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Showdown set up between Malta and Iran

World Men’s Water Polo Development Trophy 2017
Game 17, 15.30 – Places 5-8th: Peru v Tunisia 6-8
Results & Teams

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

Referees: Peter Balzan (MLT), Felipe Montagne (URU)


Sebastian Bravo, Nick Pizarro, Sebastian Pastor, German Rodriguez 1, Eduardo Grandez 2, Diego Guevara, Nicolas Villar, Rodrigo Pachero, Sebastian Morales 2, Diego Villar 1, Rodrigo Rojas, Sebastian Dancourt, Adriano Zunino.

Head coach: Rafael Valdes


Aymen Kedidi, Mehdi Ferjani, Nadim Fekih, Taha Ben Slimane, Karim Ghomrasni 3, Nadhem Essaied, N. Ben Hajkhlifa, Salim Bouallegue, Chihab Ben Hajkhlifa 3, Bechir Chouikha 1, Adem Fellah 1, Mohamed Khalfet, Amanallah Sghaier.

Head coach: Moez Yangui


Peru: 2 for 4

Tunisia: 2 for 4


Peru: 1 for 1

Tunisia: nil


Tunisia clinched its first win in this tournament after producing a quite efficient game in which they made most of their chances while Peru missed a handful of opportunities.

It took 7:55 minutes for the Peruvians to appear on the scoreboard, by then Tunisia took a 0-2 lead. Though the Latin Americans quickly levelled the score at the beginning of the second from a man-up, then came a series of great action goals, a nice lob from C. Ben Hajkhlifa, a fine free-throw from Morales, then a brilliant back-handed goal from centre by Fellah. A penalty put Peru on even at 4-4 but with 41 seconds to go before the middle break a nicely set up 6 on 5 gave the Africans a 4-5 lead at halftime.

Diego Villar equalised once more, it was a brilliant lob from the centre – then long minutes of fight commenced before Ben Hajkhlifa’s shot from the distance found the back of the net. Villar had some fine moves in the centre but Peru’s ‘main weapon’ hit the woodwork only from time to time. With 46 seconds to go Ghomrasni put away an extra, giving Tunisia a 5-7 lead before the last period. And soon it was 5-8, as Ben Hajkhlifa surprised the goalie with another great lob – that was the killer as the Peruvians didn’t have enough energy to narrow the gap. This made the a bit more nervous than it was necessary which was mirrored by two red cards for misconduct. They netted one 12 seconds from time, a ball from almost the halfway mark caught the goalie by surprise but it came too late after a silence lasting for 14:34 minutes which cost them the game. On the other half the Tunisians celebrated their first win here and the chance to play for the 5th place.

Game 18, 16.50 – Places 5-8th: Austria v Singapore 9-8
Results & Teams

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

Referees: Hassan Aljabri (KSA), Nourad Jenhani (TUN)


Salkan Samardzic, Onur Celebic, Mario Todorovic, Tobias Lang 1, Toni Vidovic 2, Eldin Ribic 2, Ian Sommer, Albert Schmidt 1, Johannes Gratzl 2, Nikolaus Polak 1, Florian Lukas, Filip Popic

Head coach: Barnabas Steinmetz 


Jit An Darren Lee, Cheng-Kang Lee 1, Jia-Ooi Yee, Jing Lun Chow, Wei Loong Bryan Ong 3, Samuel Moses Yu 1, Kunyang Chiam 2, Wan Loong Ang, Junjie Yu, Zhen Wei Teo 1, En Rui Glen Lim, Kai Yu-Jun Olafson, Kai Yang Lee

Head coach: Thin Cheong Lee


Austria: 3 for 9

Singapore: 1 for 5


Austria: nil

Singapore: 2 for 2


This was the second encounter between the two sides here in Malta: they met on the opening day when Singapore staged a great comeback scoring four straight goals to win 9-8 after being 5-8 down.

It took a while when the first goal arrived, the Austrians converted a 6 on 5 after five and a half minutes. The reply came a bit later, the Singaporeans earned a penalty from a counter and Lee delivered. The scene was repeated early in the second but Schmidt’s nicely carved centre action levelled the score. Soon Gratzl put away a man-up for 3-2, then the holemen were in the spotlight once more: Yu equalised from the centre but Vidovic received a nice pass at the other end and put away the ball from close range to push the Europeans ahead at halftime.

A nice action goal from Chiam made it 4-4 but soon came a brilliant shot from Lang, followed by a lucky 6 on 5 goal and the Austrians went 6-4 up. However, ghosts from the first match started haunting them as Singapore managed to equalise with 5 seconds before the last break and they even took the lead with Ong’s fine shot from a man-up 4:55 minutes to go. But the story got a different ending this time as two great shots from the distance put the Austrians ahead, what’s more, 42 seconds later Polak buried an extra for 9-7. Ang pulled one back from a dying man-up with 78 seconds remaining, then, after a missed Austrian 6 on 5 Singapore had 22 seconds to save the match to a shootout but couldn’t set up any shooting opportunity, while the decisive steal triggered joyful shouts at the Austrian bench.

Game 20, 18.10 – Semi-final: Uruguay v Iran 7-15
Results & Teams

Quarters: 3-2, 0-4, 3-5, 1-4

Referees: Ulrich Spiegel (GER), Anton Korolyev (AUT)


Alfonso Rodriguez, Martin Fernandez, Ramiro Garcia 2, Inti Sanguinet, Pablo Brugnini, Diego Dominguez, Santiago San Martin 4, Facundo Canepa 1, Nicolas Paseyro, Daniel Queipo, Nicolas Falco, Gaston del Campo, Joaquin Perez.

Head coach: Jorge Remersaro


Omid Loftpur Kiavar, P. Asadi Aghajari, A. Rahbarjedi 1, H. Malak Khanbanan 2, Amirhossein Keihani 3, Ali Pirozkhah, Amir Dehdari 1, Mehdi Yazdankhah 2, Soheil Rostamian 1, Mohammadjavad Abbasi 1, Arshia Almasi 3, Hosein Khaledytabar 1, Shayan Ghasemidaryan.

Head coach: Aleksandar Ciric


Uruguay: 1 for 5

Iran: 3 for 9


Uruguay: 1 for 1

Iran: nil

Game 19, 19.30 – Semi-final: Malta v Saudi Arabia 18-7
Results & Teams

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

Referees: Michiel Zwart (NED), Jeremy Cheng (SGP)


Nicolas Grixti, Jerome Gabarretta 2, Edward Aquilina, Jacob Sciberras 2, Andreas Galea, Miguel Zammit 1, Steve Camilleri 1, Jordan Camilleri 4, Nicky Paris 1, Aurelien Cousin 3, Zachary Mizzi, Dino Zammit 4, Jake Tanti.

Head coach: Karl Izzo


Hussein Jazany, Yaser Alzahrani 1, Mohammed Gamal 3, Malik Mokhtar, Naif Almuntashiri, Ayman Alaryani 2, Hassan Kalfoot, Khaled Alharbi, Hattan Olayan, Bader Aldaughter 1, Hamed Alnefaiei, Mohammed Alhelal, Omar Shavahili.

Head coach: Pino Dragjevic


Malta: 4 for 10

Saudi Arabia: 1 for 6


Malta: 1 for 2

Saudi Arabia: 1 for 1


Just 6:21 minutes gone when an unexpected scene rocked the pool: Steve Camilleri was red carded while sitting – and talking – on the bench. The referee didn’t tolerate the Maltese scoring machine’s comments he offered after his brother Jordan had been excluded for 20 seconds. In that very moment 25 goals left the locals’ bench: Camilleri netted as many goals so far in the tournament and already opened his account in the current game from a counter. But his open mouth locked out him from the rest of the clash.

The Saudis converted the 6 on 5 to level the score (2-2) but the hosts didn’t break down after having lost their captain. Brother Jordan netted his second from a man-up and Miguel Zammit added another one 6 seconds before the first break to put Malta 4-2 ahead.

And the hosts rolled on in the second, they put away two more 6 on 5s (the second one was easy, the goalie was sent out, the ball hit the empty net), then a couple of lucky goals helped them to gain a commanding 8-2 lead. That was too much to handle for the Saudis, who soon lost their first goalie: Jazany committed a penalty foul and even though he stopped the shot, he lost the fight against Miguel Zammit for the rebound, hit the Maltese by accident and had to leave the pool with three fouls and a red card.

More reds followed as despite the huge margin the game remained tense and few players couldn’t hold their tempers (five had to be shown by the refs altogether). Some fine moments were still ahead, though, especially Gabarretta’s back-handed shot was a beauty while Malta was marching to the final.

Malta and Iran will have a showdown on Sunday: the two favourite sides scored easy wins to reach the final, the hosts netted 18 goals, while the Persians stopped at 15. This is going to be their second clash here at the FINA World Men’s Development Trophy, in the prelims Iran won 12-8 but the gold medal match might be a different story. Saudi Arabia and Uruguay had to settle to play for the bronze medal.