Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

The first two quarter finals produced high drama as Spain ousted Montenegro in the penalty shootout then Russia did the same with Croatia. The other two quarter finals lacked similar excitements – in fact they were rather one-sided battles as the Serbs thrashed Italy and Hungary upended host Turkey. The games for the lower places also produced thrillers as a series of winning goals came in the dying seconds.

Game 49, 10.00, Crossovers for places 17-20: Peru vs. South Africa 7-10
Quarters: 1-2, 1-1, 2-2, 3-5

Referees: El Shamy (EGY), Ambetov (KAZ)

PERU: Jefferson Pinedo, Nick Pizarro, Javier Chueca, Santiago Nunez 1, Gabriel Noriega, Rodrigo Gonzales, Eduardo Angulo, Piero Padro, Sebastian Morales 2, Diego Villar 4, Augusto Otero, Sebastian Dancourt, Sebastian Bravo. Head coach: Jose Luque Garcia.
SOUTH AFRICA: Andy Durning, Wyatt Edwards, Dayne Jagger 1, Michael Brakspear, Paul Du Plessis 1, Nicholas Downes 1, Jason Evezard 5, Jordan Rumbelow, Kinon Haralambous, Luke Schoeling 1, Liam Neill, David Ron 1, Zubairi Cassiem. Head coach: Brad Rone.

Peru: 2 for 7
South Africa: 1 for 6

Peru: 0 for 1
South Africa: 2 for 2

It was a huge battle for most of the game but the South Africans had a bit more left in the tank towards the end. The Peruvians missed a penalty early in the second while trailing 1-2, soon conceded one from a man-down so it stood 1-3 instead of 2-2, not a good deal in the knock-out phase, on the seventh day of a long tournament. Still, the South Americans held on and in the middle of the third period they scored twice in 57 seconds for 4-4. Two converted penalties comforted the South Africans (at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth), and soon added a fine action goal for 4-7 and that seemed too much to handle for the Peruvians. They tried desperately but could never come closer than two goals and now had to battle to avoid being ranked bottom.

Game 50, 11.30, Crossovers for places 13-16: Kazakhstan vs. Argentina 8-7
Quarters: 1-1, 2-2, 3-2, 2-2

Referees: Daei Taghi (IRI), Ni (CHN)

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandr Lopatkin, Stanislav Shvedov, Temirlan Myrzakhmet, Stanislav Savin, Miras Aubakirov 2, Sergey Bogomolov, Iliyas Shamshat, Egor Berbelyuk 3, Altay Altayev 2, Azat Bolatov, Alexey Rogalev, Nikita Prokhin 1, Vladislav Kolesnik. Head coach: Dmitry Khodzinskiy.
ARGENTINA: Lucas Cattarozzi, Agustin Jewerowicz, Augustin Gonzalez, Guido Martino 1, Felipe Alfonso, Augusto Rey 3, Franco Chinellato, Guido Roggi, Carlos Camnasio 2, Tomas Manocchio, 1 Augustun Villoria, Augustin Capriotti, Juan Sanz. Head coach: Federico Longas.

Kazakhstan: 2 for 5
Argentina: 1 for 6

Kazakhstan: 1 for 1
Argentina: 3 for 3

One of the closest contests of the entire tournament: neither side managed to build a two-goal gap. The Argentinians took the lead five times in the first three periods but the Kazakhs levelled the score time to time and in the last minute before the last break they went ahead 6-5. 4:50 minutes before the final whistle it stood 7-7, the Kazakhs wasted two man-ups and the match seemed to end up in a penalty shootout but the Kazakhs’ most skilled player, Prokhin, had other thoughts in his mind and scored the winner from action with four seconds to go.


Game 51, 13.00, Crossovers for places 17-20: New Zealand vs. Iran 16-17 (after penalty)
Quarters: 2-4, 0-2, 3-3, 4-0. Penalties: 7-8

Referees: Shiraki (JPN), Mackay (CAN)

NEW ZEALAND: Matthew Taylor, Lachlan Watson, Mathew Hansen, Tomati Harris 1, Cameron Hayes 2, Daniel Marsden, Jack Ross, Christopher Cormack 1, James McLean, Anton Sunde 4, Phillip Hargraves, Callum Lane 1, Denzel Njuelua. Head coach: Andrew Skora.
IRAN: Hamed Karimi, Masoud Ahmadi 3, Amirhossein Raharjedi, Arshia Almasi, Amirhossen Kehany, Erfan Lashgari, Mohammadmahoi Heydari 1, Seyedsajjad Saviz, Shoel Rostamian 1, Mohammad Rasoul Feizabhaee, Hamidreza Moghaddam 2, Amin Ghavidelhajagha 2. Head coach: Lutzbernd Muller.

New Zealand: 1 for 4
Iran: 3 for 3

The teenagers of New Zealand form the unluckiest team in town: they lost the second penalty shootout in two days. On Thursday, they led almost all the way against Egypt but one miss in the shootout cost them the game. On Friday, it was a different story with the same ending: this time they produced a miraculous comeback against Iran, but again, one miss ruined their dreams. The Iranians dominated for almost three periods, led 2-8 early in the third, and were still 5-9 up before the last quarter. Still, the New Zealanders forced a shootout with a fantastic 4-0 rush in the fourth, Sunde scored the last two goals in the last minute, the equaliser came with 4sec remaining on the clock. The penalty shootout was amazing, the teams needed 16 attempts to decide the outcome, the first 14 were all netted, Marsden missed the next, Moghaddam sent home the last, sealing Iran’s win.

Game 52, 14.30, Crossovers for places 13-16: Egypt vs. Brazil 11-13
Quarters: 3-2, 2-6, 2-2, 4-3

Referees: O’Brien (IRL), Radicevic (CRO)

EGYPT: Ayman Mohemed, Omar Elhadidi, Aly Abdelaziz 2, Ahmed Abdelaal 2, Walid Essameldin, Hassan Haroun 2, Ahmed Abdelghaftar 1, Andrew Bekheet 1, Abdelrahman Ahmed, Omar Zaki, Ahmed Roshdi 3, Ahmed Sayed, Karim Rizk. Head coach: Aly Warda.
BRAZIL: Bernardo Oliveira, Pedro Stellet 1, Psanquevich William, Rafael Real 1, Roberto Freitas, Eduardo Wainberg 1, Lucas Pinto, Henrique Vasconcelos 3, Guilherme Gomes 2, Caio Pereira 2, Pedro Real 1, Wisricardo da Silva 2, Leonardo da Silva. Head coach: Angelo Coelho.

Egypt: 2 for 7
Brazil: 0 for 3

Egypt: 1 for 1
Brazil: –

Brazil scored all 13 goals from action – a rarity in today’s water polo which deserves credit. They started to dominate the encounter in the middle of the second period when they managed to jump from 4-5 to a 4-8 lead. From that point they could maintain this margin for most of the time, the Egyptians came a bit closer in the fourth at 9-11 and 10-12 but the Brazilians had the answers both occasions and secured their well-deserved win.

Game 53, 16.00, Crossovers for places 9-12: Canada vs. Japan 11-10
Quarters: 3-2, 2-1, 1-3, 5-4

Referees: Schlunz (GER), Zambrano (VEN)

CANADA: Liam Duncan, Evan Scoffield 1, Pavle Kotarac, Gaetan Patterson, Aleksa Gardijan, Paul Bucheff, Sever Topan 1, Sean Spooner 4, Jeremie Blanchard 2, Aria Soleimanipak, Bilel Talah, Giordano Marconato 3, Samuel Reiher. Head coach: Nikola Maric.
JAPAN: Kazuki Hashimoto, Miki Sato 1, Shu Hamada 1, Kohei Inaba 5, Shingo Ishiyama, Kazuki Omoto 1, Shotaro Yamada, Suguru Kabasawa 2, Yushi Miyazawa, Yuki Shimizu, Taichi Yamada, Kiyomu Date. Head coach: Takamitsu Nakashima.

Canada: 3 for 5
Japan: 2 for 6

The Japanese might have deserved more in this tourney – but luck wasn’t on their side, perhaps. They had some fine matches in the prelims, then lost to the Turks in the quarter final by a single goal (conceded 29 seconds from time) and now had another bitter loss after the Canadians netted the winner 25 seconds before the end. Canada played better in the first half and at the beginning of the third period they scored for a 6-3 lead. But the Japanese climbed back – easy ride compared to their comeback from 1-8 against Turkey –, scored three straight goals still in the third and even took the lead from the first attack of the last period. Canada halted their ‘silence’ after 9:59 minute for 7-7 and retook the lead at 8-7. Tensions grew, after Spooner netted his fourth goal for 9-8 he had a tougher bout with Hamada and both were red carded. Soon the Canadians seemed to reach the comfort zone (10-8) but their rivals scored twice in 56 seconds for 10-10. It was a one ball game and it was sent home by a Canadian, Blanchard who netted an action goal with 25 seconds remaining.

Game 54, 17.30, Crossovers for places 9-12: USA vs. Australia 7-8
Quarters: 1-1, 4-3, 3-2, 0-3

Referees: Dester (BRA), Uz (TUR)

USA: Alexander Wolf, Thomas Dunstan, Bryce Hoerman 2, Kent Inoue 3, Warren Snyder 1, David Kessler, Marco Stanchi, Nicholas Carniglia, Matthew Maier 1, Timothy Simenc, Nicholas Bisconti, Bennett Williams, Conrad Gordon. Head coach: Alex Rodriguez.
AUSTRALIA: Joshua Zekulich, Timothy Reeves, Kieran Mulcahy, Christopher Perrott 2, Luke Pavillard 1, James Smith 1, Angus Lambie, Rhys Holden 1, Alex Bogunovich, Lachlan Pethick 2, Mitchell Marsden 1, Keenan Marsden, Jack Bell. Head coach: Andrew Yanitsas.

USA: 2 for 8
Australia: 0 for 4

USA: –
Australia: 1 for 1

This was the third game on Friday where the winning goal came four seconds before the end! It was another huge battle, just as almost all matches in the Galatasaray pool (which was used for this day’s crossover action because of the high number of encounters). On several occasions the U.S. boys built a lead but the Aussies kept coming back. The Americans were 4-2 up but soon it stood 4-4. A goal in the last minute of the second period and two quick hits in 70 seconds gave them a 7-4 lead – but they couldn’t score again in the last 13 minutes. The Aussies could, they pulled one back in the third, equalised in the middle of the fourth, killed a 4 on 6 (!) with 1:25 to go and Pethick netted the winning goal four seconds from time!


Game 56, 16.00, Quarter Final: Montenegro vs. Spain 12-14 (after penalty)
Quarters: 1-2, 2-1, 3-3, 3-3, penalties: 3-5

Referees: Vasenin (RUS), Stankevich (USA)

MONTENEGRO: Milos Konatar, Marko Konatar, Bogdan Durdic 1, Petar Cetkovic 2, Vlado Popadic, Stefan Pjesivac 2, Aleksa Ukropina, Janko Krivokrapic, Dimitrije Krijestorac, Danilo Adzic 1, Nikola Moskov 2, Nicolas Saveljic 1, Arsenije Stanovic. Head coach: Mirko Vicevic.
SPAIN: Miquel Linares, Sergi Cabanas, Bruno Navajas, Marc Corbalan, Xavier Serra, Agusti Perilas, Borja Fenoy 2, Miquel Gasulla 3, Roger Tahull 1, Pol Barbena, Guillem Garcia 1, Alejandro Bustos 2, David Allon. Head coach: David Martin.

Montenegro: 3 for 10
Spain: 6 for 12

Though Montenegro are still unbeaten in the regular time, they cannot play for the medals while Spain (also unbeaten so far) reached the semis after a dramatic penalty shootout decided the first quarter final of the day. The high level of fighting spirit never dropped at either end: after a balanced first half the Spanish scored twice in 57 seconds for a 3-5 lead, but there came the Montenegrins with three goals from three connecting attacks in 1:43 minutes. The Spaniards didn’t collapse and with 11 seconds from the third they equalised (6-6). The Montenegrins shone in the fourth, at least in the first half as they went 9-7 up but two finely tuned 6 on 5s were enough for the Spaniards to level the score again (9-9). The last one and half minutes saw a denied Montenegrin man-up, two time-outs but no further goals so it was time for another shootout. Popadic missed the first Montenegrin attempt and it turned out to be decisive: the Spaniards buried each and could wildly celebrate winning this great battle.

Game 57, 17.20, Quarter Final: Russia vs. Croatia 12-11 (after penalty)
Quarters: 3-1, 1-3, 1-1, 1-1, penalties: 6-5

Referees: Severo (ITA), Bartels (AUS)

RUSSIA: Vitaly Statsenko, Vladislav Zaytsev, Vasily Egorov 1, Daniil Merkulov 1, Vladimir Zaikin, Ivan Gusarov, Vladislav Egorov, Denis Kolbenov, Arsian Zahirov, Konstantin Kharkov, Adel Giniatov 3, Andrei Balakirev 1, Iurii Poliukov. Head coach: Vladimir Fedorin.
CROATIA: Fran Cubranic, Rino Buric 1, Ivan Domagoj Zovic 1, Marko Buconic, Nikola Pavlicevic, Marin Dajic, Antonio Duzevic, Dario Rakovac 1, Marin Delic, Loren Fatovic 3, Domagoj Jajcinovic, Mislav Vrlic, Marin Sparada. Head coach: Jakta Buljan.

Russia: 1 for 8
Croatia: 3 for 9

Russia: –
Croatia: 0 for 1

The Russians had the better start while the Croatian coach, Jakta Buljan set a tournament record by receiving a yellow card after 2:33 minutes. He might have become more tense at the beginning of the second when, while trailing 3-1, Duzevic missed a penalty. Perhaps that woke up the Croats and by the middle break they were back on equal terms (4-4). The Russians netted a 6 on 5 early in the third then managed to kill three Croatian man-ups but not the fourth one which was put away by Fatovic (it was his third, for 5-5). Giniatov also completed a hat-trick to put the Russians ahead. An enormous battle ensued, more than five minutes gone without a goal (and an exclusion), then 46 seconds from time the Croats got a man-up and Rakovac put it away with 37 seconds remaining. The Russians couldn’t score so the second quarter final match was also decided by the penalties. It’s also called Russian roulette in the slang – and in fact the Russians were luckier this time. It was a real thriller: unlike the previous shootouts in the day, when one miss was enough to lose the match, here both sides had three misses in the first five rounds! Then, when the first miss would have been decisive, both sides converted the pens in the first three rounds. But in the fourth Rakovac, who saved the game for Montenegro in the regular time and was one of the two who scored in the first round, was denied, while Giniatov, who missed his first, scored this time and sent his team to the seventh heaven and more importantly, to the semi finals.

Game 58, 18.40, Quarter Final: Serbia vs. Italy 13-3
Quarters: 2-1, 4-0, 2-1, 5-1

Referees: Kun (HUN), Garibaldi (ARG)

SERBIA: Alen Osmanovic, Aleksa Petrovski 2, Filip Jankovic 1, Filip Radojevic 1, Nebojsa Toholj, Ivan Gvozdanovic 1, Radomir Draskovic 2, Aleksandar Andrejevic, Nemanja Bakic 1, Marko Manojlovic, Ognjen Stojanovic 2, Borislav Jovanovic 3, Radoslav Filipovic. Head coach: Vladimir Vujasinovic.
ITALY: Massimiliano Cicali, Giacomo Bannella 1, Christian Gandini, Nicolo Rocchi, Gaetano Baviera, Filippo Gavazzi, Emilio Caivavina, Eduardo Campopiano, Jacopo Alesiani, Mario Guidi, Biagio Borrelli 2, Gabriele Bassani, Fabio Viola. Head coach: Ferdinando Pesci.

Serbia: 1 for 5
Italy: 0 for 6

Serbia: –
Italy: 1 for 1

After the dramas in the first two quarter finals matches this one turned into an embarrassingly one-sided contest. After a couple of weaker performances the Italians seemed to find their game – but they ran into a red-hot Serbian team which simply routed them from the second period. A balanced opening quarter was followed by a devastating Serbian wave of attacks. Three goals in 1:52 minutes gave them enormous confidence, their defence was simply amazing while the Italians started to melt down. Trailing 6-1 after two periods rightfully eroded their belief: one can hardly find a side in the current field who can overcome this deficit against the Serbs. They weren’t able to make it either and even crashed in the final period.

Game 55, 20.00, Quarter Final: Hungary vs. Turkey 10-4
Quarters: 2-1, 4-1, 1-1, 3-1

Referees: Inesta (ESP), Ivanovski (MNE)

HUNGARY: Soma Vogel, Viktor Vadovics, Kristof Szejf Kiss 2, Kristof Szatmari, Frank Pellei, Oliver Hornyak 1, Adam Nagy 1, Erik Csacsovszky 1, Krisztian Manhercz 4, Simon Vogel 1, Kristof Toth, Peter Lovas, Benedek Molnar. Head coach: Gyorgy Horkai.
TURKEY: Emirham Ozdemir, Engin Ege Colak, Yordan Yordanoglu, Atamer Albayrak, Safak Simsek, Anil Yaman, Davud Sutcuoglu, Atakan Destici 1, Kaan Baskaya 1, Sertan Gectan, Cemil Bahadir Ozbakis 2, Kaan Ozden Yildiz, Burak Banda. Head coach: Mehmet Alp Olcaytu.

Hungary: 2 for 8
Turkey: 1 for 4

Hungary: 1 for 2
Turkey: 0 for 2

Hungary ended the Turkish dreams on making history by reaching the semi finals of a major tournament for the very first time. The Magyars proved their superiority at both ends of the pool: their defence was simply amazing with Soma Vogel in the goal who, besides delivering a series of fine saves, stopped two penalties. The first happened at 1-1 which was a huge turning point psychologically: instead of going ahead the Turks fell back dramatically and with 2:32 to go in the second they trailed 6-1. There was no way back from here, though the crowd got noisy at the beginning of third when the hosts climbed back to 6-3 but then came the second penalty catch from Vogel and soon Manhercz made it 7-3 which virtually put the Turks out of contest. Manhercz scored his fourth from a penalty for 8-3 early in the last quarter and the rest was an easy cruise for the Hungarians, right into the semis.