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Perth 2012, Day 7 (Men): Croatia-Italy and Serbia-Hungary for men’s semifinals

World Youth Water Polo Championships

ITA - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 7, 2012 PERTH - Croatia, Serbia, Italy and Hungary have progressed through the second round to the quarterfinals of men’s competition at the FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships in Perth’s Challenge Stadium. Hungary will clash with Serbia in the first medal semifinal on Saturday evening and Croatia will follow up against Italy. Croatia stamped its authority and claim to the title (it won this age group in Sibenik, Croatia in 2009 when the FINA junior championships) with a withering 17-7 dismantling of the United States of America. Serbia withstood a legitimate claim to the throne from Greece, winning 9-8 by breaking the deadlock with 87 seconds left on the clock. Hungary put paid to any hopes the host nation, Australia, had of making the medal round, winning 14-7. Italy was expected to beat Romania, but needed a last-minute goal for a 6-3 margin that did not reflect its true ability.

In the round 9-12 semifinals, Brazil had the better of Iran in a high-scoring affair, winning 21-14 while New Zealand drew away from Canada 14-11. In the round 13-19 quarterfinals, Trinidad & Tobago scored its first win on the world stage with a 13-8 margin over Peru; Egypt beat Colombia 10-6 and Uzbekistan surpassed Kazakhstan 9-7. There is no fourth game because of the pre-tournament withdrawal of Spain. This evening, on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9, all games played at the indoor pool will be streamed live on FINAtv.

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Perth 2012, Day 6 (Women): Hungary and Greece to battle for gold on Sunday

World Youth Water Polo Championships

HUN - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 7, 2012 PERTH - Hungary will play Greece for the gold medal of the women’s FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships at Perth’s Challenge Stadium on Sunday. Both won handsomely through the semifinals with Hungary seeing off pre-tournament favourite Russia 14-11 and Greece dissecting United States of America 8-3. In the latter match, USA could not score in nearly the last three quarters as Greece proved the more clinical.

Hungary played its best match of the week, working together as a team. Hungary led 10-5 at halftime and 12-8 at the final break, fending off the faster-finishing Russia. Both teams have a rest day on Saturday before playing in the main stadium in front of more than a 1000 expected spectators. There was a thrilling semifinal clash in the round of 5-8 with New Zealand clinching an equaliser before full time for 10-10 and then scoring in the second period of extra time to defeat Brazil 11-10.

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Perth 2012, Day 6 (Men): USA, Serbia, Romania and Australia win through to quarterfinals

World Youth Water Polo Championships

USA vs BRA - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 6, 2012 PERTH - United States of America, Serbia, Romania and Australia have won through to the quarterfinals of the men’s FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships in Perth, to be played on Friday. The USA takes on title favourite Croatia, Australia plays Hungary, Serbia will face Greece and Romania tackles Italy. USA earned the shot, beating Brazil 19-11; Serbia demolished Canada 17-6; Romania needed a late goal to repulse New Zealand 5-4 and Australia had the better of Iran 21-2.

In the round 13-19 quarterfinals, Egypt defeated Peru 12-2, Trinidad & Tobago was too strong for Colombia 19-10 and Uzbekistan pipped South Africa 10-8.

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Perth 2012, Day 5 (Women): Russia-Hungary and USA-Greece semifinals

World Youth Water Polo Championships

CAN vs RUS - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 6, 2012 PERTH -Russia will play Hungary and United States of America will face Greece in the semifinals of the women’s FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships at Perth’s Challenge Stadium on Friday. In the quarterfinals, Russia went 7-1 up on Canada before a second-half comeback by the North Americans saw the score narrow to 15-12. Hungary turned a 3-1 halftime lead into a flattering 10-3 final score against host Australia. USA had little trouble in beating a defiant New Zealand 16-7 and will take on Greece, who struggled in the early stages but overcame Brazil 14-8.

The semifinals will be played mid-afternoon in the outdoor pool with the medal finals indoor on Sunday. In the round 9-12 semifinals today, Czech Republic downed South Africa 11-6 and Italy sent off Uzbekistan 22-1. In the classification match to decide 13th & 14th places, Indonesia defeated Zimbabwe 11-6.

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Perth 2012, Day 5 (Men): Hungary, Croatia, Greece and Italy win their groups

World Youth Water Polo Championships

PER vs ITA - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 5, 2012 PERTH - Men’s teams Hungary, Croatia, Greece and Italy won their groups and a fast track to the quarterfinals of the FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships at Challenge Stadium today. Hungary beat Egypt 16-5 for three straight wins in the only four-team Group A with United States sealing second berth with a handsome 17-5 margin over cross-border rival Canada.

Group B finalised its programme in the last game of the evening when Australia downed Colombia 15-2 and collected second place. Earlier, New Zealand bested South Africa 14-6 for third place and a shot at the quarterfinals. In Group C, Greece crushed Trinidad & Tobago 20-3 for a fourth consecutive win and top spot. Romania had already gained second spot on Tuesday and had today off while Iran grabbed third in a spiteful encounter with Uzbekistan, winning 13-10. Uzbekistan finished fourth and Trinidad & Tobago fifth. Group D went the way of Italy over Serbia with Italy rounding out its finals preparations with a 22-1 defeat of Peru. Brazil beat Kazakhstan 12-7 in the battle for third and fourth.

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Perth 2012, Day 4 (Women): Italy tumbled out by Russia ahead of quarterfinals

World Youth Water Polo Championships

ITA vs RUS - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 5, 2012 PERTH - Italy will not be shooting for gold at the FINA Youth World Water Polo Championships, having fallen to Russia 10-6 in a crucial second-round women’s match at a Challenge Stadium today. The match was well viewed in light drizzle following a 39C day, as it pitted two of the best teams in the world at this level. However, the score differential could have been higher such was the dominance of the Russian team that won this age group in 2009.

Russia seemed unstoppable with the exceptional Elvina Karimova on fire, scoring her team’s first four goals en route to six to bring her tournament tally to 26 from four matches. Russia moved from 6-4 at halftime to 9-5 by the final break and steered out the game to move into Thursday’s quarterfinals and a clash with Canada.

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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.

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Perth 2012, Day 3 (Women): USA, Greece, Australia and Canada win through to quarterfinals

World Youth Water Polo Championships

ITA vs USA - credit: Anthony PearseDecember 4, 2012 PERTH - United States of America, Greece, Australia and Canada have won their groups of the women’s competition at the FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships at Perth’s Challenge Stadium. They earn the day off tomorrow and next front for Thursday’s quarterfinals. USA became the first group winner in Group C, despite losing 9-10 to Italy today. Two previous wins earned four points and Italy lifted to four. Hungary defeated India 38-2 leaving the top three teams equal on points.

In the first tiebreak, USA and Hungary finished with +1 when taking into account the goals scored in the three games between the trio, and Italy had -2. In the next tiebreak, USA won the match between against Hungary 8-6 for the group win. Italy proved the better team throughout with more experience and sharper reactions, especially on extra-man attack. To the USA’s credit, it turned a three-quarter 8-5 deficit into 8-8 midway through the final quarter, only to have two quick extra-man goals scored against. A consolation goal came 17 seconds from time.

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Perth 2012, Day 3 (Men): Brazil takes on and nearly upsets Serbia

World Youth Water Polo Championships

BRA vs SRBDecember 3, 2012 PERTH - Brazil nearly gate-crashed Serbia’s party when they clashed in a Group D men’s match at the FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships at Perth’s Challenge Stadium on Monday. Brazil rattled in three unanswered goals to start the game and kept Serbia honest for the rest of the match. Brazil trailed 4-3 at halftime and 7-6 at three-quarter time and was just 9-8 behind inside the final five minutes before Serbian Olympic bronze medallist Dusan Mandic scored his third consecutive goal and cruised to 12-8 before conceding a late goal for 12-9. It was a fantastic effort from the Brazilians who will be hosting the 2016 Olympic Games and augurs well for the future of the game in the country.

While Brazil’s shooters were piercing Serbia’s wall at will, the closeness of the match can be laid at the feet, or more importantly, hands of goalkeeper Bernardo Campos. His blistering speed and ability to stop shots in the corners was paramount to Brazil’s ability to stay in the match. He stopped a minimum of 12 telling shots and set up goals at the other end. Finally, Serbia’s strength and calmness under pressure showed through for its third victory.

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Perth 2012, Day 2 (Women): Canada and Brazil battle out a 9-9 draw

World Youth Water Polo Championships

BRA vs CANDecember 3, 2012 PERTH - The battle of the Americas took pride of place in day-two action of the women’s competition at the FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships in Perth on Monday. Canada and Brazil battled to a 9-9 Group B draw after a see-saw match in which Canada led 4-2 at halftime and the game was locked at 6-6 heading into the final quarter.

The game had many highlights, not least of all stirring comeback periods from both sides and another brilliant individual scoring display by Brazil’s Izabella Chiappini, who bagged another seven goals to go with the eight she put past New Zealand on Sunday. Canada was playing its first match of the tournament while Brazil now tops the three-team group with three points following a first-up win over New Zealand (13-10), who had a bye today.

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