WP Juniors (M), Day 5: No surprise: Italy, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary reach the semis

FINA World Junior Water Polo Championships

SZOMBATHELY (Hungary), 16 August – Summer returned to the host city so everything was given to enjoy the very best of water polo: beautiful sunshine, a great outdoor pool in the green and packed stands around. The traditional powerhouses had all the answers for the challenges they faced in the quarters: the European giants didn’t leave the decision to the dying minutes against the teams from the other continents, Italy beat USA, Serbia kept Australia at bay and Croatia defeated Brazil. In the most thrilling match of the day Hungary managed to oust Spain.

For places 15-16



Colombia vs. Kazakhstan 9-10

Quarters: 3-3, 3-4, 3-1, 0-2

COLOMBIA: SANDOVAL Daniel Ricardo, ALDANA Brayan Alejandro, PEREZ Juan Carlos, HINESTROZA Andres David 1, HERNANDEZ Juan Pablo 5, MONTOYA Steven, MONCADA William 1, AREVALO Santiago, ORTIZ Omar Andres, VERGARA Glicerio 1, GONIMA David, PEREZ Guillermo 1, TALASA Jayman

KAZAKHSTAN: MAKHMETOV Madikhan, TSOY Stanislav, KOLIADENKO Anton 4, GODOVANYUK Alexandr 3, AUBAKIROV Miras, ZHARDAN Maxim 2, TURLYKHANOV Bolat, BERBELYUK Egor 1, ALTAYEV Altay, YERSAINOV Makhambet, SAFIULLIN Vadim, SHAMSHAT Iliyas, SHLEMOV Valeriy

Extramen:
COL: 0 for 4
KAZ: 2 for 3

Penalties:
COL: 2 for 2
KAZ: 1 for 1

Referees: Orikasa (JPN), Willis (RSA)

It was an exciting game with the lead changing all the team. Colombia took the better start but by the end of the second period the Kazakhs went ahead (6-7). After a couple of missed extras he Colombians levelled the score in the middle of the third, what’s more they managed to retake the lead towards the end of this period. Still, the Kazakhs had more left in the tank, the hit twice from two connecting attacks in the fourth and even though there were 4:24 minutes left the game didn’t bring more goals. The Colombians got a 6 on 5 but they Kazakhs denied them by a fine block so they could celebrate a win at the end of their run.

For places 13-14


South Africa vs. Slovakia 10-22

Quarters: 2-4, 2-5, 1-7, 5-6

SOUTH AFRICA: CONVERSANO Franco, OLVER Roarke, JAGGA Dayne 1, TRNINIC Dan 1, DU PLESSIS Paul, SCHOOLING Nicholas 1, HAYES Dylan, GREGORY Campbell 1, WRIGHT Cameron 1, MASON Dylan 1, BAKER Christopher 2, FRAMES Michael 2, MADI Lwazi

SLOVAKIA: KOZMER Lukas, GASPARIK Patrik 1, HODAS Matej 1, KOSTELNIK Tomas 6, PLVAN Vladimir, BIBEN Martin, PAKSI Patrik 1, DEKANY Matej 2, ZAKAR Peter, BAUER Otto 2, BIELIK Tomas 2, BALAZ Samuel 7, HOFERICA Tomas

Extramen:
RSA: 5 for 12
SVK: 5 for 11

4-minute ejection: Plvan (SVK), 5:16 (4th)

Penalties:
RSA: 1 for 1
SVK: 1 for 1

Referees: Sadikov (UZB), Cote (COL)

Though the South Africans came back from 0-2 down in the first period, the Slovaks started to roll after that, scored six unanswered goals until the middle of the second period and from that point there was no question who would win this encounter. The Slovaks netted their goals easily and even after Plvan’s unnecessary brutality which ended up in a 4-minute ejection, the Slovaks could score two goals while playing 5 on 6.

For places 9-12

Uzbekistan vs. Japan 11-13

Quarters: 4-3, 4-3, 1-2, 2-5

UZBEKISTAN: KHABIBULLAEV Radion, RAZZAKOV Timur, QOSIMOV Miraziz 1, MASSEL Aleksandr 1, DONSKOV Vladimir, ZAITSEV Aleksey 1, RUSTAMOV Kirill 5, CHUMACHENKO Egor 2, SAVLIEV Abbas, SELIFONTOV Semvon, KURBANBAEV Amir, KRAHOTIN Maksim 1, MIRSAITOV Marlen

JAPAN: FUKUSHIMA Tomoyoshi, KONNO Yohei 3, ICHIKAWA Masahiro, FUKADA Shunsuke, TAKIGAWA Shunya 1, ISHITANI Toshiki, SAKAMOTO Kouki 2, SUGANE Daiki 3, ARAI Atsushi 1, OONO Yuto 3, SAKAUE Hiroyuki, MATSUSHITA Wataru, KAWAMURA Soushi

Extramen:
UZB: 5 for 13
JPN: 4 for 11

Penalties:
UZB: 1 for 1
JPN: 1 for 1

Referees: Zurek (SVK), Farman (KUW)

Though the Uzbeks led by two goals at halftime and they held that deep into the third (9-7), they couldn’t keep up until the end. Since they used only one bench player in the entire game their starting seven started to tire and the Japanese, using all their substitutes, could build on that. They outswam their rivals and sailed away with a win after winning the fourth period 5-2.

For places 9-12

Canada vs. Russia 7-13
Quarters: 1-7, 4-1, 0-2, 2-3

CANADA: RADENOVIC Milan, BOSKOVIC Dusan, RADOJCIC Dusan, PELLANO Martin, GRAHAM Eric, DABIC Matija, TASCHEREAN Alec, LAPINS David 4, MITROVIC Nikola 1, PERRY Connor 1, THUMWOOD Devon 1, HENNING Oscar, SULLIVAN Daniel

RUSSIA: KORNEEV Kirill, SUCHKOV Ivan 2, KISELEV Konstantin 1, DYUBCHENKO Vitaly 1, KOVALENKO Valery, DEREVYANKIN Nikita 1, TIMAKOV Vladislav 1, NAGAEV Ivan 3, FEDOTOV Vasily 1, KOPTSEV Ivan 1, ZHITNIK Viacheslav 1, SHEPELEV Roman 1, MAKAS Artem

Extramen:
CAN: 4 for 9
RUS: 2 for 7

Penalties:
CAN: none
RUS: 3 for 3

Referees: Nemeth (HUN), Hodgers (AUS)

The Russians had a flying start, led 7-1 after the first period. Perhaps they thought they had done enough but the second period served as a kind of alert as the Canadians started to climb back. Their coach used the middle break to make order and by the end of the third they rebuilt a five-goal gap. Their attacks weren’t as effective as in the opening period but they did a fine job in defence and that was enough to earn an easy win at last.

Quarter finals

Italy vs. United States 10-6

Quarters: 5-2, 2-2, 3-0, 0-2

ITALY: VESPA Lorenzo, DI FULVIO Francesco 4, PRESCIUTTI Nicholas, VERGANO Tommaso 1, FONDELLI Andrea 2, ALESIANI Jacopo, RENZUTO IODICE Vincenzo, BRUNI Lorenzo, VELOTTO Alessandro, BUSILACCHI Tommaso 1, CUPIDO Luca 2, DOLCE Vincenzo, VASSALLO Gabriele

USA: BARON McQuin, FELLNER Patrick, ZWANEVELD Alec, FARMER Matthew, ABDULHAMID Adam, ROBERTS Ryder 2, McCLINTICK Danny, BONANNI Bret 1, BOWEN Alexander 3, RAMIREZ Chancellor, McCONNELL Nolan, KIMBELL Jackson, DANNER Garrett

Extramen:
ITA: 4 for 11
USA: 3 for 8

Penalties:
none

Referees: Vlasic (CRO), Roy (CAN)

The Italians offered another demonstration of their strength, and apart from a minor slump in the second half of the second period they held the game under firm control. After a fine first period they went on to earn a 7-2 lead but their level of concentration dropped a bit, the US players smelled blood and climbed back to 7-4. Had the scored first in the third it would have become an exciting clash but a lost ball and the ensuing counter-attack goal pushed the Italians back on their track and by the end of this quarter they were 10-4 up. In the fourth they just focused on their defence and to spare energy for the medal round, so this period went to the US with 2-0 but no one minded that in the Italian camp.

Serbia vs. Australia 12-5

Quarters: 0-2, 3-1, 3-0, 6-2

SERBIA: VITOROVIC Milan, TANASKOVIC Djordje 1, MAKSIMOVIC Milos 1, VASIC Dusan, SUBOTIC Gavril 3, STOJANOVIC Ognjen 2, MANDIC Dusan 3, RASOVIC Viktor, RANDJELOVIC Sava 1, MANOJLOVIC Marko, MATKOVIC Nemanja, OBRADOVIC Dimitrije 1, JAKSIC Nikola

AUSTRALIA: ADDLEY Gabriel, FORD George, PAVILLARD Luke 1, SKINNER Matthew, POWER Nathan 1, PERROTT Matthew, SINDONE Paul 2, TRABINGER Justin, MARSHALL Gordon, SINCLAIR Tyler, EGAN Daniel, EDWARDS Lachlan 1, COCOKIOS Sam

Extramen:
SRB: 6 for 13
AUS: 3 for 9

Penalties:
none

Referees: Schwartz (ISR), Uz (TUR)

The Aussies gave all what they had and that was enough to keep the Serbs at bay almost until halftime. In fact, the Aussies led 3-0 early in the second half while the favourites struggled to find their rhythm. But slowly, very slowly they started to come back. First they tightened their defence then started to put away their man-ups. This brought them back to equal terms by half-time when their coach Vlado Vujasinovic – a legendary player of the past decade – held a speech which even might be heared to the neighbouring Austria and that brought its effects. The Serbs won the second half 9-2, the Aussies scored their first goal in the beginning of the fourth (they were shut out for 16 minutes) but that was far too late. The Serbs’ physical strength and shooting power was unmatchable for them which was clearly visible on the scoreboard.

Croatia vs. Brazil 10-5

Quarters: 3-1, 2-3, 1-0, 4-1

CROATIA: MARCELIC Ivan, BUKIC Luka 1, MACAN Marko, GORETA Antun, FATOVIC Loren, CAGALI Marino, LOZINA Luka, BUHA Antonio, VISKOVIC Ante 2, ZIVKOVIC Ivan 2, VUKICEVIC Ante 4, BASIC Andrija 1, GAGULIC Andro

BRAZIL: MANFRINI Marcelo, JUNIOR Marcos 1, MARTINS Felipe, REAL Pedro 1, TAYER Pedro, GOMES Bernardo 1, BORGES Pedro, VASCONSCELOS Henrique, GOMES Guilherme, SALGADO Gabriel 1, GUIMARAES Gustavo 1, STELLET Pedro, CAMPOS Bernardo

Extramen:
CRO: 6 for 12
BRA: 2 for 7

Penalties:
CRO: none
BRA: 1 for 1

Referees: Vasenin (RUS), Garibaldi (ARG)

Brazil came up with a fine performance to celebrate their first-ever quarter final in the tournament’s history. They stayed close to the Croatians as long as their reserves lasted. It was good to see that the hosts of the 2016 Olympics had really promising youngsters who can even become key players in three years time. Their disciplined performance gave a tough test for the Croats who could decide the match by only the middle of the fourth period. Brazil came back from 1-4 down to 4-4 and still trailed only 6-4 after three periods. But experience, physics and better skills made the difference in the fourth when the Croats scored four unanswered goals in four minutes for 10-4, which sent them through the semis.

Spain vs. Hungary 7-9
Quarters: 2-3, 2-4, 1-2, 2-0

SPAIN: LORRIO Eduardo, MUNARRIZ Alberto 2, MONTPEAT Joshua 1, CABANAS Sergi, DE TORO Miguel, LARUMBE Marc, BARROSO Alberto, MATOSO Vicente, REIXACH Gerard 1, BUSTOS Alejandro, GORRIA Javier 2, BUSTOS Javier 1, EXPOSITO Victor

HUNGARY: BENDES Viktor, TELEGDY Andras, JANSIK Szilard 2, BEDO Krisztian 2, BERTA Jozsef 2, SEDLMAYER Tamas 1, GYARFAS Tamas, CSAPO Miklos, LORINCZ Balint 1, SZABO Bendeguz, MANHERCZ Krisztian, NEMET Toni 1, GYORGY David

Extramen:
ESP: 3 for 13
HUN: 4 for 12

Penalties:
none

Referees: Paoletti (ITA), Putnikovic (SRB)

The toughest of the quarter finals was definitely the hosts’ clash with the group-winner Spaniards. Fans flooded the stands, three people sat on the starting-blocks at the far end of the pool, even the starting platform of the giant slides were crowded. Though the capacity of the stands was designed to hold 1,200 people, at least 1,500 cheered first for the city’s local hero, Krisztian Pars, Olympic champion hammer-thrower who was greeted on the occasion of earning a silver medal in the recent World Championships in Moscow. He was presented with a water polo cap and he joined the supporters to back the Hungarian team in their quest for a spot in the semis for the first time since 2007. And the home players didn’t disappoint the fans: they came up with a great performance, though the Spanish also did their utmost which resulted a brilliant encounter.
The Hungarians were always in front, extending the gap quarter by quarter. After scoring a couple of lucky goals in the first – two from rebounds – their attack started to click in the second. The Spanish tried to keep up with them, and for three times they could pull one back after Hungary built a three-goal lead. The decisive moment came in the third at 5-8 when man-ups were missed at both ends and finally it was the Hungarians who managed to score the next goal. A pin-point distance shot from Szilard Jansik – who prepared with the world champion senior team in July – put Hungary to a winning position after three periods (5-9).
The Spaniards didn’t give in, they fought hard to reduce the gap and with 3:51 to go they trailed only by two (7-9). But the Hungarian goalie, Viktor Bendes didn’t let in any more – he posted a 59% percentage –, and even though the hosts missed their last four man-ups they rightfully earned their place in the semifinals.

Schedule for Saturday

For places 11-12
10:50 Uzbekistan vs. Canada

For places 9-10
12:10 Japan vs. Russia      

For places 5-8
13.30 United States of America vs. Australia
15:30 Spain vs. Brazil

Semi finals
16:50 Italy vs. Serbia
18:10 Hungary vs. Croatia