Game 23 (M): 19:40, Group B, SERBIA 12 AUSTRALIA 9
Quarters: 5-3, 2-1, 3-2, 2-3
Referees: Massimiliano CAPUTI (ITA), Torsten BOCK (GER)
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.