Perth 2012, Day 4 (Men): Italy crushes Serbia and one win short of quarterfinal berth

World Youth Water Polo Championships

ITA vs SRB - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 4, 2012 PERTH - Down but not out. That’s the word from Serbian great Dejan Savic, who is coaching his national boys’ team at the FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships in Perth. Serbia struck a brick wall against Italy on Tuesday, losing 10-4 in what was billed as one of the most highly anticipated group stage games of the tournament. Savic said tomorrow was another day and expects his team to lift for the rest of the championship.

Italy has just winless Peru to pass on Wednesday to claim Group D and advance to Friday’s quarterfinals. The well-drilled Italians were superior in every facet of play and signalled their championship intentions to the rest of the men’s competition.

Serbia’s Nikola Radulovic was red-carded, leaving his side with only 12 players for three and a half quarters. Italian coach Amedeo Pomilio was suitably pleased with his troops but said the job still lay ahead.

“It was a good match and I think we played well,” Pomilio said. “We concentrated all the way through the game, we had good defence sure but the most important thing now is we have to concentrate on the rest of the games.”

Pomilio said that he wouldn’t be surprised if his team faced Serbia again when the medals were on the line.

Earlier, Brazil slipped past Peru 19-4 in the other group match. In Group A, the United States of America fended off Egypt 14-4 in the only match. Group B produced two big wins with title favourite Croatia defeating Colombia 24-5 and host Australia sending off trans-Tasman rival New Zealand 10-6. Group C saw Greece comfortably sitting with a third win, towering over Uzbekistan 26-5 and in the outdoor pool in the evening, when the temperature had dropped from an afternoon high of 39C to 31C, Romania also snared a third win, beating the refreshing Trinidad & Tobago 14-5. Wednesday is the final group stage for the 19-team men’s competition.

Day 4 Match Reports


Game 25: 9:00, Group D, BRAZIL 19 PERU 4
Quarters: 6-0, 3-0, 6-1, 4-3
Referees: John Waldow (NZL), Michael Hernandez (TRI)
Extra Man: BRA 1/6, PER 1/8
Pens: BRA 1/2
BRAZIL: Bernardo Campos, Pedro Stellet (3), Leon Psanquevich (1), Felipe Martins (1), Guilherme Campos (2), Pedro Real Vergara (2), Andrey Lopes, Henrique Vasconcelo (2), Guilherme Gomes (1), Gabriel Salgado (5), Caio Marques, Lucas Franca (2), Matheus Sorilha. Head Coach: Angelo Coelho.
PERU: Luis Vidal, Nick Pizarro, Aldo Rodriguez (1), Rodrigo Recabarrew (1), Eduardo Grandes, Victor Giordano Castillo, Gerson Rolawdo, Piero Padno, Nicolas Rodruquez, Diego Villar (2), Agusto Otero, Sebastian Morales, Jesus Angulo. Head Coach: Jose Antonio Luque.

BRA vs PER - credit: Anthony Pearse

After challenging Serbia to within three goals on day three, Brazil has had a convincing 19-4 win over Peru. Brazil’s first goal came from Gabriel Salgado as a result of a 5m penalty before it continued to attack, scoring five more unanswered goals in the first term.

Peru was unable to break down Brazil’s attack in the second period with Salgado scoring his fourth while Pedro Stellet and Pedro Vergara both scored one each. It seemed too easy as Brazil added another six to its total before Peru’s Aldo Rodriguez managed to score his team’s first goal.

While Peru struggled in defence, it succeeded in attack, managing to score another three goals courtesy of a double to Diego Villar and one from Rodrigo Recabarrew. Even though he scored five goals, Gabriel Salgado (BRA) said his team could have played better because it relaxed a little on defence in the last term.

“It was a good game and a good win, but we failed a little bit in defence,” Salgado said. “I don’t think tomorrow’s game will be easy, but if we play well we can definitely win”.

Brazil plays Kazakhstan on day five while Peru has a tough game against Italy.

Game 26: 10:20, Group D, ITALY 10 SERBIA 4
Quarters: 1-0, 3-1, 4-2, 2-1
Referees: Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Daniel Bartels (AUS)
Extra Man: ITA 3/10, SRB 1/13
Pens: ITA 2/2, SRB 1/2
ITALY: Leonardo Cavo, Umberto Espositio, Gianluigi Foglio (1), Federico Foti (1), Andrea Fondelli (2), Jacopo Alesiani, Vincenzo Dolce (1), Lorenzo Bruni, Allessandro Velotto (1), Tommaso Busilacchi (1), Luca Cupido (3), Nicola Cuccovillo, Fabio Viola. Head Coach: Amedeo Pomilio.
SERBIA: Milan Vitorovic, Mateja Asanovic, Milos Maksimovic, Drasko Gogov (1), Nikola Radulovic, Stefan Ilic, Dusan Mandic (1), Marko Manojlovic, Dimitrije Obradovic (1), Dorde Tanaskovic, Ognjen Stojanovic, Nikola Jaksic (1), Lazar Dobozanov. Head Coach: Dejan Savic.

ITA vs SRB - credit: Anthony Pearse

In one of the most highly anticipated group stage games of the tournament, Italy totally outplayed Serbia, 10-4, to all but ensure finishing top of Group D. The well-drilled Italians were superior in every facet of play and signalled their championship intentions to the rest of the men’s competition.

The game started at such a frantic pace that neither team took the time to set any structure or shoot at any place other than wide, over the crossbar or straight at the opposition goalkeeper until Italy’s Allessandro Velotto scored the match’s first and the quarter’s only goal after six minutes. Earlier in the quarter Serbia’s Nikola Radulovic was red carded, leaving his side with only 12 players for the remaining three and a half quarters.

In the second stanza, Italy was defending like a gold medallist and forcing Serbia to take ill-disciplined shots at one end, allowing it to skip out to a 3-0 lead with goals to Andrea Fondelli and Vincenzo Dolce. Serbia gained one back with a minute left in the half via a rocket from 9m to London Olympic bronze medallist Dusan Mandic to make it 3-1. That looked like it’d be the halftime score until Luca Cupido drilled one home from 10m with the clock reading three seconds for a 4-1 Italy lead at the main break.

Serbia came out after the break in a more relaxed style and within two minutes had clawed two goals back in extra-man but the prospect of levelling the game seemed to stymie them again and Italy scored the next four goals to stretch their advantage out to five goals (8-3) at the last break.

The last quarter was a more subdued affair with Italy again taking the honours — 2-1 for a six-goal final margin.

Italian coach Amedeo Pomilio was suitably pleased with his troops but said the job still lay ahead. “It was a good match and I think we played well,” Pomilio said.

“We concentrated all the way through the game, we had good defence sure but the most important thing now is we have to concentrate on the rest of the games.”

Pomilio said that he wouldn’t be surprised if his team faced Serbia again when the medals were on the line. “Perhaps we will see Serbia again, I don’t know but they are one of the strongest teams.”

Game 27: 11:40, Group A, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 14 EGYPT 4
Quarters: 4-0, 0-2, 6-0, 4-2
Referees: Ian Melliar (RSA), Jose Cardenas (COL)
Extra Man: USA 3/7  EGY 1/8
Pens: USA 0/1
USA: Garrett Danner, Adam Abdilhamid (2), Reid Chase, Matthew Farmer (2), Patrick (Jack) Fellner, Kent Inoue (2), Max Irving (1), Chandler Jarrels Stickney, Chancellor Ramirez (1), Ryder Roberts (3), Connor Stapleton, Alec Zwaneveld (2), Kevin Levine. Head Coach: Jason Lynch.
EGYPT: Mostafa Mohamed, Omar Atlia (1), Mohamed El Shishtawy, Moataz Ahmed, Amr Hassan, Mostafa Akl, Yehia Mohamed, Mahmoud Abdelgawed, Abdelrahman Abbas, Thakeb Mahmoud (2), Khaled Sobhi (2), Basel Abdellatif, Mohamed Mohamed. Head Coach: Mahmoud Eid.

USA vs EGY - credit: Anthony Pearse

The United States of America was challenged in every aspect of its game against Egypt, before winning 14-4. USA started strongly with four unanswered goals in the first quarter with keeper Garrett Danner proving a handful for the Egyptians.

A stagnant second quarter and improved attacking by the Egyptians saw the Africans reduce the margin by two. Thakeb Mahmoud and Khaled Sobhi each netted one to give the Egyptians some confidence.

The North Americans fired back in the third term, piling on six unanswered goals and defending strongly, taking the score to 10-2 at the final break. Mahmoud and Sobhi both scored again in the final term to lift the Egyptian spirits, but USA finished strongly, scoring four more goals with Ryder Roberts netting his third for the match.

Adam Abdulhamid (USA) said his team acknowledged its second quarter was not up to standard and said it needed to improve greatly ahead of the quarter-finals.

“We started off well but the second quarter was too stagnant, in offence and defence,” Abdulhamid said. “We had a pretty specific game plan that we strayed from. If we stuck to that then it would have gone almost perfectly.”

USA plays neighbour Canada on Wednesday while Egypt clashes with Hungary.

Game 30: 13:00, Group B, COLOMBIA 5 CROATIA 24
Quarters: 2-7, 0-6, 1-3, 2-8
Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Wilmer Pozo (PER)
Extra Man: COL 0/8 CRO 4/8
Pens: COL 1/2
COLOMBIA: Diego Mateus, Simon Suarez, Andres Rua, Joyman Camacho (2), Juan Pablo Padilla (1), Omar Correa, William Jaramillo, Bryan Avila, Steven Medina (1), Pablo Velasquez (1), Brian Gutierrez, Sebastian Vargas, Juan Rua. Head Coach: Bladimir Molina.
CROATIA: Ivan Marcelic, Luka Bukic, Lovre Milos (3), Andro Gagulic (2), Slavko Calic (2), Marino Cagalj (2), Luka Lozina (3), Antonio Buha (2), Antun Goreta (3), Marino Divkovic (1), Andrija Basic (3), Ivan Zivkovic (1), Deni Saric (2). Head Coach: Hrvoje Hrestak.

COL vs CRO - credit: Anthony Pearse

Croatia thrashed Colombia 24-5 in their Group B match-up to ensure it finished the group stage of the tournament undefeated. Croatia has now earned two days off – one being their scheduled rest day and the second for qualifying directly through to the quarterfinals as the winner of its group.

The Croatians scored seven goals in the first quarter, six in the second and were clearly the fitter and faster of the two sides, leading to plenty of counter-attacking chances. Colombia netted two of its own in the first term courtesy of a penalty to Steven Medina and another goal to Joyman Camacho for a 13-2 halftime scoreline.
Scoring slowed in the third period but Croatia still held the upper hand and the quarter went its way 3-1 for a 16-3 advantage going into the last term. Croatia jumped back into the groove in the final quarter, scoring eight goals to Colombia’s two and the match ended at 24-5 – a good indication of the difference between the two sides.

Croatian star Lovre Milos, who contributed three goals, said his team had begun focusing on a likely quarterfinal against the United States before today’s game.

“Of course we are happy, we won all of our first four games and we are expecting a quarterfinal against the USA probably,” Milos said. “We have been preparing for that game since before this game and we think we did a good job. We are now looking forward to playing the USA.”

A humble Milos refused to get drawn into talk of his own sizzling form. “The whole team has scored a lot of goals; the team is playing well,” he said. “It isn’t important who scores the goals, the important thing is the whole team plays well.”

Colombia faces Australia on Wednesday in what is sure to be a packed Challenge Stadium.

Game 31: 14:20, Group C, UZBEKISTAN 5 GREECE 26
Quarters: 3-6, 2-5, 0-8, 0-7
Referees: Alessandro Severo (ITA), Joao Cardenuto (BRA)
Extra Man: UZB 4/4, GRE 3/10
Pens: UZB 1/1, GRE 1/1
UZBEKISTAN: Stanislav Pashkanov, Timur Razzakov, Miraziz Qosimov, Amir Kurbanbaev, Mirsodik Yodgorov, Aleksey Zaytsev, Kirill Rustamov (2), Egor Chumachenko (1), Abbas Sayliev, Semyon Selifontov, Artur Kim, Maksim Krakhotin (2), Radion Khabibullaev. Head Coach: Aleksandr Sokolov.
GREECE: Nikitas Paraskevopoulos, Michail Kazazis, Spyridon Fotopoulos (3), Emmanouil Prekas (1), Chrysovalantis Chrysospathis (1), Konstantinos Gouvis (1), Georgios Dervisis (5), Evangelos Potamianos (1), Marios Chatzigoulas (4), Nikolaos Alvertis (5), Panteleimon Kalogerakos (1), Emmanouil Solanakis (4), Alexandros Koumis. Athanasios Kechagias.

UZB vs GRE - credit: Anthony Pearse

Greece continued its domination of Group C with a comfortable 26-5 victory over Uzbekistan on day four at Challenge Stadium. The Greeks maintained controlled of the game from the outset as Georgios Dervisis, Emmanouil Solanakis, Nikolaos Alvertis and Marios Chatzigoulas furthered their reputation as class finishers.

The quartet scored 18 goals between them to dismantle the Uzbekistani defence and set up their third victory from as many games. Goal-scoring powerhouse Kirill Rustamov tried desperately to inspire the Uzbeks, but his two first-quarter goals did little to stop the Greek momentum.

A three-goal burst in as many minutes by Solanakis — including a beautifully executed conversion off an Emmanouil Prekas assist — helped establish a 9-3 lead. Maksim Krakhotin slotted two neat goals to give Uzbekistan a slight hope of a comeback, but an unprecedented 16 straight goals to end the game took the impetus out of the match.

Alvertis, Chatzigoulas and Dervisis all slotted second half hat-tricks to blow out the margin and set them up for a final Group C showdown game against Trinidad & Tobago. Alvertis said his team’s pool games were very important in setting it up for finals matches and said the whole team was having a fantastic time in Australia.

We have a big game against Serbia in the quarterfinals, so we hope to win that and get into the semifinals and who knows, maybe a final,” Alvertis said. It is very nice here. We have been very blessed to be at these championships and we hope things continue to be good.”

Game 32: 18:30, Group C, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 5 ROMANIA 14
Quarters: 1-6, 0-3, 2-2, 2-3
Referees: Hatem Gaber (EGY), Keiichi Onkasa (JPN)
Extra Man: TRI 3/10, ROU 3/6
Pens: TRI 0/1
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Sebastian Van Reeken, Christian Chee Foon, Daniel Tardieu, Johann Callender, Russell Ferreira (2), Jonathan Gillette, Andrew Chin Lee, Shaquille Mitchell (1), Marc Stauble, Justin Bodden (2), Adrian Hinds. Head Coach: Adam Foly.
ROMANIA: Marius Tic, Mihnea Gheorghe (1), Andrei Prioteasa (3), Robert Gergelyfi (1), Catalin Alexa (2), Alexandru Sfarle (1), Vlad Dragomirescu (3), Cristian Calin, Bogdan Paleacu (2), Andrei Laza, Levente Vancsik (1), Tudor Neagu, David Sacui. Head Coach: Viorel Rus.

TRI vs ROU - credit: Anthony Pearse

Romania continued its winning streak tonight after defeating Trinidad & Tobago in the group C clash 14-5. Playing in the outdoor pool to accommodate the Australian women, it was Romania’s third consecutive win after losing to Greece on day one. Romania remained strong all game, scoring nine of its 14 in the first half. While Trinidad & Tobago only managed to score one goal. The Romanians’ speed and agility was evident in the water and Trinidad & Tobago was slow to transition between offence and defence. 

Despite the large margin at halftime, Trinidad & Tobago didn’t lose spirit or fight throughout the second, with its defence strengthening in each quarter, limiting Romania’s scoring to just two goals in the third and three in the fourth period.

Closing the game, with just two seconds remaining, Russell Ferreira (TRI) capitalised an extra-man opportunity scoring his second for the game, and the team’s fifth. Trinidad & Tobago suspended one of its players, Kieron Emmanuel, for disciplinary reasons and he did not take to the water.

Romanian Vlad Dragomirescu, who opened the scoring and went on to three goals, relished playing outdoors in the summer heat. “At home it is winter and yes, it was wonderful (playing outdoor after three indoor matches) weather, just as I expected.”

He said that certain systems were tried in the match, preparing for the next match against New Zealand (on Thursday). Trinidad & Tobago’s Justin Bodden said that various issues made it hard for the team to compete at its best.

“We expected to play our hardest but we had injuries with hurt shoulders and a player on suspension. It’s the little things that make the game what it is. We should have played harder.”

On the team’s spirit evident in Perth, Bodden said: “We’re a small country and we are loyal to our country. On a personal basis I love my country more than anything else and I will fight for my country.”

Trinidad & Tobago will face a tough encounter against Greece on Wednesday. Romania, the first team to finish playing in their group, is destined for second place.

Game 29: 20:00, Group B, NEW ZEALAND 6 AUSTRALIA 10
Quarters: (3-1, 3-1, 0-2, 4-2)
Referees: Balasz Fekete (HUN), Diego Garibaldi (ARG)
Extra Man: NZL
NEW ZEALAND: Thomas Kingsmill, Matthew Lewis (1), Mathew Hansen, Daniel John Kayes (2), Cameron Hayes (1), Tyler Vao, Mitchell Goff, Braeden Drennan, Rory McJorrow, John (Jack) McGuiness, Owen Chambers (1), Anton Sunde (1), Sid Terence Dymond. Head Coach: Jonathon Ware.
AUSTRALIA: Anthony Hrysanthos, Blake Buckley, Davis Verboon, William Mackay (2), Luke Pavillard (1), Matthew Perrott (1), Matthew Skinner (1), Lachlan Edwards (1), Gordon Marshall, Justin Trabinger, Reed Cotterill (3), Ciaran Wolohan (1), Sam Cocokios. Head Coach: Chris Wybrow.

AUS vs NZL - credit: Anthony Pearse

Local hope Australia has endured a tougher than expected 10-6 victory over the tenacious New Zealand in a fierce Group B battle between the two Oceania neighbours. Australia led at every break as Will Mackay, Reed Cotterill and Anthony Hrysanthos inspired the Australians to the four point win. But it was New Zealand’s desperation and determination that was most impressive.

After claiming the first two quarters 3-1, Australia looked like running away with the contest. A double to Cotterill and singles to Matt Skinner, Lachlan Edwards, Matt Perrott and Mackay had the Aussies in the driver’s seat.

New Zealand turned on the afterburners in the third and increased their pressure immensely. Goals to Matthew Lewis and Cameron Hayes changed the momentum and gave New Zealand a sniff of the win.

Mackay, who was voted Australia’s best player, said the New Zealand fight back had really scared the team. “We were playing well but we got a big scare in the third period and luckily we were able to hold strong,” he said.

New Zealand’s Daniel Kayes scored two more goals in the last quarter to maintain the intensity, before Mackay, Cotterill, Luke Pavillard and Ciaran Wolohon all netted to seal the contest. Kayes, whose brother Joseph plays professionally in Hungary, said it was a great effort by his team and said it was an amazing feeling to be playing at a world championship.

“Our boys tried really hard, we knew it was going to be a hard game against the Aussies,” he said. “We went out there, we wanted to win and we thought we could do it. They got up a few goals in the first half and it sort of went on from there. But it was a good game and the boys played really well.

“It’s awesome to have the experience of playing against all these other countries. It’s awesome and we’re on the top of the world.”

The win clinches second place for Australia in Group B, while New Zealand faces South Africa to determine their final placing.