Zhou Xin, FINA Media Committee Member from China

Defending champion Serbia, Greece, Italy and USA met no troubles to claim their first group match victories on the first day of the FINA Water Polo World League Super Final here in Huizhou on Tuesday. 

Game 1: SERBIA 14 BRAZIL 10
Quarters: 4-3, 4-3, 4-2, 4-2

Referees: Francesc Buch (SPN), Michail Kouretas(GRE)
Extra Man: SRB 7/16 BRA 4/13
Pens: SER 1/1 BRA 2/2

SERBIA: Gojko Pijetlovic, Rasovic Viktor, Gocic Zivko (Captain), Sava Randelovic, Milos Cuk (1), Busko Pijetlovic (3), Nemanja Ubovic (1), Milan Aleksic (3), Nikola Jaksic, Fillip Filipovic (3), Andrija Prlainovic (1), Stefan Mitrovic (2), Branislav Mitroic
Head Coach: Dejan Savic

BRAZIL: Slobodan Soro, Jonas Crivella (1), Ruda Franco, Ives Alonso, Paulo Salemi, Bernardo Gomes, Adrian Delgado (2), Felipe Santos (1), Bernardo Rocha (2), Felipe Perrone (Captain, 2), Gustavo Guimaraes, Josip Vrlic (2), Vincius Antonelli
Head Coach: Ratko Rudic

Milan Aleksic snatched the first extra man goal for Serbia after 34 second of the games and the defending champion led all the way but never threw off Brazil by big margin since both teams played good defense. Busko Pijetlovic, Milan Aleksic and Fillip Filipovic were the top scorers with 3 goals each for Serbia.


Dejan Savic - SRB: This is the first game as we prepared for the Olympic Games. It was a very tough game for us because we just arrived here at 8.30 pm last night and played today's first game at 3pm. My players were very tired from the beginning of the game. Brazil is a good team. I think they will be in good shape at the Olympic Games. We won the game because we were in better mentality. We were satisfied with some periods.

Ratko Rudic - BRA: I am satisfied with the game, but we had many mistakes that we could easy correct them. I am satisfied if next game we can analyze and correct the mistakes we could be better. The Serbian team is one of the best in the world, the game against them was very close. Our players were not in their best form yet because we did not play a game for a long time. This is the first game we played in a long period, we need the experience and physical preparation. The Super Final will make us better and stronger. Our goal for Rio Olympic Games is to get closer to the best teams in the world.


Game 2 : GREECE 15 JAPAN 7
Quarters: 3-1, 4-1, 3--2, 5-3

Referees: Andrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Joe Peila(USA)
Extra Man: GRE 5/9 JPN 3/10
Pens: GRE 1/1 JPN 0/0

GREECE: Konstantinos Flegkas, Emmanouil Maylonakis (1), Georgios Dervisis, Konstantinos Genidounias (1), Dimitrios Tigkas (1), Kyriakos Pontikeas (1), Christos Afroudakis (1), Evangelos Delakas, Konstantinos Mourikis (1), Christodoulos Kolomvos (4), Alexandros Gounas (5), Angelos Vlaschopoulos, Stefanos Galanopoulos, .
Head Coach: Theodoros Vlachos

JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi, Atsushi Arai (1), Mitsuaki Shiga (1), Akira Yanase, Atsuto Iida, Yusuke Shimizu (Captain), Yuki Kadono (1), Koji Takei (3), Kenya Yasuda, Keigo Okawa, Shota Hazui (1), Tomoyoshi Fukushima.
Head Coach: Yoji Omoto

Greece dominated the game with well-balanced offense and defence tactics while Japan found difficulty to open the net. Alexandros Gounas contributed 5 goals for Greece.


Theodoros Vlachos-GRE: We did not play Japan before, so we felt something new to play them at the begining. I am happy with the game, not only because of the win, but also the big goal difference. Super Final is a good preparation for the Rio. Our goal is to reach the top eight and then try our best to get a medal at the Olympic Games. We played our national league at the end of May and European championships, so my players were very tired. I hope they can be better prepared in next five weeks.

Yoji Omoto-JPN: It is our first time to play Greece. We did not play well against the bronze medalists in Kazan World Championships. We could not shoot well and could not defense well. We were used to the 30-meter long pool than the 25-meter because we could organize better offence. We will be better when we play them more.


Game 3: USA 12 CHINA 6
Quarters: 3-1, 3-1, 2-2, 4-2

Referees: Naumov (RUS), Bianco (ITA)
Extra-Man: USA 3/5, CHN 0/8
Pens: USA 1/1, CHN 0

USA: Merrill Moses, Jackson Kimbell, Nikola Vavic, Alex Obert (1), Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido, Josh Samuels(4) , Tony Azevedo (Captain, 4), Alex Bowen (1), Ben Hallock (2), Jesse Smith, McQuin Baron.
Head Coach: Dejan Udovicic

CHINA: Liang Zhiwei, Xie Zekai, Li Yongxuan, Huang Weihong, Guo Junliang, Liang Zhongxing (Captain), Lu Wenhui, Chen Zhongxian, Pan Ning (1), Chen Jinghao (2), Zhang Chufeng, Liang Nianxiang (3), Wu Honghui,
Head Coach: Chen Yaohua

Since China did not qualify for the Rio Olympic Games and was the hosts team into the Super Final, China sent local Guangdong team to compete in this event. In front of the full-house home fans, Chen Jinghao shot the first goal in 45 seconds. Then USA took the control of the whole game by earning 3 extra man goals out of 5 while China wasted all 8 exclusion fouls. USA captain Tony Azevedo and Josh Samuels both had 4 goals.


Dejan Udovicic-USA: We came from Europe two days ago. My players were still in jet lag. We were slowly in adjusting the time, weather, swimming pool, atmosphere and everything here. We did not expect so many crowds here tonight and it was very nice. This is the first game of the Super Final and the more important game is coming. We are going to be ready for the game.

Chen Yaohua-CHN: USA is a much better team than we are. Our plan was to make a good defence and that worked out. Our young players showed their best and tried to shoot the balls. Our goal is try to improve from each game and help the young players more experienced.


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

Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Ivan Rakovic(SRB)
Extra-Man: AUS 5/12 ITA 6/10
Pens: None

AUSTRALIA: Joel Dennerley, Richard Campbell (2), George Ford, John Cotterill, Nathan Power (2), Jarrod Gilchrist, Aidan Roach (1), Aaron Younger, Lachlan Edwards, Joe Kayes (2), Rhys Howden, (Captain), Tyler Martin, James Stanton.
Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic

ITALY: Marco Del Lungo, Francesco Di Fulvio (1), Niccolo, Gitto, Peitro Figlioli (1), Andrea Foundelli (1), Michael Alexandrea Bodegas (2), Massimo Giacoppo (1), Alessandro Nora (3), Christian Presciutti (2), Stefano Luongo (1), Niccolo Figari, Nicholas Presciutti (2), Gariele Vassallo.
Head Coach: Alessandro Campagna

Australia started high as Richard Campbell shot 1-0 with an extra man goal but Italy changed the lead soon from 1:1 tie to 2:1 and never looked back. The Italians also took advantages from the extra man goals by earning 6 goals out of 10.


Elvis Fatovic-AUS: I am not happy with the game that we played very bad. From the beginning we were soft in defence and hard to come back in the game. I have to say Italy deserved the victory. We know we have a lot of things to improve in order to be more competitive to them. I hope our next games must play better than today.

Alessandro Campagna-ITA: We played a good game. It was our first game of the Super Final and all the teams want to enter the quarter-finals. In Rio, at least 10 teams want to get a medal. We are one of the ten teams and we have to do our best.