Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 1: Serbia loses first game against Croatia

Water Polo World Cup

2006 World Cup winner, 2009 World champion and 2010 World League gold medallist, the team of Serbia, lost its first match at the 14th FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup, being held in Oradea (ROU), from July 27 to August 1, 2010. In a Balkan duel, the Serbians lost against eternal rival Croatia by 10-8, in what was the highlight of the first day. The other main interest of the session was the encounter between Australia and Spain (2009 silver medallists at the FINA World Championships), won by the Iberians 9-7.
Otherwise, natural victories from USA against China (10-6) and from Romania against Iran (26-1).

15:00 - Game 1/USA - China (CHN): 10-6  (1-0, 3-3; 3-1, 3-2)

USA: 1. Merrill Moses 2. Peter Varellas 3. Mike Sharf (2) 4. Jeff Powers (1) 5. Adam Wright 6. Jeff Tyrell 7. Thomas Hopkins (2, 1p.) 8 Tony Azevedo (1) 9. Ryan Bailey (1) 10. Tim Hutten (2) 11. Jesse Smith 12. Tommy Corcoran (1) 13. Andy Stevens. Coach: Terry Schroeder; Assistant Coaches: Ryan Brown, Robert Lynn.

CHINA: 1. Weiqing Ge 2. Feihu Tan (2) 3. Zhongxing Liang 4. Lijun Yu  (1) Guo 5. Junliang Guo 6. Ning Pan (1) 7. Yang Wang (1) 8. Junmin Xie 9. Bin Li (1) 10. Beiming Wang 11. Zhidong Han 12. Bin Jiang 13. Jilong Chen. Coach: Tianxiong Cai; Assistant Coaches: Lyngyun Mao, Jung Den.

Referees: Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Hafezi Hooshang (IRI).
FINA Delegate: Jorge Roberto Pagura.

With three goals in each quarter - except for the first one when they scored one goal - the United States managed a comfortable victory over China. Only the second quarter was a tie (3-3).
Hutten (USA’s #10) scored the first goal of the match at 2:21 inside the first quarter, man up.
The second quarter was a tie, 3-3. The vice Olympic champions where always in control, and always ahead but the reactive Chinese were capable of answering each goal and staying in the game.  
At 4:46 of the second quarter Corcoran doubled the score for the USA but just 28 seconds later a backshot from Yu narrows the distance (2-1); at 3:18 Hutten scored his second, the USA are up again two goals; less than a minute later, at 2:39, Li stroked from the right  (3-2); at 2:09 Powers converted  a man up situation: USA up two goals once more. At 1:03 Pan scored in his turn, one man up.
Twenty seconds inside the 3rd , Azevedo netted his first (5-3). At 6:52 Hopkins widened the gap (6-3). At 3.02 Azevedo missed a penalty but Ge, the Chinese goalie, is to be credited with a great save. At 2:03 Bailey scored a controversial goal (ball on the line).
Yang Wang shoot in the net from outside, with 1:17 missing to the end of the quarter (7-4). At 5:42 Bailey converted on a penalty shot (8-4). At 3:20 Tan shoots lethally from outside (8-5) but just 19 seconds later Sharf reinstated the 4-goals gap (9-5). At 2:08 Stevens replaced Moses in the goal. At 1:17 Sharf made his second goal from 2 metres (10-5). With 32 seconds to the end, Tan scored his second goal too (10-6).

17:00 - Game 2/ Iran (IRI) - Romania (ROU): 1-26 (0-8, 0-8; 0-6; 1- 4)

IRAN: 1. Alireza Sahhidipour 2. Arsalan Mardani Chardah Cheriki 3. Seyed Mohamed Mirmahdi 4. Sasan Kouhi 5. Reza Hagh Goo 6. Mahdi  Karamizarandi 7. Ali Piroozkhah 8. Meisam Jafary 9. Mohsen Salili 10. Yashar Soltani 11. Alireza Hormouzi 12. Amir Hossein Khani Ghahjavarestani 13. Sadjad Abdihanyany. Coach: Stanislav Pivovarov; Assistant Coach: Sirous Taherian.

ROMANIA: 1. Dragos Stoenescu 2. Cosmin Radu  (3) 3. Tiberiu Negrean (4) 4. Nicolae Diaconu (3) 5. Andrei Iosep (1) 6. Andrei Fusila 7. Mihnea Chiovenau 8. Alexandru Matei (4) 9. Dimitri Goanta (4) 10. Ramiro Georgescu (5) 11. Andrei Cretu (2) 12. Kalman Kadar 13. Mihai Dragusin. Coach: Istvan Kovacs; Assistant Coach: Ladislau Balanov.

Referees: Jiangguo He (CHN), Roberto Cabral (BRA).
FINA Delegates: Badreddine Boukezouha (ALG), Farid Mohie Wahie (EGY).

In front of a happy friendly crowd, which filled the Ion Alexandrescu Olympic Pool to capacity, Romania staged a festival of goals against the willing Iranian side in what had predictably resulted a one way game. The home players scored eight times both in the first and the second quarter, six in the 3rd and four in the last period. Scorers for Romania in each quarter: 1st - 6:40 Diaconu, 5:35 Radu, 4:42 Matei, 3:59 Goanta, 3:09 Georgescu, 2:10 Cretu, 1:40 Georgescu, 0:08 Goanta; 2nd - 7:31 Radu, 5:14 Diaconu, 4:45 Radu, 3:28 Goanta, 2:32 Negrean, 1:10 Matei, 0:52 Negrean, 0:16 Negrean; 3rd - 6:06 Georgescu, 4:49 Iosep, 3:11 Cretu, 2:12 Matei, 1:33 Goanta, 0:48 Georgescu;  4th – 4:43 Matei, 2:44 Negrean, 1:58 Georgescu, 0:01 Diaconu. Georgescu top scored the game with five goals while Negrean, Matei and Goanta scored four goals each. Iran scored its only goal at 5:42 of the 4th quarter by #8 Jafary.

18:30 - Game 3/Croatia (CRO) - Serbia (SRB): 10-8 (2-2, 1-1; 3-2, 4-3)

CROATIA: 1. Ivo Brzica 2. Damir Buric (1) 3. Miho Boskovic (2) 4. Niksa Dobud (1) 5. Maro Jokovic (1) 6. Frano Karac 7. Petar Muslim 8. Andro Buslje 9. Sandro Sukno (4) 10. Samir Barac 11. Igor Hinic (1) 12. Ivan Buljubasic 13. Josip Pavic. Coach: Ratko Rudic; Assistant Coaches: Ivica Tucak, Dean Kontic.

SERBIA: 1. Slobodan Soro 2. Marko Avramovic 3. Zivko Gocic (1) 4. Vanja Udovicic (2) 5. Boris Vapenski 6. Dusko Pijetovic 7 Slobodan Nikic (1) 8. Milan Aleksic 9. Milos Milicic 10. Filip Filipovic (2) 11. Andrija Prlainovic (1) 12. Stefan Mitrovic (1) 13. Gojko Pijetlovic. Coach: Dejan Udovicic; Assistant Coaches: Vladimir Pavlovic, Dejan Stanojevic.

Referees: Andrey Shaydakov (RUS), Mark Koganov (AZE).
FINA Delegates: Khosrow Amini (IRI), G.O. Martin (HUN).

Both sides played at their best, except for some imperfect shootings now and then. Croatia’s Sukno top scored the game with four goals. Overall, mighty and powerful Croatia and Serbia met expectations and gave life to an enjoyable game, the match of the day.
Croatia was always moving ahead by one goal while Serbia was always catching up and equalising, until the Croatians scored three unanswered goals in the second part of the last quarter, gaining victory over the recent World League champions and last year world champions.
1st quarter: Boskovic (CRO) scored the first goal 54 seconds after the beginning of the match, in superiority. Filipovic (SRB) equalised at 4:24, also in superiority. Sukno (CRO) scored his first at 2:30, on a counter attack. Filipovic (SRB) missed a penalty (actually Brzica made a great save) at 2:12 but soon after, at 1:47, he managed to score, converting a man-up opportunity (2-2).
2nd quarter: Buric shoot from the distance and scored the third goal for Croatia. Mitrovic (SRB) equalised at 4:39, with two men up. At 2:20 Croatia missed an easy opportunity with two extra men.
3rd quarter: At 4:54 Sukno (CRO) scored in superiority amidst the protests of Serbia’s coach and players: coach Udovicic received a yellow card.
4:07 Gocic (SRB) equalizes. A minute later Sukno brought Croatia up again, with an impromptu goal at 3:06 (5-4); twenty seconds later Prlainovic (SRB) equalised again (5-5) but, at 1:17, Rudic’s team was brought up again by a goal in superiority from Hinic (6-5).
4th quarter: Nikic (SRB) equalised at 7.31 (6-6); at 6:34 Dobud put Croatia up one goal again from 2 metres (7-6); at  5.46 Vanja Udovicic shoot one more equaliser in man up (7-7).
Three unanswered goals from Croatia represented the turning point in the match.
At 4:17 left handed Jokovic scored in superiority (8-7) followed by Boskovic who converted a penalty at 3:42 and by Sukno who scored his fourth goal of the match in superiority at 2:23: score at 10-7 and game over. The last goal scored by Udovicic in superiority, at 8 seconds to the end, sealed the score at 10-8 for Croatia.

20:00 - Game 4/Australia (AUS) - Spain (ESP): 7-9 (4-2, 1-3; 0-1, 2-3)

AUSTRALIA: 1. James Stanton 2. Richard Campbell (1) 3. Mitchell Baird 4. Nicholas O’Halloran 5. Robert Maitland 6. Anthony Martin (1) 7. Aaron Younger (1) 8. Sam McGregor (3)  9. Joel Swift, 10. Rhys Howden 11. John Cotterill 12. William Miller (1) 13. Joel Dennerley. Coach: John Fox; Assistant Coach: Paul Oberman.

SPAIN: 1. Inaki Aguilar 2. Mario Garcia 3. David Martin 4. Balazs Sziranyi 5. Guillermo Molina (2) 6. Marc Minguell (1) 7. Ivan Gallego 8. Albert Espanol (1) 9.Javier Valles 10. Felipe Perrone (3) 11. Blai Mallarach 12. Javier Garcia (1) 13. Daniel Lopez. Coach: Rafael Aguilar; Assistant Coaches: Antonio Aparicio; Joaquin Colet.

Referees: Dragan Stampalija (CRO), Michael Goldenberg (USA).
FINA Delegates: Andrey Kryukov (KAZ), Nicolae Firoiu (GER).

A swift game with much swimming and dynamism. The Aussies started off at full steam gaining the first quarter 4-2. Australia scored twice in superiority with Miller at 7:06, and at 5:16; Spain equalised scoring twice in its turn, also in superiority with Javier Garcia at 4:32 and Felipe Perrone 2:32. Then two more goals for Australia, at 1:04 and 0:17 (with Mc Gregor).
Spain prevailed in the 2nd quarter with three goals to one: Felipe Perrone scored at 7:02 (4-3); Campbell (AUS) at 4:01 (5-3); Espanol at 3.15 in superiority (5-4) and Minguell, at 0:23, who equalised (5-5).
1:03 inside the 3rd quarter Felipe Perrone scored his third, on extra-man, moving Spain in the lead (5-6) for the first time.
By coincidence, at 1:03 inside the last quarter Molina gave Spain a two-goal lead (5-7), Valles followed up scoring at 3:02 (5-8 for Spain); at 2:45 Younger (AUS) narrowed the gap on extra man at 2:45 (6-8), Molina again at 2:04 in superiority (6-9 for Spain). At 0:44 Martin scores for Australia the last goal from outside (7-9). Lopez defended the Spanish goal from the start.