1), Brian ALEXANDER (1), Layne BEAUBIEN, Tony AZEVEDO (1), Ryan BAILEY (3), Tim HUTTEN (3), Jesse SMITH (3), Shea BUCKNER, Andrew STEVENS. Coach: Terry SCHROEDER.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Press Commission:

In the battle of the North Americans, it was all Team USA form the opening whistle. USA captain AZEVEDO may have missed the opening penalty attempt of the match but it didn’t matter. To the Canadians it mattered. This pair is gunning for Pan American success later in the year with the carrot being Olympic qualification. Now the USA could go on, replicate what it did in Beijing 2008 and gain silver. In Rome two years ago, USA was one off the medal dais. Fourth here could be enough for USA if already qualified Serbia finishes with a medal. Canada would then have to finish 1-2 at the Pan Americans to make the London cut. Tonight it was a USA benefit and it was a team hungry to dispense with any recollections of the opening two matches of this tournament, which it lost. It was time to produce and making the top eight was a good start. The penalty attempts were not kind to the shooters as GRAHAM and BOYD missed their attempts for Canada. It was only ALEXANDER who converted at 5-2 to close the first quarter. GRAHAM missed his when 2-0 behind; Boyd at 8-2 down midway through the second quarter. For the USA, SMITH scored three, including a buzzer-beater from nine metres for 12-3. HUTTEN scored a couple on extra and one from the outside to finish his team’s top scorer in Shanghai with eight goals. USA head coach SCHROEDER must have been happy with his team opening up and getting their shooting arms prepared for the coming matches.

Greg Mescall USA Water Polo:

Shanghai, China - July 24 - The USA Men's National Team made it back to back victories and earned a trip into the quarterfinals with a dominant 17-4 victory over Canada. Team USA now moves on to face Hungary on Tuesday at 2pm local time/11pm pst (Monday), in a rematch of the Gold Medal final from the 2008 Olympic Games. Four different players tallied three goals on the day including Jesse Smith (Coronado, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC), Jeff Powers (San Luis Obispo, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF), Tim Hutten (Seal Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF),and Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF). Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) and Andy Stevens (Villa Park, CA/LMU/NYAC) combined in the cage to stop 12 shots.

The United States started off with a misfire failing to convert a penalty shot attempt less than a minute into the match but quickly made amends when Hutten scored his first of the night from the right side for a 1-0 lead. Not long after the ball went inside to Powers who delivered a turnaround fadeaway shot to beat the keeper and post a 2-0 lead. On the next trip down the pool Canada drew a five meter penalty only to miss off the post but they would likewise atone for the error with a power play goal minutes later to draw within 2-1. Barely twenty seconds had elapsed before the United States struck again when Smith scored on a power play for a 3-1 lead. That was followed at the 2:11 mark with Shea Buckner (Villa Park, CA/USC/NYAC) nicely feeding Bailey in front of the cage for an easy tally and a 4-1 lead. Canada got one back on another power play but that was answered with just :16 remaining in the period as Peter Hudnut (Encino, CA/Stanford/NYAC) drew a five meter and Brian Alexander (Santa Ana, CA/UCSB/Olympic Club) buried the shot for a 5-2 advantage after one quarter of play.

In the second quarter the United States blew the game open with a cavalcade of goals. Early in the period Adam Wright (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC) found his way to the cage and jammed one past the keeper for a 6-2 lead. Then Bailey got free again on the inside for a score followed by Hudnut banging one in off the post on a cross cage delivery and Team USA was in command up 8-2. Canada then missed another penalty shot off the post and the United States took advantage on the next possession as with the shot clock set to expire Smith threw a rope from beyond six meters that found the net and extended the lead to 9-1. At the 2:17 mark Hutten fired in another score, this time on a power play and then Bailey closed the period with a powerful effort meeting a lob pass towards the cage at the same time as the goalie only to bat it past the keeper for a score and an 11-2 lead at halftime.

Defense proved a strong point throughout as evidenced by the USA killing off a six on four advantage for the Canadians to open the third quarter. Canada did break through with a power play goal moments later but that was answered by another Smith shot from distance and kept the USA in front 12-3. Canada got another score back at the 4:30 mark to come within 12-4 but the United States would button up the defense the rest of the way. In the meantime the goals kept coming for the red, white, and blue. Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) took a great lead pass from Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club) for a score, Powers got loose immediately following a Canadian exclusion and put home the chip shot, and then Hutten buried a shot from outside and by the end of the quarter Team USA was up 15-4.

Things slowed down in the fouth quarter. It was't until the 3:24 mark that a goal was scored coming from Varellas as he drove to the cage. Then a minute later Varellas hit Powers with a good look for the score and the United States went up 17-4 which is how the match would end. Team USA went 4/6 on power plays and 1/2 on penalties while Canada was 3/9 on power plays and 0/2 on penalties. Moses tallied eight saves while Stevens added four working the fourth quarter.

Flash Quotes:

"The coaches got us very focused for this game. We wanted to make a statement in this game. It's against Canada and we know no matter what we're going to be playing Canada in the Pan American Games and we wanted to let them know that we are a team to be taken seriously. We haven't been gelling and having the chemistry we wanted in the tournament and it feels like we are getting it back. Now it's up to one game at a time and a rematch of the Gold Medal Game (from Beijing)." Merrill Moses - USA Goalkeeper

"You never know what's going to happen, you have to take every game indivdually. We just had to stick to our game plan. We weren't sticking to our game plan and playing as a team and we brought that back together and now we have a big game against Hungary to get to the final four." Merrill Moses - USA Goalkeeper

"I think they (the team) started to get excited about playing. They came to play with a little sense of urgency, which is what we've been lacking, we've been a little bit complacent. I think they are taking pride in how they play defense and hopefully that will carry over to the next few games." Terry Schroeder, USA Head Coach

"We have to force them to score six on six, we can't give them a lot of unecessary 6 on 5s. We've gotta keep that goal count low, against these guys if we can go end to end and keep them from making any runs we got a chance to stay in it but we have to play a controlled game. It can't be a high scoring game, they'll beat us in a shootout. We can beat them in a 7-6 game for sure, I feel confident we can, that's the type of game we have to play." Terry Schroeder, USA Head Coach on preparing for Hungary

Game #30 JPN JPN 6 vs GER GER 8

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

Referees: PERIS Nenad (CRO) CABRAL Roberto (BRA)
Delegate: SHARANOV Evgeny IBERN Manuel

Extra Man: JPN: 2/9. GER: 1/10

Pens: JPN: 1/1. GER: 1/1

JAPAN: Katsuyuki TANAMURA, Kan AOYAGI, Koji TAKEI (1), Shota HAZUI, Mitsuaki SHIGA, Akira YANASE, Yisuke SHIMIZU (3), Atsushi NAGANUMA, Hiroki WAKAMATSU, Yoshinori SHIOTA (1), Keigo OKAWA, Satoshi NAGATA (1), Naoki SHIMIZU. Head Coach: Hideki TAKAGI.

GERMANY: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Julian REAL (2), Marko STAMM (3), Marc POLITZE (1), Erik BUKOWSKI, Paul SCHUELER, Tobias KREUZMANN (1), Moritz OELER (1), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK, Dennis EIDNER, Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

Japan proved a tricky customer for Germany. Japan was trying to become the second non-European team to crash the quarter-finals alongside USA. It looked a chance right up until midway through the third period but then the German factor, boosted by the 150 German youth camp supporters behind the team bench in the second half, kicked in as Germany took a two-goal margin into the final quarter. REAL and OELER, with his 11th goal, gave Germany a swift start with the clock not 100 seconds old. But SHIMIZU from centre forward and SHIOTA with a penalty goal, equalised. SHIMIZU collected his second at 1:43 to take the elad for Japan. POLITZE scored his penalty and the teams were level again. Both teams shut down the attacks in the second period after REAL took Germany ahead at 6:47. The third period is the money quarter and Japan opened on the first attack through NAGATA. STAMM replied and TAKEI levelled. KREUZMANN smashed one in from inside the five-metre mark at 2:53 and STAMM lobbed TANAMURA for 7-5 at 0:48. Germany was in control. SHIMIZU found himself free just outside the right post and on two metres to pull one goal back at 5:03. It was his 10th goal of the tournament. Germany took two timeouts with the crucial one at 0:38 on exclusion. Japan just had no luck on attack and turned the ball over and then had a man excluded in the final minute. Germany slowly moved the ball and the excluded man returned but STAMM hadt he water part in front of him and he scored from deep right for 8-6 at 0:11. Japan had a timeout but had no shot and was sent to play Australia in the 9-12 semifinals while Germany has the hardest task of all by playing Serbia in the quarter-finals.

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

 

Tuesday, July 26

The script has gone as expected in the FINA World Championship men's water polo competition with the top four teams in the world making the semifinals.

It was not without difficulties and none more so that Croatia's 9-6 victory over Balkan neighbour Montenegro.

With just 14 seconds left in the match and Montenegro consigned to the play-offs for fifth to eighth, Montenegro head coach Peter POROBIC called a timeout, which incurred the wrath of Croatian superstar head coach Ratko RUDIC.

"The timeout was not necessary in such a high-class game where goal differential does not matter," he said after the match.

This after a tirade of words from POROBIC to RUDIC in the mixed zone for about five minutes.

RUDIC passed over the brutality decision levelled at Montenegrin player Milan TICIC after he allegedly struck Croatian Andro BUSILJE as "one of my players received a hit".

POROBIC called timeout and after the mandatory 15 seconds on its side of the pool, Montenegro moved forward and the incident occurred, declared by one match official as "accidental". The players converged in a threatening manner but the two referees managed to maintain control and decided what action should be taken.

TICIC will probably receive the mandatory one-match suspension but as the incident happened in a timeout and not playing time, there was no penalty shot. Montenegro had the attack and did not try to score, instead passing the ball to the opposition and finishing the game.

RUDIC said: "We played one very good, organised game. We prepared very well for the game. We played with discipline in defence as well as attack. We tried to neutralise their best players and we have good centres and good shooters. You know that they have (former Yugoslavian star) SEFIK in goal, so it was not easy."

In the first quarter-final game, Hungary got the better of the United States of America, but only just at 9-8 in an enthralling game where the match was tied at 7-7 by three-quarter time.

Game #31CHNCHN 9 vs RSA RSA 4

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

Referees: MENENDEZ Juan (CUB) CABRAL Roberto (BRA)
Delegate: KRYUKOV Andrey FOSTER Richard

Extra Man: CHN: 1/5. RSA: 1/8

CHINA: GE Weiqing, TAN Feihu (1), LIANG Zhongxing (1), YU Lijun (2), GUO Junliang, PAN Ning (1), LI Bin (2), WANG Yang, XIE Junmin (1), LI Li (1), ZHANG Zhufeng, DONG Tianyi, WU Honghui. Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

SOUTH AFRICA: Grant BELCHER, Pat McCARTHY, Jared WINGATE, Wesley BOHATA, Bevan MANSON, Jason KYTE (1), Gavin KYTE, Ryan BELL (2), Gareth SAMUEL, Donn STEWART (1), Adam KAJEE, Nicholas MOLYNEUX, Matthew KEMP. Head Coach: Brad ROWE.

China, who promised so much at these championships by pressing Australia and Romania for a large part of those encounters, finished 15th. China was sharper than South Africa and carried far more recent experience, which told in many facets of the game. The ability of China to take it up to the Europeans has been an eye-opener for some here. China had a strong opening quarter while BELL was the only dissident with a shot from six metres.XIE and PAN started the second quarter while Jason KYTE and BELL scored in the final two minutes for 5-3 at halftime. YU and LI Bin, on penalty, helped give China command of the third period. The final quarter also went China's way with LI Bin driving and lobbing KEMP for 8-3. The one bright spot for South Africa was KEMP's stop of a LIANG penalty attempt. KEMP went low left to smother the ball. TAN scored more than three minutes later. South Africa took a timeout at 1:12, gained an exclusion and STEWART fired in his team's fourth . China called an immediate timeout but lost the ball on attack giving South Africa the final attack. The shot was defended over the back and BELL had another shot, which was blocked and China had the game.

Game #32 KAZ KAZ 9 vs BRA BRA 7

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referee: PINKER Guy (RSA) MAKITA Kazuhiko (JPN)
Delegate: AMINI Khosrow TOYGARLI Haluk

Extra Man: KAZ: 3/7. BRA: 3/9

Pens: KAZ: 1/1

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandr SHVEDOV, Sergey GUBAREV (2), Murat SHAKENOV, Roman PILIPENKO (2), Alexey PANFILI, Alexandr FENOCHKO, Alexandr AXENOV, Rustam UKUMANOV (1), Evgeniy ZHILYAVEV (3), Mikhail RUDAY (1), Ravil MANAFOV, Nikita KOKORIN, Alexey DEMCHENKO. Head Coach: Sergey DROZDOV.

BRAZIL: Marcelo CHAGAS, Emilio VIERIA (1), Henrique MIRANDA (1), Bernardo GOMES, Marcelo FRANCO (1), Gustavo GUIMARAES, Jonas CRIVELLA (1), Felipe SILVA (1), Bernardo ROCHO, Ruda FRANCO (1), Joao Felipe COELHO, Danilo CORREA, Vincius ANTONELLI. Head Coach: Goran SABLIC.

Kazakhstan moved one rung up the ladder from Rome two years ago while Brazil also did the same.  BrazilKazakhstan made its intentions known early with a clean first quarter, improving that to 4-0 before Brazil came into the game and narrowed it to one by halftime. RUDAY's opening goal was off a high rebound while GUBAREV scored on counter for the third.

UKUMANOV scored from five metres for 4-0 It was then Brazil's turn and awake with four goals pof its own — Crivella on extra; Ruda FRANCO from centre forward, MIRANDA on extra (4-3) at half-time) and SILVA with a five-metre shot to open the third period for 4-4. Kazakhstan scored the next two with PILIPENKO on extra and captain ZHILYAYEV from the penalty stripe. SILVA kept Brazil alive with an extra-man goal to close the third period with eight seconds remaining.Kazakhstan took the margin to three through ZHILYAYEV's third and GUBAREV's counter.

VIERIA responded but when PILIPENKO delivered on extra at 1:42, the game was won and lost. Marcelo FRANCO brought some respectability with a counter-attack goal at 0:38.

Game #33 ROU ROU 8 vs CAN CAN 12

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

Referees: Nenad PERIS (CRO), Cory WILLIAMS (NZL)

Extra Man: ROU: 5/11. CAN: 6/13

ROMANIA: Dragos STOENESCU, Cosmin RADU (3), Tiberiu NEGREAN (3), Nicolae DIACONU, Andrei IOSEP, Andrei BUSILA, Mihnea CHIOVEANU (1), Alexandru MATEI, Dimitri GOANTA, Ramiro GEORGESCU (1), Alexandru GHIBAN, Kalman KADAR, Mihai DRAGUSIN. Head Coach: Istvan KOVACS.

CANADA: Robin RANDALL, Constantine KUDABA (1), Omar TOUNI, Nicolas CONSTANTIN-BICARI (3), Justin BOYD (4), Scott ROBINSON, John CONWAY, Kevin GRAHAM (1), Devon DIGGLE (1), Dusko DAKIC, Oliver VIKALO (1), Jared McELROY (1), Dusan ALEKSIC. Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

Canada, so underdone when playing the USA two days earlier, decided to come and play class water polo. The effort far more refined and composed and the victory solid. The start was good at 2-0 but Romania, a rugged and challenging opponent at all times, struck back with a double to NEGREAN, the second on extra. BOYD and GEORGESCU traded goals and it ws the last time Romania was in position of power against Canada.BOYD and CONSTANTIN- BICARI scored their second goals, the latter at centre forward, and DIGGLE also converted extra for a 6-3 lead. Goals were traded to 8-5 when KUDABA sent one in on extra. RADU and CHIOVEANU scored on extra for Romania for 8-7 but CONSTANTIN-BICARI's third, also on extra took the margin to 9-7. RADU never gave up the fight and plastered the back of the net from two metres but the Canadian juggernaut hit top gear when BOYD scored either side of a VIKALO goal to close the scoring.Canada now gets to play Australia for ninth place while Romania takes on Japan.

Game #34 AUSAUS 15 vs JPN JPN 9

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 6-4, 1-1, 3-1,

Referees: CIRIC Mihailo (SRB) NI Shi Wei (CHN)
Delegate: FARID Wahid AMINI Khosrow

Extra Man: AUS: 1/8. JPN: 3/11

Pen: AUS: 1/1. JPN: 1/1

AUSTRALIA: Joel DENNERLEY, Richard CAMPBELL (2), Tim CLELAND (1), Mitchell BAIRD (1), Robbie MAITLAND (1), Anthony MARTIN (3), Aidan ROACH, Sam McGREGOR (3), Aaron YOUNGER, Gavin WOODS (1), Rhys HOWDEN (3), Billy MILLER, Luke QUINLIVAN.  Coach: John FOX.

JAPAN: Katsuyuki TANAMURA, Kan AOYAGI (1), Koji TAKEI (3), Shota HAZUI, Mitsuaki SHIGA, Akira YANASE, Yisuke SHIMIZU (1), Atsushi NAGANUMA (2), Hiroki WAKAMATSU, Yoshinori SHIOTA (2), Keigo OKAWA, Satoshi NAGATA, Naoki SHIMIZU. Head
Coach: Hideki TAKAGI.

Australia, one of the under-performers at this event, turned on its best display with a stirring victory. For Japan, it meant hard weather indoors to go with the 37C and almost 100% humidity outside. Unlike some matches where the number of fouls far outweigh the number of goals, this match produced 24 goals with 10 of them coming in the first quarter. The foul count was low in comparison. Australia spread its scoring around and nailed five from the deep right despite not having a left-handed field player. The Aussie Sharks still struggled on extra-man attack but the overall play was a vast improvement, albeit when the carrot of to-eight has long gone.  Japan kept up the pace and restricted the Australians in the second quarter. In the third captain McGREGOR stood up, scoring twice with his second a looping back shot from centre forward after a cross pass from two metres. CLELAND, back in the water after his brutality foul four days ago,  opened the fourth period on extra for 11-6. MARTIN and CAMPBELL took it to 13-6 before TAKEI scored on counter straight after an unusual referee call. While Australia was sending the ball into the net, a back-court exclusion was call, nullifying the goal. The Sharks lost the ball and TAKEI made it 13-7. Four goals came in the last 90 seconds with Australia scoring twice for 15-7. SHIOTA converted a penalty and NAGANUMA scored his second on counter a second from time. It will be a

Commonwealth match for ninth against Canada while Japan has to play Romania for 11th.

Game #35 HUN HUN 9 vs USA USA 8

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Greg Mescall United States Water Polo

Shanghai, China - July 26 - The USA Men's National Team took defending Olympic Gold Medalist Hungary to the wire before falling 9-8 in the quarterfinals of the 2011 FINA World Championships. A victory would have meant a berth to the 2012 Olympic Games, with the loss the United States will now enter the 5th-8th place bracket and will look to the Pan American Games this October as their next opportunity to qualify for London. Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) and Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club) each tallied three goals to lead the offense while Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) turned in a strong effort in the cage turning aside 12 shots. Team USA will next play on Thursday, July 28 at 12:10pm local time - 9:10pm pst (Wed) in a rematch with Germany from group play. The United States opened the tournament losing to Germany 9-7.

Team USA came out on fire in the first half as they got a goal less than a minute into the match when Bailey delivered a backhand to take a 1-0 lead. That was followed at about the five minute mark when Tim Hutten (Seal Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) drew a five meter penalty and Bailey converted for a goal and a 2-0 lead. Hungary broke through on the next possession with a power play score to get within 2-1 but the United States answered moments later as Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) went bar down to beat the goalie for a 3-1 lead. That was the advantage to open the second quarter when Hungary got one back on a power play to draw within 3-2. At the 5:27 mark the United States answered when Adam Wright (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC) lofted a pass inside to Hutten who beat the goalie for a 4-2 game. Team USA kept building as Varellas got his first of the day with a shot from outside that touched off the crossbar and went in to put the red, white, and blue up 5-2. Hungary came back with consecutive power play goals and at halftime the United States held a 5-4 lead.

The third quarter was a see-saw with Hungary opening the period with two straight goals, the first on a counter attack, the second a five meter penalty to take their first lead at 6-5. The United States had an answer as Varellas faked out the goalie on a lob shot that dropped into the net for a 6-6 game. Then with 1:22 left in the quarter on a power play the ball went inside to Bailey who gathered it up and fired one past the goalie for a 7-6 lead in favor of the United States. On the next possession Hungary came right back with a goal right as an exclusion was whistled to tie the match at 7-7 going to the fourth.

Both teams traded missed opportunities early in the fourth until Hungary found the cage on a power play for an 8-7 lead with 4:14 remaining. The United States had a chance to tie the match on a power play with 2:21 left but an amazing stop by the Hungarian keeper on a shot right in front of the net preserved the lead. Hungary added another goal with 1:34 remaining to go up 9-7 but the United States would not back down. Varellas hit for his third of the day on a power play with 1:13 left and it was a one goal game at 9-8 in favor of Hungary. After the USA defense held off Hungary the last possession resulted in a turnover from Team USA as they were unable to get a shot off and the match would end with Hungary victorious at 9-8.

The United States went 3/12 on power plays and 1/1 on penalties while Hungary was 5/11 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots.

USA 8 (3, 2, 2, 1) P. Varellas 3, R. Bailey 3, T. Azevedo 1, T. Hutten 1
HUN 9 (1, 3, 3, 2)

Saves - USA - M.Moses - 12
6x5 - USA- 3/12 - HUN - 5/11
Penalties - USA - 1/1 - HUN - 1/1

Flash Quotes

"Bottom line when it came down to it we missed three or four wide open six on five opportunities and we gave up some that probably shouldn't have been goals for them. You're really not going to beat a team like Hungary when you do that stuff." Tony Azevedo - USA Captain

"We always want to go out there and win, we want to be the first American team to win a (World Championship) medal, we want to qualify, but it didn't happen that way. For us the big picture is London, it's been that way since Beijing, for other teams, Europeans, they have all these things, for us right now our focus is qualifying for London, we are going to do these next two games to prepare for the Pan American Games and after that we'll be getting prepared for the Olympic Games, that's our focus." Tony Azevedo - USA Captain

Referees: KORYZNA Radoslav (POL) FLAHIVE Daniel (AUS)
Delegate: BADREDDINE Boukezouha IBERN Manuel

Game #36 SRBSRB 9 vs GER GER 4

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: KOGANOV Mark (AZE) ALEXANDRESCU Adrian (ROU)
Delegate: FARID Wahid SHAW Bill

Extra Man: SRB: 3/10. GER: 1/9

Pens: SRB: 1/1

SERBIA: SORO Slobodan, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC, Vanja UDOVICIC (2), Marko CUK, Dusko PIJETLOVIC (3), Slobodan NIKIC, Milan ALEKSIC, Nikola RADJEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (4), Andrija PRLAINOVIC, Stefan MITROVIC, Gojko PIJETLOVIC. Coach:
Dejan UDOVICIC.

GERMANY: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Julian REAL (1), Marko STAMM, Marc POLITZE (1), Erik BUKOWSKI (1), Paul SCHUELER (1), Tobias KREUZMANN, Moritz OELER, Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK, Dennis EIDNER, Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

Serbia did not look like a team already qualified for the London Olympic Games when the halftime buzzer sounded. By three- quarter time it looked like ready to catch the plane and at full time stamped itself as the team to beat later this week and next year. There are still cracks and this tournament is not yet won. Germany proved an excellent sparring partner for much of the match, especially in the first. It's not often teams take as quarter off Serbia but Germany managed it. By restricting the Serbs to two goals in the first and denying them anything in the second, Germany had proved its class. But any team with a FILIPOVIC must be a winner. That left-handed magician scored nearly half his team's goals with a low rocket across the cage a spectacular shot for 7-4 at the top of the fourth. His penalty goal seemed minor in comparison. Serbia played to its strengths but constantly was shut down and the consistent former Singapore goalkeeper KONG was King in goal. Three of Germany's goals came on extra and several other top opportunities were shut down, none more so than REAL's one-metre blast from above the cage at 4:40 in the last. When captsain UDOVICIC took his team 4-2 up midway through the second, the game looked like heading his way but SCHEULER with a deep shot just as exclusion period was ending brought it back to 5-3. FILIPOVIC raised his third on penalty but POLITZE, renowned for shots from Berlin, sent in an outsider for 5-4. Dusko PIJETLOVIC scored his first on extra with a high pass along two metres for 6-4 a few seconds from the final break. FILIPOVIC bagged his fourth and 13th for the tournament with the rocket. Dusko PIJETLOVIC gained his second and third goals from the post positions for 9-4 at 2:04, enough to charge into the semifinals, as expected.

Game #37 CROCRO 9 vs MNE MNE 6

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

Referees: TULGA Erhan (TUR) STAVRIDIS Georgios (GRE)
Delegate: KRYUKOV Andrey SOSTAR Alexsandar

Extra Man: CRO:2/10. MNE: 4/11

Pens: CRO: 1/1

CROATIA: Josip PAVIC, Damir BURIC, Miho BOSKOVIC, Niksa DOBUD, Maro JOKOVIC (4), Petar MUSLIM (1), Frano KARAC, Andro BUSLJE, Sandro SUKNO (1), Samir BARAC. Fran PASKVALIN, Paulo OBRADOVIC (2), Ivan BULJUBASIC (1). Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

MONTENEGRO: Denis SEFIK, Drasko BRGULJAN, Aleksandar RADOVIC (2), Damjan DANILOVIC (1), Nikola VUKCEVIC, Milan TICIC (1), Filip KLIKOVAC, Nikola JANOVIC, Aleksandar IVOVIC, Darko BRGULJAN, Antonio PETROVIC (1), Predrag JOKIC (1), Milos SCEPANOVIC. Coach: Petar POROBIC.

A second tournament brutality foul marred what was a spectacular match between two of the world powerhouses of the game. BUSILJE was unlucky to be on the end of an elbow from TICIC during the final-minute timeout taken by Montenegro 14 seconds from time. TICIC was allegedly releasing his arm from a hold and when it jumped free the elbow apparently smashed into the right side of BUSILJE's head, cutting it open and sending blood cascading down his face. There were long delays as the situation was sorted, TICIC was sent from the pool in disgrace and the game restarted without a penalty as it happened in time out. Montenegro held on to the ball and failed to make any movement other than pass the ball to Croatia in a gesture of remorse. Things became heated in the mixed zone where POROBIC and RUDIC went head to head for many minutes but in the end Croatia won fair and square. Croatia opened through JOKOVIC and Montenegro quickly gained the ascendancy through a tip-in rebound by TICIC and an extra-man goal that came after double extra by RADOVIC. OBRADOVIC replied in precisely the same manner as the previous goal. JOKOVIC score twice more in these second quarter either side of RADOVIC's smart goal from six metres. He tried twice to get a foul and his Hollywood was unappreciated but on the third attempt he shot, catching Croatia unawares/. At 4-3 by halftime, Croatia was controlling the game by a thread. MUSLIM sent in a brilliant shot to the top right from six metres to open the third period. JOKIC and SUKO scored for Croatia and a 7-3 lead.
SUKNO's shot creased the head of SEFIK. IVOVIC was then red-carded from the game for a "chat with the referee" after an exclusion. BULJABASIC sent in a hopeful shot from nine metres to beat the buzzer and Croatia was 8-3 ahead. JOKIC and PETROVIC scored on extra to redress some of the balance but OBRADOVIC cooked the books with his own eight-metre missile for 9-5 at 3:14. DANILOVIC sent in the quickest shot you have seen off a cross pass at five metres but at 2:49 it was the last goal of the match. Then came that Montenegrin time-out that RUDIC said after the match "was not necessary in such a high-class game where goal differential does not matter". At least Montenegro will be able to chase a position better than ninth in Rome two years ago but a far cry from winning as Serbia and Montenegro in 2005.

Game #38 ITA ITA 10 vs ESP ESP 6

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Referees: MARGETA Boris (SLO) NAUMOV Sergei (RUS)
Delegate: SHAW Bill FIROIU Niculae

Quarters: 2-1, 3-3, 3-1, 2-1

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

 

Thursday, July 28

Game 39 11th Place ROU ROU 15 vs JPN JPN 18

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(4:3, 3:5, 3:5, 5:5)

Referees: REEMNET Gideon (NED) BOCK Torsten (GER)
Delegate: IBERN Manuel WHITEHOUSE John

Game 40 9th Place CAN CAN 6 vs AUS AUS 8

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 2-0, 1-2, 2-3,  1-3

Referees: BRGULIAN Mario (MNE) NI Shi Wei (CHN)
Delegate: BADREDDINE Boukezouha IBERN Manuel

Extra Man: CAN: 3/10. AUS: 1/7

Pens: CAN: 1/2

CANADA: Robin RANDALL, Constantine KUDABA, Omar TOUNI, Nicolas CONSTANTIN BICARI (2), Justin BOYD (1), Scott ROBINSON, John CONWAY, Kevin GRAHAM (3), Devon DIGGLE, Dusko DAKIC, Oliver VIKALO, Jared McELROY, Dusan ALEKSIC.
Coach: Dragan JOVANOVIC.

AUSTRALIA: Joel DENNERLEY, Richard CAMPBELL (1), Tim CLELAND (1), Mitchell BAIRD, Robbie MAITLAND (1), Anthony MARTIN, Aidan ROACH (1), Sam McGREGOR (1), Aaron YOUNGER (2), Gavin WOODS, Rhys HOWDEN, Billy MILLER (1), Luke QUINLIVAN.  Coach: John FOX.

This was a game that Canada threw away and the Aussie Sharks went in for the kill in the final period. At 3-0 until nearly halftime, Canada had nullified Australia and forced it into silly mistakes. Two late goals by Australia brought the game to within one at halftime but two GRAHAM goals, bringing his tally to three, had the game still heavily in favour of the hard- playing Canadians. Whereas it was a waterfall, the became a mere trickle for the Canadians as the Sharks were set loose and played their natural game. ROACH on extra; YOUNGER with a shot off a cross pass at five metres had the game at 5-5 by three-quarter time. the Aussie avalanche continued in the final spell as CAMPBELL caught the defence unawares with a swift shot from deep right. McGREGOR scored at the end of possession off a cross pass and MAITLAND accepted a smart cross pass from CAMPBELL to be unguarded at two metres for 5-8. Canada took a timeout because the onslaught was infective but not for Canada. CONSTANTIN BICARI scored his second goal and 10th for the tournament on extra at 1:21, giving Canada some hope. But the game came to a conclusion soon after GRAHAM had a chance on penalty in the last second. DENNERLEY dived left but stopped the ball with his  right hand. Australia lifted its World Championship ranking from 10th to ninth while Canada slipped from eighth to 10th.

Game 41 5-8 Place: USA USA 9 vs GER GER 8

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: CAPUTI Massimiliano (ITA) MENENDEZ Juan (CUB)
Delegate: FARID Wahid MARTIN G.O.

Pen: GER: 2/2

UNITED STATES: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS (1), Peter HUDNUT (1), Jeff POWERS (1), Adam WRIGHT, Brian ALEXANDER (1), Layne BEAUBIEN (1), Tony AZEVEDO, Ryan BAILEY (2), Tim HUTTEN, Jesse SMITH, Shea BUCKNER (1), Andrew STEVENS. Coach:
Terry SCHROEDER.

GERMANY: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Julian REAL, Marko STAMM (1), Marc POLITZE (1), Erik BUKOWSKI, Paul SCHUELER (1), Tobias KREUZMANN (2), Moritz OELER (2), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK, Dennis EIDNER (1), Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

The USA nearly blew a three-goal margin in wrapping up ninth spot from Germany. It all came down ot the wire as the USA went from 8-6 at the final break to 9-6 when Alexander scored of the left-hand=catch position at 6:33. A minute later OELER scored his second of the match and 13th of the event when he mastered a penalty shot for 9-7. The game was in an interesting position, al;though the uSA had been in command of the match only seeing a levelled game at 1-1 and 4-4.
Germany went to a timeout at 3:46 and nearly a minute later USA took a break. No goals came from those tactics and the game was closing. However, EIDNER left it until 1:07 to score his first goal of the tournament when on extra. He received the short pass to the near-post position on a lookaway pass and cleanly scored. Germany had now become a huge threat to USA's dominance. The USA attacked to no advantage and Germany drove forward with plenty of time. An outside player was driving in to set himself for a shot from outside five metres but he was inextricably called for a turnover just inside the last half minute and the USA took control and wasted time for the victory. German head coach STAMM was understandably upset with the referee and voiced his opinion. It was a sad way for the game to finish but a good result for the USA, who now move to the playoff for fifth. The USA had the ascension at 4-1 half a minute from quarter time. Three consecutive German goals took the score to 4-4 but the USA scored four goals in a row for a four-goal break at halftime. A relatively quiet third period saw goal apiece and two unrequited timeouts. Then came the final quarter and USA's success.

Greg Mescall United States Water Polo

Shanghai, China - July 28 - The USA Men's National Team will play for fifth place at the 2011 FINA World Championships after holding off Germany 9-8 to rebound from a tough quarterfinal loss to Hungary. Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) and Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club) led the offense with two goals each in a balanced attack that saw seven different goal scorers. Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) went all four quarters in the cage recording 9 saves. Team USA now will meet either Spain on Montenegro in the fifth place match on Saturday at 10:55am local time/7:55pm pst (Fri).

Team USA came out strong in this match getting a goal from Bailey on a power play to open things up just forty seconds into the contest for a 1-0 lead. Germany answered with a power play goal of their own at the 5:42 mark but that was followed just a short time after with Adam Wright (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC) hitting on a power play by putting the ball right over the goalie's head. Up 2-1 the United States added more as Layne Beaubien (Coronado, CA/Stanford/NYAC) connected on a power play and then with just :24 left in the period Bailey used a strong pump fake to ditch the keeper and find the net for a 4-1 lead. Germany managed to get one back with only eight seconds remaining in the period for a 4-2 game in favor of the United States going to the second quarter.

In the second the Germans began to rally. First, it was a power play goal early in the quarter to draw within one, and then they came back with another score on a five meter penalty to tie the match at 4-4. The United States responded in a major way. Varellas got it started on a broken play that resulted in a score right as a power play was set to end for the United States. From there Wright lobbed a pass over the top to Jeff Powers (San Luis Obispo, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) who put the ball past the goalie in an alley-oop type play. With 2:04 remaining they kept building the lead with Varellas again scoring on a power play for a 7-4 advantage. The scoring parade stopped with just two seconds left on the clock as Shea Buckner (Villa Park, CA/USC/NYAC) connected from deep for an 8-4 lead going into the break.

For as strong as the USA offense was in the second quarter it did not make a dent on the Germans in the third. Germany held the United States scoreless while adding two power play goals of their own to get to 8-6 by the end of the period. The United States got what would prove to be a much needed cushion in their lead at the 6:33 mark of the fourth period when Brian Alexander (Santa Ana, CA/UCSB/Olympic Club) fired home a goal as the shot clock was expiring for a 9-6 game. Germany would score on a penalty shot with 5:34 to play to make it 9-7. Then with 1:07 remaining in the match the Germans scored again on a power play inside and it was just a one goal game at 9-8. The final possession for Germany resulted in a turnover and the United States was able to salt away the clock and take the contest 9-8.

The United States went 7/10 on power plays while not attempting a penalty shot and Germany was 4/12 on power plays and 2/2 on penalty shots.

Saves - USA - M. Moses - 9

Flash Quotes

"I think the guys are continuing to get in the mindset of we gotta go out and win every game. The 5th-8th place games are always tougher to get up for but I think we came with some really good energy and we did a nice job of holding on there at the end. It definitely came down to good six on five, and five man (defense)." Terry Schroeder, USA Head Coach

"I think it is really positive for us. I think there is the message that we have alot of work to do, we don't want to be playing fifth through eighth, we want to be playing one, two, three. I think there is a realization that we are close to being there, but close doesn't count for much. We have alot of work to do, the guys know that. I think it is some positive steps and we want to finish up with one more strong game and get into the summer and head into the Pan Ams with some good positive momentum." Terry Schroeder, USA Head Coach on finishing strong at World Championships

Game 42 5-8 Place MNE MNE 9 vs ESP ESP 10

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: (2:2, 3:5, 2:1, 2:2)

Referees: ALEXANDRESCU Adrian (ROU) NAUMOV Sergei (RUS)
Delegate: FIROIU Niculae SOSTAR Alexsandar


MONTENEGRO: Denis SEFIK, Drasko BRGULJAN, Aleksandar RADOVIC (3), Damjan DANILOVIC, Nikola VUKCEVIC (1), Milan TICIC, Filip KLIKOVAC (1), Nikola JANOVIC (1), Aleksandar IVOVIC, Darko BRGULJAN (1), Antonio PETROVIC (1), Predrag JOKIC (1), Milos SCEPANOVIC. Coach: Petar POROBIC.

SPAIN: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA (2), Eric MARSAL, Francisco FERNANDEZ, Guillermo MOLINA (1), Marc MINGUELL (1), Mark ROCA, Albert ESPANOL, Xavier VALLES (3), Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ (1), Javier GARCIA (1), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach:
Rafael AGUILAR.

Spain held off Montenegro by taking the lead three minutes from halftime and never relinquishing it. Spain was unlucky not to score more goals but for the efforts and extreme coverage of the goalmouth by SEFIK. The lead swung ion the first half but Spain threw up a continual barrage of shots at the Montenegrin goal. RADOVIC opened on extra for Montenegro but MINGUELL on right-hand-catch and VALLES off a quick cross pass, had Spain in the lead. JOKIV tied the game on extra at

0:43 to close the period. PETROVIC on extra and MOLINA with a rare blast from outside into the top right had the game level again. Darko BRGULJAN finished a zig-zag extra-man attack in which the ball crossed the cage three times before crossing the line. After FERNANDEZ backhand scooped a loose ball over the crossbar when wide open, Spain went on the offensive in a big way. PERRONE, VALLES and Mario GARCIA all scored from top left — the first on action, the second with a lob and the third on extra. Spain was back in front with a two-goal lead. RADOVIC narrowed the gap on extra but the veteran Left- hander PEREZ, one of two players in their 40s in Shanghai, backhanded from two metres after drifting to his right for 5-7 at halftime. KLIKOVAC opened the third period after a defensive error but GARCIA scored his eighth of the tournament on extra.

Montenegro went to a timeout and swiftly gave it to VUKCEVIC on the near post to score for 7-8. Spain peppered the Montenegro goal but nothing came in the final 4:40 of the quarter. Spain called a timeout after winning the swim for the fourth but no goal. However, on its next attack, an ejection was gained and VALLES tapped in his third on extra from the far post for 7-9. Montenegro went to a timeout at 3:06 with head coach POROBIC frantically drawing the play on his board, JANOVIC posted the goal on extra from the left side, threading it into the bottom corner at 2:48 for 8-9. FERNANDEZ tried another flick on rebound only to have it smothered by SEFIK. Spain had a timeout at 1:18. Mario GARCIA repeated an earlier effort, scoring on extra down the right post for 8-10. RADOVIC netted a third goal 13 second later with a cross-cage shot from top right. Montenegro was back in the game. JOKIC was excluded and Spain wasted time for the victory. Spain earned a shot against the USA for fifth while Montenegro goes to the seven-eight classification match with Germany on Saturday.

Game 43 Semifinal HUN HUN 14 vs SRB SRB 15 Webcast

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: (2:1, 7:5, 3:3, 1:4) (0:1, 1:1)

Referees: MARGETA Boris (SLO) STAVRIDIS Georgios (GRE)
Delegate: AMINI Khosrow TOYGARLI Haluk

Extra Man: HUN: 5/17. SRB: 6/22


HUNGARY: Viktor NAGY, Miklos GOR NAGY, Norbert MADARAS (4), Denes VARGAS (1), Marton SZIVOS (1), Norbert HOSNYANSZKY (1), Gergely KISS (1), Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA (2), Peter BIROS (1), Adam STEINMETZ (1), Balazs HARAI (2), Zoltan SZECSI. Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.

SERBIA: SORO Slobodan, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC (1), Vanja UDOVICIC (1), Marko CUK (1), Dusko PIJETLOVIC (1), Slobodan NIKIC (2), Milan ALEKSIC (1), Nikola RADJEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (3), Andrija PRLAINOVIC (3), Stefan MITROVIC (2), Gojko PIJETLOVIC. Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

Serbia needed extra time to defeat Hungary 15-14 after the game was locked at 13-13 by full-time. It was a game of character by both teams with Hungary making the play for all of the game, only going behind in the first period of extra time.

For Hungary it was damning shock to be overhauled by a team that was at one stage 5-1 down. Serbia started through PRLAINOVIC on extra from close in but STEINMETZ and HARAI gave HUngary the quarter-time lead. Then came the busiest quarter at these championships with 13 goals stirring the packed crowd. BIROS (drive left), MADARAS (cross pass) and Denes VARGA drag down on the post) had Hungary 5-01 ahead. Fantastic stuff. Serbia took a timeout to stop the train. UDOVICIC drove down the pool and rattled the ball off the right upright. Goals were then traded until the end of the period for 9-6.

Breathtaking stuff indeed. The Hungarians were on fire; head coach KEMENY was charging up and down the pool waving arm and water bottle violently; the players tried everything and Serbian coach Dejan UDOVICIC was relatively calm despite the storm. Outwardly that was. Inside he must have been steaming. MADARAS made it the 10th goal traded in perfect synchronicity at the start of the third period. CUK with a brilliant cross-pass goal and KISS with a drive right and lob goal took the game to 11-7 with more traded goals. The crowd of about 2000 was appreciating the action immensely. NIKIC scored nearly three minutes later when he accepted the second pass across the line, the last from UDOVICIC, who could have scored himself, for 11-8 at 1:19. KEMENY gained a yellow card for his outcry. Hungary had a timeout and HARAI scored off the far post on extra for 12-8. With only seconds remaining, FILIPOVIC worked himself into a frenzy and fired off a sidewinder, hitting the cross bar and dropping to the water for PRLAINOVIC to push in. The Hungarians claimed he used an elbow in the face to get to the ball. At 0:04, the game was poised for a final-quarter cracker with more fireworks expected.

The number of traded goals had reached 16. That was broken when PIJETLOVIC scored off the near post on extra to close the gap to two. MADARAS converted extra, as did PRLAINOVIC at the other end — 13-11 at 6:27. Hungary lost the ball and Serbia went on the charge. FILIPOVIC scored on extra and the game was tantalisingly close. Hungary bounced the ball over the top at the end of possession and Serbia charged again. ALEKSIC took a chance from the top left and sent it down the line for his third of the tournament and the game was 13-13. BIROS shot at the end of 30 seconds and the ball bounced into the crossbar. Serbia lost the ball and Hungary gained an exclusion. HOSZNYANSZKY blasted into the left upright and Serbia had a shot blocked by 2:35. BIROS had his pass intercepted. STEINMETZ (HUN) and UDOVICIC went on a double exclusion with Serbia on attack at 2:10. SZECSI saved a shot on the line, Hungary lost the ball and Serbia advanced at 1:33. CUK shot from well out but it was saved and Hungary cruised into the last minute with the ball. Another double exclusion with ALEKSIC and MADARAS ousted. KISS tried a shot off a five-metre throw but it was too high. Serbia used its second timeout at 0:37.

ALEKSIC was indecisive with his shot and it went nowhere. Hungary snapped it up and KEMENY called his second timeout at 0:16. The ball was taken in, went right and back to the top. The ball was passed to the centre forward but the pass was wayward and ALEKSIC stole the ball, forcing the game to extra time. It took until 0:30 of the first period of extra time for Serbia to take the lead through FILIPOVIC after extra-man period had elapsed. Hungary had its shot blocked and the ball went to the breaking GOCIC. He gained an exclusion on his opposite No 3, MADARAS just as the siren sounded. Serbia had a chance for extra if it could win the swim. Serbia played the game of pulling the goal forward at the start. Daniel VARGA won the swim so no extra-man attack for Serbia. PIJETLOVIC was excluded and Daniel VARGA levelled the game at 14-14 at 2:15. Zsolt VARGA was excluded and NIKIC's smack shot after the extra period went wide. Denes VARGA tried to tip on a shot but it hit the crossbar. Serbia regained and HARAI was called for a major foul. Serbia took a timeout at 0:49 and the ball sped to MITROVIC on the deep left. He converted for 14-15 at 0:44. Hungary's STEINMETZ gained an exclusion on PIJETLOVIC and Hungary claiming rotated the team on attack. The final shot came from HOSZNYANSZKY but it failed to get through the forest of arms. Serbia snapped up the ball and the Serbian bench went wild with delight, led by coach UDOVICIC. Serbia would defend its title in the gold-medal final.

Game 44 Semifinal CRO CRO 8 vs ITA ITA 9  Webcast

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Referees: BORRELL Sergio (ESP) KOGANOV Mark (AZE)
Delegate: FOSTER Richard SHAW Bill

Quarters: 0-1, 1-2, 3-5, 4-1

Extra Man: CRO: 4/11. ITA: 3/10

Pens: CRO: 1/1. ITA: 1/1


CROATIA: Josip PAVIC, Damir BURIC (1), Miho BOSKOVIC (3), Niksa DOBUD (1), Maro JOKOVIC (1), Petar MUSLIM, Frano KARAC, Andro BUSLJE (1), Sandro SUKNO (1), Samir BARAC, Fran PASKVALIN, Paulo OBRADOVIC, Ivan BULJUBASIC. Coach:
Ratko RUDIC.

ITALY: Stefano TEMPESTI, Amaurys PEREZ, Niccolò GITTO, Pietro FIGLIOLI, Alex GIORGETTI (3), Maurizio FELUGO (1), Niccoloi FIGARI (1), Valentino GALLO (2), Christian PRESCIUTTI (1), Deni FIORENTINI (1), Matteo AICARDI, Arnaldo DESERTI, Giacomo PASTORINO. Coach: Alessandro CAMPAGNA.

Italy made the play, worked the options, took the shots, led by four goals into the final quarter and withstood a ferocious attack from the Croats as the final minutes ticked down. Croatia outscored Italy 4-1 in the final quarter but it needed to be by four to make any difference to retain any hopes it had of world domination. Italy nearly made it a clean sheet for the first half but it came down to a BURIC goal at 0:25 on the second quarter to ruin that perfect relationship with the game. The disgust that head coach CAMPAGNA showed for his player for not properly defending BURIC was evident for all to see. His intensity was carried across to the team during the game. In fact, on the action replay, it could be clearly seen that BURIC had pushed off before shooting from outside to gain a slender foothold in the match. Italy was super at the start and it was FIGARI who slipped through a ball on extra man from deep left, but only at 0:23. Such was the closeness of the guarding, that GALLO threw a hopeful left-hander soaring towards the high ceiling and watched the parabola send his ball into the top left, far from the stretching fingers of PAVIC. PRESCIUTTI went on counter and kept the huge crowd happy with his goal at 6:11. The goals dried up as both sides worked heavily on defence and stifling shooting opportunities. Italy had an early timeout at 2:19 but no joy when it came to scoring. Then BURIC scored for the 1-3 halftime score. JOKOVIC and GIRGETTI converted penalties in quick succession. A minute after he scored from five metres, GIORGETTI sent in a shot from the top left. BUSILJE and FELUGO traded goals, followed by a BOSKOVIC conversion of extra at 3:27 for 4-6. FIORENTINI scored on extra when the cross pass went to the far post on the one-metre line for 4-7 at 1:32. GIORGETTI scored with three seconds left from eight metres as Croatian head coach RUDIC was advancing down the sideline, complaining about something. With three seconds left it closed the quarter. DOBUD resurrected some hope for Croatia with a score on extra from the near post and 5-8. However, on the next attack, GALLO netted his second on extra when BURIC was excluded. Italy had the luxury of shooting and gaining the rebound, wasting time on the next attack when only 200 seconds remained in the match. GITTO was excluded and Croatia converted via BOSKOVIC off a deflection from GALLO's extended arm. Italy was within three at 3:01.

Italy had consecutive attacks but the ball was stolen on the second and BOSKOVIC scored on the counter at 2:02. This was starting to the way of the previous semifinal where the lead dwindled quickly in the dying minutes. SUKNO blundered an excellent chance on counter and a subsequent shot went wide. Italy wasted the ball and Croatia called timeout at 0:24. The ball moved quickly and SUKNO moved forward and scored at 0:15. Italy controlled, lost and regained and the game was over.

Italy was through to a final for the first time since Barcelona in 2003, losing to Hungary. Italy claimed its only crown in 1994 at home in Rome. Croatia, champion in Melbourne four years ago and bronze medallist in 2009, has a tough task against Hungary in the bronze-medal game on Saturday.

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

 

Saturday, July 30

By Russell McKinnon, FINA Press Commissioner Extraordinare

Italy has returned to the top tier of men's world water polo, wresting the FINA World Championship crown from the Balkans in a spectacular gold-medal final at the Natatorium on Saturday.

The climax to the 14-day water polo programme saw Italy take world champion Serbia to extra time after the game was locked at 6-6. A 2-1 first period had Italy in the box seat and the second period yielded no goals for the 8-7 victory.

The game had everything, although water polo purists may say it was too much. It had a huge crowd players and coaches red-carded, coach antics poolside and a fantastic celebration afterwards that had the spectators cheering and dancing in the aisles.

Following the presentation of the medals, the entire Italian team, dressed in tracksuits and shoes, jumped into the water with their medals to celebrate.
It lifted Italy above Serbia after finishing runner-up to the Serbs at the recent FINA World League Super Final in Florence with the same score.

The tournament's Most Valuable Player, Filip FILIPOVIC (SRB) scored three goals but had the ignominy of having one of two penalty shots blocked by the tournament's top goalkeeper Stefano TEMPESTI (ITA).

TEMPESTI was the key to Italy's success with a massive 69.6% save statistic — 16 from 23 shots. He was the rock and Matteo AICARDI the hammerhead with three power goals The final marked the end of a chequered career for one of the world's leading water polo referees, Erhan TULGA from Turkey.

The neutral referee was officiating no less than his sixth major FINA final when he controlled the men's gold-medal match with Mark KOGANOV (AZE).

TULGA refereed the same match at the 1998 and 2001 FINA World Championships. In 2007 and 2009, the controlled the women's championship matches. He has also taken charge of the 1999 Junior Men's World Championship Final. He also refereed three Olympic bronze-medal matches; four FINA World League Super Finals; one FINA World Cup; six European Final Fours; three European men's championship finals and one women's.

In all, he has attended three Olympic games, seven FINA World Championships, three junior men's worlds, two junior Europeans and one youth Europeans.

Fellow referee Mark KOGANOV also officiated this match in Rome two years ago.

The bronze-medal final ended in acrimony when two Croatians were sent from the pool deck at the height of their glorious 12-11 victory over triple Olympic champion Hungary.

Andrija BUSILJE and four-goal hero Miho BOSKOVIC were not on immediate hand to burst into spontaneous excitement and celebrations but quickly returned to savour the moment.

Hungary sat dumbstruck, much like it had in the first half when it trailed 8-4 and then 9-4 early in the third before making a comeback.

An apparent touch of the ball by an excluded player sent Hungary's legendary coach Denes KEMENY running down the far end of the pool protesting.

His efforts earned nothing but a yellow card. Hungary was left to Spain beat the United States of America 11-10 for fifth position. The win was largely thanks to the enormous contribution of 40-year-old Ivan PEREZ, the second oldest man in the men's water polo competition and probably entire FINA World Championships.

PEREZ scored three goals and made at least five ejections, making him Spain's leading goal-scorer with 12.

In the play-off for seventh place, Montenegro defeated Germany 8-5 after a shutout final quarter. Montenegro had the better shooting average while Germany's could be best described as not good, missing all 10 extra-man attempts.

The Media All Star team was headed by TEMPESTI in goal and Romanian Cosmin RADU as the standout centre forward, also finishing as the tournament's highest goal-scorer with 20 strikes. FILIOPVIC was one behind him. This trio was joined by Miho BOSKOVIC (CRO), Alex GIORGETTI (ITA), Norbert MADARAS (HUN) and Andrija PRLAINOVIC (SRB).

 

Game 45: 7th Place GER GER 5 vs MNE MNE 8

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: Adrian ALEXANDRESCU (ROU), NI Shi Wei
Delegates: BADREDDINE Boukezouha, SHAW Bill

Extra Man: GER: 0/10. MNE: 2/13

Pen: GER: 0/1

GERMANY: Alexander TCHIGIR, Florian NAROSKA, Fabian SCHROEDTER, Julian REAL (2), Marko STAMM, Marc POLITZE, Erik BUKOWSKI, Paul SCHUELER (2), Tobias KREUZMANN, Moritz OELER (1), Andreas SCHLOTTERBECK, Dennis EIDNER, Roger KONG. Head Coach: Hagen STAMM.

MONTENEGRO: Denis SEFIK, Drasko BRGULJAN (1), Aleksandar RADOVIC (2), Damjan DANILOVIC, Nikola VUKCEVIC, Milan TICIC (1), Filip KLIKOVAC (1), Nikola JANOVIC, Aleksandar IVOVIC (1), Darko BRGULJAN (2), Antonio PETROVIC, Predrag JOKIC, Milos SCEPANOVIC. Coach: Petar POROBIC.

The first half promised so much in the play-off for seventh but it seemed that both teams had decided to go home early as the second half produced just two goals and they were in the third period. It was the second game in three that there was a shutout quarter and only the third of the whole tournament after the Netherlands-Hungary women’s game on July 21. Friday night’s shutout was in the women’s bronze medal game where Russia held off Italy for the final quarter. Germany’s shooting was woeful with a 19% strike rate compared to Montenegro’s 42%. The extra-man statistic speaks for itself. The first quarter was a real thriller with goals swapped after RADOVIC took Montenegro 2-1 ahead. IVOVIC dropped in the 3-4 goal on a drive down the right unguarded. REAL scored his second to start the second period, sending the ball into the right side of the goal from the top. Then began the dark period from the heavily supported Germany. Drasko BRGULJAN scored on a counter- attack with a lob; Darko BRGULJAN converted extra from deep left and RADOVIC gained his second after the extra-man exclusion period for 4-7 at 1:25, the last goal of the quarter. Darko BRGULJAN and SCHEULER traded goals in the third period and the last was a dour effort from two fading teams making many mistakes and shooting poorly. The only real chance was POLITZE’s penalty attempt at 1:18, which hit the post. Germany dropped from sixth to eight from Rome two years ago while Montenegro lifted two positions.

Game 46: 5th Place: USA USA 10 vs ESP ESP 11

Start List  Results  Play by Play

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

Referees: CIRIC Mihailo (SRB) FLAHIVE Daniel (AUS)
Delegate: MARTIN G.O. FIROIU Niculae

Pens: USA: 1/1

UNITED STATES: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS (3), Peter HUDNUT (1), Jeff POWERS, Adam WRIGHT (2), Brian ALEXANDER (2), Layne BEAUBIEN, Tony AZEVEDO (1), Ryan BAILEY (1), Tim HUTTEN, Jesse SMITH, Shea BUCKNER, Andrew STEVENS. Coach:
Terry SCHROEDER.

SPAIN: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, Eric MARSAL, Francisco FERNANDEZ, Guillermo MOLINA (3), Marc MINGUELL (1), Mark ROCA (1), Albert ESPANOL, Xavier VALLES, Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ (3), Javier GARCIA (2), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach:
Rafael AGUILAR.

Even at the age of 40, massive centre forward Ivan PEREZ, is not slowing down. He was the undisputed star player in his team’s victory over the USA. Not only did he score three goals but he earned about five ejections in such short spurts in the pool. Spain relies heavily on him to produce those extra-man chances and he does not disappoint. The ageless nature of his play is only tarnished by his lack of speed and stamina but the minutes he gives the team are crucial and his defensive skills equal those at the other end of the pool. Perez scored the third and fourth goals from centre forward as his team dominated the first quarter, keeping the USA scoreless. The USA won the next period with AZEVEDO, ALEXANDER and HUDNUT scoring but MOLINA scored his second on extra and PEREZ notched No 3 from point blank on extra. The game became more interesting in the third period as the USA hit the goal twice through ALEXANDER and VARELLAS. MOLINA and VARELLAS traded goals for 6-7 with ROCA sending one down the line on extra to close the quarter’s scoring at 6-8. Javier GARCIA scored the first of two goals in the final quarter but BAILEY responded at two metres. PERRONE scuttled in a round-arm shot from seven metres for 7-10. VARELLA scored his third from the left-hand-catch position. GARCIA responded with WRIGHT getting in on the action with a shot from the top off the right post for 9-11 at 2:21. There was still time for the USA. Both teams had no success after timeouts. The USA gained a penalty foul on PERRONE and WRIGHT converted for 10-11. The shot was held up as USA assistant coach Robert LYNN was red-carded and the referees would not allow the shot to be taken until he had vacated the pool deck. At 0:24 the game was up for the USA and Spain controlled the ball with the assistance of a timeout at 0:15. Spain finished fifth, a far cry from Rome’s silver medal while the USA fell from fourth to sixth.

Greg Msscall United States Water Polo

Shanghai, China - July 30 - The USA Men's National Team took home sixth place at the 2011 FINA World Championships following an 11-10 loss to Spain. The loss bumps the team down from fourth place to sixth in the world headed into the Pan American Games this October in Mexico. A slow first quarter that saw Spain outscore Team USA 4-0 eventually doomed the squad as a second half rally fell just short. Peter Varellas (Moraga, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club) led the offensive attack with three goals while Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) went the distance in net stopping 10 shots.

Spain came out of the gates on fire scoring on an outside shot just thirty seconds into the match for a 1-0 lead. Over the remainder of the period they would add on three more goals, two coming out of two meters for a 4-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second period the United States broke through when Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) hit for a power play score to make the match 4-1 in favor of Spain. The Spanish got one back 90 seconds later on a power play to go back up four goals but that was answered at the 3:31 mark when Brian Alexander (Santa Ana, CA/UCSB/Olympic Club) scored on a counter attack to close to 5-2. Spain again had a comeback with a power play goal in front of the net to take a 6-2 lead but the United States came back with just :38 to play in the period as Peter Hudnut (Encino, CA/Stanford/NYAC) tossed in a power play goal from the near side for a 6-3 game at halftime.

In the third quarter Team USA started to inch even closer and it got started with Varellas sending in a laser from the outside to get the score to 6-4 in favor of Spain. Moses came up moments later with a big stop on a backhand and that was followed by Alexander burying his second goal of the day from distance to make it 6-5 with 2:57 to play in th third. Spain scored on their next possession to go back up two goals at 7-5 but Varellas rocketed a shot off the goalie's head and into the cage for a power play score with 1:10 remaining to make things 7-6. Spain had the last word in the third quarter putting in a power play goal with :38 to play in the period and it was 8-6 in favor of the Spaniards going to the fourth.

The back and forth battle would continue throughout the final quarter and Spain struck first with a power play score right as sides were coming even for a 9-6 advantage, their largest since the first half. Ryan Bailey (Long Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) got free inside moments later for a goal to get it back to two at 9-7. Spain answered with a precision shot to the corner from deep to go up 10-7 but then Varellas found the corner of the cage as well to make it 10-8 with 4:27 left in the match. Momentum swung not long after as Spain killed off a USA power play then came down the other end and scored on a lookaway shot for an 11-8 lead. On the next possession for the United States Adam Wright (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC) delivered a goal from outside to draw within 11-9. He came back in the waning seconds hitting a five meter penalty shot and it was just 11-10 Spain with :24 left in the match. The United States pressed Spain for the remainder of the clock but a USA exclusion allowed Spain to easily run out the clock and come away the winners at 11-10.

Saves - USA - M. Moses 10

Flash Quotes

"I think the biggest thing we know we're not 100 percent. Coming away in the 5th/6th place it's not a great result but it's okay. We are definitley on our way back up, we know we can beat any team." Brian Alexander, Attacker on what he takes away from this result

"Well I wouldn't say concerned, I wouldn't be happy about it because we don't want to be sixth, we want to be first. Just knowing we aren't at 100 percent of where we need to be in our training. We have alot ahead of us, 363 days from today are the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. We are going to be working hard and training hard, this is a good marker to let us know where we are now." Brian Alexander, Attacker on if Team USA fans should be concerned with the result

"We just know that we are one goal behind Hungary right now, one goal behind Spain right now, there are just little things we need to work on; our training, our fitness and we definitely are going to do that when we get back home." Brian Alexander, Attacker on positives to take from World Championships

"(The) takeaway is that we are close to that top tier, but we're definitley not playing with hand grenades where close doesn't matter unless you make that next step. We've gotta go back home and get the next year together and work hard together and learn to really play for each other and become better as a team. I think the breakdowns today were just not doing the simple things well. Not making our passes to center, getting caught between a zone and a press. We have to be able to do those little things in order to succeed. The energy wasn't there at the beginning, obviously, we can't go down 4-0 against a good team, we did a nice job clawing our way back but it just takes too much energy to get all the way back." Terry Schroeder, USA Head Coach

"There's alot of positives, I think we gave Hungary everything they could handle, we came back and beat Germany after they kicked our butts pretty good in the first game. We made positive steps in the right direction for what we need to do to get back to the podium in London." Terry Schroder, USA Head Coach on positives of the tournament

"We had hoped to come away with a medal here but it is obviously a very tough tournament. There are eight teams, nine teams that are all pretty close and you've got to be on top of your game to have a chance to medal and we were a little off. In this non-Olympic year we had two weeks before World League and two weeks before World Championships, a month together when it's kind fragmeneted and you're trying to push through alot of things and get everyone on the same page, it's not enough time. I'm looking forward to this next year when we have the time together and have everyone home and we can put the work in and see how far we can take it." Terry Schroeder, USA Head Coach

Game 47 HUN HUN 11 vs CRO CRO 12 MENS BRONZE MEDAL GAME   

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Quarters: 2-5, 2-3, 5-3, 2-1

Referees: BORRELL Sergio (ESP) STAVRIDIS Georgios (GRE)
Delegate: FOSTER Richard SOSTAR Alexsandar

Extra Man: HUN: 7/13. CRO: 3/8

Pens: HUN: 1/1. CRO: 2/2

HUNGARY: Viktor NAGY, Miklos GOR NAGY, Norbert MADARAS (1), Denes VARGAR (3), Marton SZIVOS, Norbert HOSNYANSZKY (1), Gergely KISS (1), Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA, Peter BIROS (3), Adam STEINMETZ (1), Balazs HARAI (1), Zoltan SZECSI. Head
Coach: Denes KEMENY.

CROATIA: Josip PAVIC, Damir BURIC (1), Miho BOSKOVIC (4), Niksa DOBUD (1), Maro JOKOVIC (1), Petar MUSLIM, Frano KARAC, Andro BUSLJE (1), Sandro SUKNO (1), Samir BARAC.  Fran PASKVALIN, Paulo OBRADOVIC, Ivan BULJUBASIC (3). Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

Croatia saw to it that Hungary finished outside the medals less than a year out from defending the title that it owns outright this century — Olympic gold. You can never under-estimate a Hungarian team down. The biggest shock was that by halftime Hungary was four goals in arrears of a determined and forceful Croatian opponent. This engrossing bronze final provided plenty of action and a bucket load of quality goals. But the match went Croatia’s way, despite Hungary returning to nearly force extra time. It was not to be as Croatia held strong in the water. However, out of it, BUSILJE incurred the wrath, and red card, of the referee. BOSKOVIC, one of the stars of this tournament and four-goal hero tonight, followed suit when he decided to join the “chat”. It gave Hungary heart 51 seconds from time but no goal. Croatia failed to work out the wasting-ball situation after taking a timeout at 0:19. The rule has been re-interpreted late in the tournament where goalkeepers are now not allowed to hang on to the ball. The charge up field saw the ball lost and Hungary played the ball into centre forward but the pass was wayward and Croatia had claimed back-to-back bronze medals and a third consecutive podium finish. When you look at the medal cabinet of Hungary it is vast. Hungary has won the championship twice, finished with the silver medal six times and lifted one bronze. Croatia won the title in 2007 and bronze in 2009 but shared in the glory days of Yugoslavia before leaving the union. Yugoslavia won two gold, one silver and three bronzes. The real damage in the match was the first five minutes or so when Croatia fired to a three-goal lead. It became four just after the quarter and stayed that until halftime. A three-goal charge by Hungary late in the third period turned the game from 6-11 to 9-11, setting up a fine last quarter. Halfway through the period, BULJABASIC made it 9-12 and Denes VARGA scored on extra at 2:59. BIROS poured burning oil on the water when he smashed in a shot on extra at 1:40. Then the fireworks started. Finally, Hungary was left to ponder the damage and start thinking about how to construct a plan for London.

Start List  Results  Play by Play

Referees: TULGA Erhan (TUR) KOGANOV Mark (AZE)
Delegate: AMINI Khosrow IBERN Manuel

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

Extra Man: SRB: 2/12. ITA: 4/12

Pens: SRB: 1/3

SERBIA: SORO Slobodan, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC, Vanja UDOVICIC (1), Marko CUK (1), Dusko PIJETLOVIC (1), Slobodan NIKIC, Milan ALEKSIC, Nikola RADJEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (3), Andrija PRLAINOVIC (1), Stefan MITROVIC, Gojko PIJETLOVIC. Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

ITALY: Stefano TEMPESTI, Amaurys PEREZ, Niccolò GITTO, Pietro FIGLIOLI (1), Alex GIORGETTI, Maurizio FELUGO (1), Niccoloi FIGARI, Valentino GALLO (1), Christian PRESCIUTTI (2), Deni FIORENTINI, Matteo AICARDI (3), Arnaldo DESERTI, Giacomo PASTORINO. Coach: Alessandro CAMPAGNA.

The Settebello, or possibly the New Settebello as one journalist put it, produced a game worthy of the sport and put them back to the glory days of the 1990s when it last won gold in Rome in 1994 and Olympic gold in Barcelona two years before.

This was a real water polo grand final. It had the packed house, stretching way down to the diving pool; it had noise; it had colour; and it had spectacular, defensive water polo. Counter-attack was out of the question. Less than two minutes into the game, GALLO opened for Italy from top right. It looked set for plenty of goals. Nothing more came in the quarter but plenty of balls hitting wood and goalkeepers making saves, especially TEMPESTI, named to the Media All Star team. PRLAINOVIC leveled the game for Serbia at the same time as the goal in the first quarter — 6:18. It was fortuitous as the ball was left stranded a metre short of the line and he lunged forward and pushed it in. CUK followed several minutes later when he rocketed in a shot from seven metres. Serbian coach Dejan UDOVICIC gained a yellow card for not switching his players fast enough. Italy closed the half with a timeout but unsuccessful shot. AICARDI opened the third quarter on the first attack with a backhand goal from two metres. FILIPOVIC, later named as the tournament's Most Valuable Player, scored his 17th goal on extra with a barreling shot down the bottom right. Serbia was in the front again at 3-2. AICARDI reignited the dream with a score off extra, a pass coming from his left to the near post. FIGLIOLI sent in a missile from top right after a lookaway movement, shooting down the line as the excluded player was making his way into play. Italy was back in front. PIJETLOVIC ended up in a fracas of sorts but no call came and Italy burst away. As PRESCIUTTI was taunting goalkeeper SORO, coach UDOVICIC was dancing on the sideline about the non-call. PRESCIUTTI finally scored and then thumped the air and sucked his thumb in triumph! A Serbian assistant coach was red-carded for making it a tango. Italy took a 5-3 lead into the final quarter. FILIPOVIC stepped up for a penalty at 7:20 but TEMPESTI proved his worth and went low to smother the ball. Less than a minute later captain UDOVICIC drove left, turned and scored across cage for 4-5 at 6:13. PRESCIUTTI converted extra after many passes and firing it in from deep right. A minute later Serbia called a timeout and the players rose from the bench with wild gestures. ALEKSIC was red-carded for his effort. Serbia had the extra-man attack and the ball was late on possession, reaching PIJETLOVIC in front of goal. He swept the ball low into goal for 5-6. Mayhem hit the pool soon after when TEMPESTI appeared to bury the attacker and the referee let it go but it went on too long and a penalty was called against him. It took a while to set the shot and FILIPOVIC scored his 18th goal. Italian coach CAMPAGNA went crazy and gained a yellow card. Italy went to a timeout at 1:33 when UDOVICIC was excluded. No goal. Italy's shot was blocked by SORO. UDOVICIC then charged down the right and had his shot blocked out by TEMPESTI. GITTO, guarding UDOVICIC was immediately suspended. Italy went on attack and FILIPOVIC was excluded, followed by PRLAINOVIC in the last second of the game. Italy kept possession and the match went to extra time. Italy was down two players and Serbia one. No one was leaving the stadium. Italy scored off the opening attack of the first period of extra time as it had two men up. The ball swiftly found AICARDI on two metres who dragged the ball in for 6-6 at 2:43. Serbia gained extra and FILIPOVIC with his 19th converted for 7-7 at 2:15. FILIPOVIC could have equaled Cosmin RADU (ROU) as the highest tournament scorer at 20 but he had his penalty shot blocked by the fantastic TEMPESTI. He had pushed the ball back down the throat of his assailant twice in the game. A minute later — 0:35 — FELUGO put salt into the wound with a torpedo from seven metres for 7-8.

Serbia lost the ball at the other end and FIORENTINI had his final shot blocked by the defence, closing the first period of extra time. AICARDI had the first shot of the second period, turning and shooting high from centre forward. PIJETLOVIC's shot was heavily blocked. Italy wasted the ball. PRESCIUTTI brilliantly stole the ball from hole man. FIGLIOLI shot quickly but the ball was blocked. FIGLIOLI smartly won a turnover and Italy used its extra-time timeout. GALLO turned over the ball soon after the restart and Serbia went to a timeout. PEREZ was excluded and PRLAINOVIC took a long shot but it went wide and Italy retained the ball and regained a title it relinquished in Perth in 1998.
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