Super Final 2011 (Men): Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia and Italy win on Day 1

World League

FLORENCE, Italy (June 21) - The stage of this edition, which will qualify the winning team directly to the 2012 Olympic Games in London and will earn the winners a US$ 100,000 prize money, is the municipal swimming complex “Paolo Costoli” in Florence, Italy. Florence is home to Gianni Lonzi, the FINA TWPC Chairman and the inspirer of the Local Organising Committee. Florence is a traditional hub of Italian water polo and also the home of both the legendary Gianni De Magistris and the current goalkeeper and captain of the Italian national team Stefano Tempesti. Eight teams are taking part in this Super Final: the United States, Serbia, China, Italy in Group 1; Australia, Canada, Montenegro and Croatia in Group 2.

THE OPENING CEREMONY
On the eve a suggestive Opening Ceremony took place in the unique setting of Florence historical centre, with the teams parading from the amazing “Duomo” and the equally astonishing Piazza (Square) della Signoria, accompanied by teams of flag waivers, drummers, etc., all dressed in medieval costumes. In the square, crowded with at least one thousand among tourists and Florentines, the national anthems of the participating countries were played by the “Gioacchino Rossini” band. The crowd interacted warmly applauding at the anthem of their respective countries.

The Mayor of Firenze, accompanied by his deputy for Sport Dario Nardella, delivered a welcome address to the teams, the FINA Delegates, headed by the FINA Honorary Secretary Paolo Barelli (also president of the Italian Swimming Federation), in the splendid “Salone dei Cinquecento” – the historical Hall of Five Hundreds – rich of precious paintings and statues, including two full wall frescos painted respectively by Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti. Such an unprecedented, warm and amazing, welcome would be difficult to repeat.

GAME 1: MONTENEGRO 8 – CANADA 6
Quarters: (1-3, 2-1; 2-1, 3-1)

REFEREES: Massimiliano Caputi (ITA), Nikolaos Stavropolulos (GRE).
FINA DELEGATE: Richard Foster (USA).

Teams:
MONTENEGRO:  Zdravko Radic, Drasko Brguljan, Aleksandar Radovic 1, Damjan Danilovic, Nikola Vukcevic 1, Milan Ticic 1, Mladan Janovic 1, Nikola Janovic 1, Filip Klikovac, Darko Brguljan 2, Antonio Petrovic 1, Predrag Jokic, Milos Scepanovic. Coach: Petar Porobic.

CANADA: Robin Randall, Constantin 1, Kudaba 1, Omar Touni, Nicolas Constantin, Justin Boyd 2, Scott Robinson, John Conway, Kevin Graham, Luka Gasic, Dusko Dakic, Oliver Vikalo, Jared Mc Elroy 2, Dusan Aleksic. Coach Dragan Jovanovic.

The 10th edition of the FINA MEN’S WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE SUPER FINAL went underway today at 4 p.m. with the first on the programme, Montenegro vs Canada. The Balkan team line-up was missing some first rate players, including Draskovic and Sefik. Canada swiftly took advantage of the situation and thanks to its dynamic style of play (no centre-forward) its players scored three goals - Constantin and Boyd (twice) - countered by only one goal from Ticic, on extra-man. At the end of the first period MNE (in which they missed one penalty) was two goals down (1-3). However the first period remained the only one won by the North American team. In the second period MNE came back with two goals from Mladan Janovic and Darko Brguljan, with Kudaba (CAN) scoring once in between. Score at half time 3-4. At 5:35 in the 3rd quarter Vukcevic tied for MNE at 4-4; 26 seconds after Mc Elroy scored again for Canada (4-5); 31 seconds after new tie thanks to Brguljan’s second goal (5-5). With 40 seconds inside the last quarter Petrovic’s goal gave MNE its first advantage (6-5); 65 seconds later Nikola Janovic scored again bringing his team up two goals; after 40 second MNE scored its third goal in a row with Radovic: 8-5. Second goal for Mc Elroy (CAN), and final goal of the match at 5:02: 8-6.  

GAME 2: SERBIA 13 – CHINA 2
Quarters: (3-1, 5-0; 3-0; 2-1)

REFEREES: Doriel Terpenka (CAN), Daniel Flahive (AUS).
FINA DELEGATE: Richard Foster (USA).

Teams:
SERBIA: Slobodan Soro, Marko Avramovic, Zivko Gocic 1, Vanja Udovicic, Marko Petkovic, Dusko Pijetlovic 2, Slobodan Nikic 2, Milan Aleksic 3, Nikola Raden, Filip Filipovic 2, Andrija Prlainovic 1, Stefan Mitrovic, Gojko Pijetlovic, Coach: Dejan Udovicic.

CHINA: Weiqing Ge, Feihu Tan, Zhongxing Liang, Lijun Yu, Junliang Guo, Ning Pan, Bin Li, Yang Wang, Junmin Xie 1, Li Li, Zhufeng Zhang, Tianyi Dong, Honghui Wu. Coach: Tianxiong Cai.

The Chinese side could nothing but fighting bravely against the mighty Serbian team, coached by Dejan Udovicic. The Serbians immediately made clear their intentions with an early goal from Dusko Pijetlovic after one minute from the start, soon followed up by a goal from Filipovic. Xie (C) scored at less than two minutes from the end but before the expiration of the period Andrija Prlanoijvic put Serbia up two goals again. Serbia increased its lead early in the second quarter with five more goals from Nikic, Aleksic, Gocic, Dusko Pijetlovic and Nikic: 8-1 the score at half time. Aleksic scoreds twice in the first part of the 3rd quarter (10-1). Filipovic scored his second at two minutes to the end of the period. In the last quarter Petkovic scored on penalty at 18 seconds inside the last quarter (12-1). Soon after China got its second goal with Pan. At 36 seconds to the end Vanja Udovicic sealed Serbia’s victory scoring his own goal.

GAME 3: AUSTRALIA 6 – CROATIA 12
Quarters: (0-4, 1-1; 3-3, 2-4)

REFEREES: GOLDENBERG Michael (USA), MOLINER Angel (ESP).
FINA DELEGATE: AMINI Khosrow (IRI).

Teams:
AUSTRALIA: DENNERLEY Joel, CAMPBELL Richard 1, CLELAND Tim, BAIRD Mitchell, MAITLAND Robbie, MARTIN Anthony, COTTERILL Johnno, MC GREGOR Sam, YOUNGER Aaron, WOODS Gavin 1, HOWDEN Rhys 1, MILLER Billy 2, ROACH Aidan 2.  Coach: FOX John.

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

With four goals to none in the first period Rudic’s team established immediately its superiority over the Aussies. Two opening goals from Boskovic were followed up by one each from Paskvalin and Buslje (the latest with 14 seconds to the end of the period). Early in the second quarter Buslje scored his second. A few minutes later Campbell scored the first goal for Australia at 3:30. At half time the score was 1-5. In the 3rd quarter both sides scored three times. At 6:48 Woods (A) netted a goal from two metres. At 5:00 Sukno (C) converted a penalty (2-6). Then Miller (A) scored his first, at 3:53. At 2:53 Jokovic (S) scored a goal answered by Howden (A) at 2:31. At 15 seconds from the end of the period Obradovic scored again for Croatia. Last quarter. At 4:18 Sukno scored his second goal on a lob shot. Half a minute later Pasqvalin increased the lead for Croatia scoring his second too. 2:43 Miller (A) scored his second goal from 2 metres. Buljubasic (C) reset the gap scoring from the short distance. Roach (A) and Obradovic (C) traded the last goals of the game with few seconds missing to the final whistle.

GAME 4: UNITED STATES 4 – ITALY 10
Quarters: (1-3, 0-2; 1-3, 2-2)

REFEREES: MARGETA Boris (SLO), NAUMOV Sergey (RUS).
FINA DELEGATE: AMINI Khosrow (IRI).

Teams:
UNITED STATES: MOSES Merrill, VARELLAS Peter, HUDNUT Peter 1, POWERS Jeff 2, WRIGHT Adam, ALEXANDER Brian 1, BEAUBIEN Layne, AZEVEDO Tony, BAILEY Ryan, SMITH Jesse, KRUMPHOLZ JW, MANN John. Coach: SCHROEDER Terry.

ITALY: TEMPESTI Stefano, LUONGO Stefano 1, GITTO Niccolo, FIGLIOLI Pietro (1), PEREZ Amaurys, FELUGO Maurizio 1, GIACOPPO Massimo, GALLO Valentino 2, PRESCIUTTI Christian 1, FIORENTINI Deni, AICARDI Matteo, DESERTI Arnaldo 1, GIORGETTI Alex 3. Coach: CAMPAGNA Alessandro.

A great defence, mostly to the merit of goalie and captain Stefano Tempesti, effective shooting and an almost perfect game strategy prompted Italy’s victory, in front of its own public, over the solid American team. Alex Giorgetti was the top scorer of the game with three goals. Felugo (I) opened the scoreboard with a nice lob shot 1:10 minute inside the first quarter. At 5:21 Powers equalised for the USA on two extra-men (both Gallo and Gitto were excluded). At 4:47 Giorgetti put Italy again in the lead by scoring on extra-man from the left side. Deserti (I) scored his first at 2:35 on a collective break away action, receiving an assist from Felugo. In the 2nd quarter Giorgetti (I) scored his second on superiority, followed by Gallo (I) also on superiority (Beaubien excluded) on 3:32. Score at half time 5-1 for Italy. On the opening of the 3rd period Figlioli (I) scored on action. Two minutes and 4 seconds inside this period Gallo scored his second goal on a missile from the long distance. Luongo (I) widened the gap on a goal from the short distance, on extra-man. Also on extra man Hudnut (USA) scored towards the end of the period. At 2:20 inside the last quarter Giorgetti (I) completed his hat trick. The USA reduced the gap on two extra-man goals, first with Powers then with Alexander. Presciutti (I) was the author of the last goal of the game on a direct throw with 2:19 minutes missing  to the end.

NOTE – FIXTURES, START LISTS, RESULTS AND GAME RECAPS ARE AVAILABLE IN REAL TIME ON THE ITALIAN SWIMMING FEDERATION WEB SITE www.federnuoto.it