Game 9 (M): 09:30, Group B, SERBIA 12 ROMANIA 5

Shanghai 2011 - Water Polo Games Reports

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

Referees: Georgios STAVRIDIS (GRE), Steven ROTSART (USA)

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.