Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

Perth, Australia, Mar 28.— China blasted to a men's group A victory at the expense of Kazakhstan at the FINA Water Polo World League Intercontinental Cup at the HBF Stadium in Perth.

It came via a sudden-death penalty shootout in a torrid match that had 30 major fouls, seven players ousted from the pool with the maximum foul count and speed, power and testosterone aplenty.

However, the one point gained by Kazakhstan was enough to clinch the group as China only earned two for the shootout win.

The lead changed on numerous occasions with China ahead at halftime and three-quarters by one but allowed Kazakhstan to gain the 9-9 equaliser at 1:37 in the final period. Both teams were perfect in the normal rotation of the shootout as were the first two Chinese and the first Kazakh. However, the 14th shot was blocked and China won.

Argentina took out third spot with a 14-9 victory over New Zealand.

In Group A, Australia closed out the group with a third win, downing South Africa 19-6 and Japan claimed second spot with a 13-10 win over Canada.

In the women's competition, United States of America finished top of Group A with a handsome 20-3 margin against New Zealand.

China came back against a feisty Japan for second place in the group to win 8-7, clinching the winner at 1:03.

Australia won Group B, finishing with a 15-4 margin over Kazakhstan in the final match of the night.

Earlier, Canada downed South Africa 16-4 for second place.

Final points:

Men:

Group A: Australia 8, Japan 7, Canada 3, South Africa 0.

Group B: Kazakhstan 7, China 6, Argentina 5, New Zealand 0. 

Women:

Group A: USA 9, China 6, Japan 3, New Zealand 0.

Group B: Australia 9, Canada 6, Kazakhstan 3, South Africa.

Friday schedule:

09:30:  M13, Quarterfinal 1, 2A JPN v 3B ARG

10:45: M14, Quarterfinal 2, 3A CAN v 2B CHN

12:00: M15, Quarterfinal 3, 4A RSA v 1B KAZ

13:30: W13, Quarterfinal 1, 2A CHN v 3B KAZ

16:15: W14, Quarterfinal 2, 3A JPN v 2B CAN

17:30: W15, Quarterfinal 3, 1A USA v 4B RSA

18:45: W16, Quarterfinal 4, 4A NZL v 1B AUS

20:15: M16, Quarterfinal 4, 1A AUS v 4B NZL