Super Final 2011 (Men): Serbia wins its 6th title, silver and bronze for Italy and Croatia respectively

World League

ITA vs SRB - credit: Giorgio PerottinoFLORENCE, Italy (June 26) - With one minute missing to the end of the game China missed a great opportunity to tie with the ball dancing on the line before Canada’s goalkeeper finally grabbed it safely.

The Canadian narrowly won a tight match (10-9) strenuously fought by both teams on a basis of equal strength and to resolve.

For China the rendezvous with victory was once more procrastined, perhaps to the World Championships, next month in Shanghai, where they will play at home. Progressive score: 2-3, 4-5, 7-9, 9-10.


GAME 21: CHINA 9 - CANADA 10
Quarters: (2-3, 2-2; 3-4, 2-1)

REFEREES: FLAHIVE Daniel (AUS), BRGULJAN Mario (MNE).
FINA DELEGATE: FOSTER Richard (USA).

Teams:
CHINA: GE Weiqing, TAN Feihu 3 (1P), LIANG Zhongxing 1, YU Lijun, GUO Junliang 1, PAN Ning, LI Bin 1, WANG,Yang, XIE Junmin 1, LI Li, ZHANG Zhufeng, DONG Tianyi, WU Honghui. Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

CANADA: RANDALL Robin, KUDABA Constantin 1, TOUNI Omar 1, CONSTANTIN Nicolas 2, BOYD Justin, ROBINSON Scott, CONWAY John, GRAHAM Kevin 1 (P), DAKIC Dusko, VIKALO Oliver 2, MC ELROY Jared 2, ALEKSIC Dusan. Coach: JOVANOVIC Dragan.


CHN vs CAN - Giorgio Perottino
CHN vs CAN - Giorgio Perottino


GAME 22: AUSTRALIA 7 - MONTENEGRO 8
Quarters: (3-1, 2-2, 0-1, 2-4)

REFEREES: NI SHI Wei (CHN), GOLDENBERG Michael (USA).
FINA DELEGATE: AMINI Khosrow (IRI).

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

MONTENEGRO (MNE): RADIC Zdravko, BRGULJAN Drasko, RADOVIC Aleksandar 1, DANILOVIC Damjan 1, VUKCEVIC Nikola, TICIC Milan, JANOVIC Mladan 2, DRASKOVIC Dragan, KLIKOVAC Filip, BRGULJAN Darko 1, PETROVIC Antonio 3, JOKIC Predrag, SEFIK Denis. Coach: POROBIC Petar.


AUS vs MNE - credit: Giorgio Perottino
AUS vs MNE - credit: Giorgio Perottino


For the whole first half of the game the team from Montenegro lacked concentration while the Australian team looked much more determined and on target. At half time the score was 5-3 for Australia. In the second half the team coached by Porobic came back in the game and things changed especially in the last quarter when they managed to reverse the course of the game with four goals for and just one against.

1st period: Australia was in command of the game from the very beginning. The Aussies managed to score three goals before Montenegro could answer with one. The opening goal came from Australia’s captain Sam Mc Gregor, at 4:47 in the first quarter, on extra-man. Over a couple of minutes later Mc Gregor replicated his prowess scoring again on action from the long distance. Campbell followed up, also on action to give Australia three-goal lead (3-0). Mladan Janovic reduced the gap scoring on extra-man with 45 seconds to the end of the first period.

2nd period: A goal from Howden was answered a couple of minutes later by M. Janovic. At 2:06 Maitland brought Australia up again three goal scoring from outside. Less then 30 seconds later Petrovic scored for MNE on superiority (3-5).

3rd  period: Petrovic scored the only goal in this period on extra-man.

4th period: With 55 seconds inside the last period Petrovic netted again from two metres on a lob shot at 7:05; at 6:25 Younger on extra man (5-6). At 5:52, left handed Danilovic scores on superiority tying for MNE at 6-6. At 4:30, Radovic on extra man brought MNE up one goal for the first time in the game. With one minute to the end Darko Brguljan scored again securing the victory for Montenegro (8-6). Miller (A) was the last scorer of the game, on superiority, at three seconds from the end. Progressive score: 1-3, 3-5,  4-5, 8-6.


GAME 23: USA 5 - CROATIA 11
Quarters: (2-3, 2-4; 0-1, 1-3)

REFEREES: NAUMOV Sergey (RUS), STAVROPOULOS Nikolaos (GRE).
FINA DELEGATE: AMINI Khosrow (IRI), IBERN Manuel (ESP).

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

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


USA's disappointment after loosing 2nd match in a row (here against SRB, Day 5) - credit: Giorgio Perottino
USA's disappointment after loosing 2nd match in a row (here against SRB, Day 5) - credit: Giorgio Perottino


The USA team came here under heavy training and considered this tournament as an opportunity for refining their preparation in view of the next World Championships (and above all in view of the next Olympic Games, where they will have to defend their silver medal from Beijing). Therefore it could not compete on equal ground with the other top ranked team. This was clear in today’s match against Croatia, which could not have had a different outcome. The team led by coach Ratko Rudic has always kept firmly the reins of the game in its hand, widely deserving the bronze medal.

1st period: Croatia ahead with two goals, respectively from Jokovic on extra-man and Boskovic on penalty. Then Beaubien (USA), Obradovic (C) and Krumpholz (USA) scored in this order, all on superiority.

2nd period: At 6:49 Jokovic (C ) scored again, this time on action. In the lapse of two minutes Dobud netted again for Croatia, also on extra-man; immediately after Bailey reduced the gap on extra man too; Sukno (C ) converted a penalty while Bailey’s second goal, also on superiority, re-established the two-goal difference (4-6). The last goal of the period came from Buric (C ) at less than two minutes from the expiration of the period (4-7).

3rd period: Just one goal was scored in this period, from Sandro Sukno, at 4:11. Sukno’ scored goal was the eighth for Croatia, which now was leading by 4-goal over the United States. Croatia was in control of the game while the USA looked incapable of staging an effective reaction.

4th period: At 6:01 left handed Jokovic scored his third goal in the game; a minute later Dobud netted the 10th goal  and Sukno the 11th for the Balkan side, thus extinguishing the residual hopes of the Americans. A goal from Powers, at 1:48 from the end, was the last of the game (5-11). Croatia won the bronze medal associated to a prize money of $ 50,000 ($ 35,000 to the USA for their 4th place). Progressive score: 2-3, 4-7, 4-8, 5-11.


GAME 24: ITALY 7 - SERBIA 8
Quarters: (2-2, 1-1; 2-2, 2-3)

REFEREES: MARGETA Boris (SLO), MOLINER Angel (ESP).
FINA DELEGATE: FOSTER Richard (USA), FIROIU Nicola (GER).

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

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


ITA vs SRB - credit: Giorgio Perottino
ITA vs SRB - credit: Giorgio Perottino


This exciting match developed in front of a crowd of 1,000 (and of many more television viewers) between two teams of even strength. Italy and Serbia tied the first three quarters and the match was resolved in favour of Serbia only at less than three minutes from the end.

1st period: Serbia went swiftly ahead with two goals scored respectively by Vanja Udovicic at 6:26 on extra-man (Gallo excluded) and by Dusko Pijetlovic, at 4:15, from outside. After missing two extra-men opportunities, at 2.47 Italy reduced the gap with centre-forward Aicardi who scored on action from two-metres. With 50 seconds to the end of the quarter Giorgetti finalised a nice team action, tying for Italy at 2-2.

2nd period: At 6:25 Cuk put Serbia up one goal on superiority. On the opposite front Italy missed a precious opportunity but so did Serbia soon after. At :58 Aicardi shoot an impromptu missile from the long distance and scored a great action goal, getting a new tie for Italy (3-3). Meanwhile Italy’s goalie Tempesti repeatedly frustrated the efforts of the Serbians strikers. At half time the teams were on 3-3.

3rd period: 19 seconds inside the 3rd fraction Italy’s #8, left handed Gallo, gave Italy its first advantage scoring from the distance. 42 seconds after Serbia’s #8 Aleksic tied on extra-man (4-4). At 4.16, Giorgetti sent Italy in the lead again shooting from the distance and scoring on extra-man. At 11 seconds to the end of period Filipovic tied for Serbia on a counter-attack (5-5).

4th period: At 6:17 Filipovic put Serbia in the lead (6-5) on a lob shot on extra-man. At 5:21 Radjen was sanctioned with both an exclusion and a penalty: Figlioli converted a tied for Italy (6-6). At 4:49 on the next extra man Dusko Pijetlovic gave Serbia a new lead. Not for long as a new blaze from the long distance from Aicardi prompted Italy’s new tie (7-7). It was the third personal goal for Italy’s #11. At 2:43 Serbia’s Filipovic scored his third too, also from outside, putting his team up one goal again (8-7): that was also the final and winning goal of the match and of the whole tournament. In fact Italy could not exploit its chance of getting a new tie (and the penalty shootouts) when with 9 seconds missing to the end Andrija Prlainovic was excluded.

After the final whistle Serbia could once more celebrates its victory in this competition; its 6th success out of ten editions (two as Serbia/Montenegro). Together with the top prize money of $ 100,000, Serbia gained the most important qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games. For Italy, it is its second silver medal in this competition – the first one dating back to 2003 – and a $70,000 prize money.

Progressive score: 2-2, 3-3, 5-5, 7-8.


Winning team of Serbia - credit: Giorgio Perottino
Winning team of Serbia - credit: Giorgio Perottino



FINAL RANKINGS

1.    SERBIA
2.    ITALY
3.    CROATIA

4.    UNITED STATES
5.    MONTENEGRO
6.    AUSTRALIA
7.    CANADA
8.    CHINA

BEST SCORERS (Top Ten)
1.    FILIP FILIPOVIC (SRB), SUKNO (CRO) 16
3.    GIORGETTI (ITA) 13
4.    CONSTANTIN (CAN), D. PIJETLOVIC (SRB) 12
6.    UDOVICIC (SRB) 11
7.    GRAHAM (CAN), MC GREGOR (AUS), BOSKOVIC (CRO) 10
10.  M. JANOVIC (MNE), NIKIC (SRB), PRESCIUTTI (ITA), A. PRLAINOVIC (SRB) 8

PRESS BEST TEAM

1.    TEMPESTI Stefano (ITA)
2.    UDOVICIC Vanja (SRB)
3.    SUKNO Sandro (CRO)
4.    PRLAINOVIC Andrija (SRB)
5.    FILIPOVIC Filip (SRB)
6.    GIORGETTI Alex (ITA)
7.    PRESCIUTTI Christian (ITA)

BEST GOALKEEPER
SLOBODAN SORO (SRB)

BEST FIELD PLAYER
ALEX GIORGETTI (ITA)