Croatia, Italy, Hungary and Serbia advance to water polo quarter-finals
Croatia, Italy, Hungary and Serbia won their groups and advanced to the quarter-finals of the men’s water polo competition on the last day of preliminary-round games at the Natatorium today.
Hungary edged out Spain 12-11 to win Group A in a near packed house in a game where Spain held sway in the first half but Hungary took control just before halftime and never relinquished the lead. Montenegro clinched second with a 16-5 success over Kazakhstan.
In Group B, defending champion Serbia beat previously unbeaten Australia 12-9 while in the last game of the night, Romania defeated China 14-10 after the Chinese led 6-5 at halftime.
Serbia had a bonus four minutes when Aussie SHARK Tim CLELAND was ejected from the pool for brutality, an unusual occurrence at World Championship level and a second player, Aaron YOUNGER, was also excluded for violence but with replacement.
In Group C, Croatia downed Japan 18-7 for three straight wins while Canada finished second with a 13-9 margin over Brazil in the Americas face-off.
In Group D, Italy came from two goals down in the third quarter to overhaul a heavily supported Germany 7-6. The winless United States of America breathed a sigh of relief, defeating South Africa 20-3 to secure third place.
The second round of the women’s competition will be played on Saturday with the four group winners having the day off.
USA vs RSA - credit: Russell McKinnon