Australia was the first team to join the group-winners in the quarter-finals. They were quick and effective in the first eight-finals and decided the outcome in the first eight minutes while taking a 5-0 lead over Colombia. Spain joined soon, they had a bit harder task to overcome Brazil but they downed their rivals with a 6-0 rush in the third period. Italy kept the game under control for the most of the time but the Russians came back from three goals down to 9-10 with a late surge though didn't have a real chance to save the match to a shootout. The fourth game brought tremendous excitements as Hungary and the US were entangled to an enormous battle which was decided in a shootout where the home side prevailed.
Colombia ran out of miracles in the eight-finals. Reaching this stage has already been a historical feat as they could never go so far in major tournaments, now they did it by beating Canada on the previous day. But the Aussies were too powerful and the Latin Americans probably burnt most of their reserves some 24 hours earlier. The Aussies advanced with ease and they can prepare for a quarter-final match against Greece.
Joshua Collins (white cap) netted two for the Aussies – Credit (all photos): Noemi Kondor
Spain needed two periods to break the enthusiasm of the Brazilians who fought pretty hard and trailed only 3-5 at halftime. However, physical power, swimming speed and water polo skills prevailed in the third period when Spain lifted its game and staged a 6-0 rush to decide the match. They shut out Brazil for almost 17 minutes while going 12-3 up (from 5-3), enough to book their place in the QF.
The Spanish defence closed the doors for the third period
Italy shut out Russia for 10:22 minutes in the first half and gained a 1-5 lead en route which served a rock-solid base for the remaining part of the third eight-final. Deep into the third they were still 2-7 up but then their level of concentration dropped a bit and the Russians began to climb back. Still, Michele Mezzaroba was always on hand to save Italy, he netted four goals and contributed a lot to keep the Russians in safe distance for most of the time. With 5:27 to go they were still 7-10 up and even though they didn't score any more, the Russians could net their 9th goal only 30 seconds from time and the Italians didn't give the ball away in their last possession.
Italy rolled on after a well-deserved win over Russia
The home side's contest with the US couldn't have presented the capacity crowd of 2,000 fans with any more thrilling action. Defences and especially the goalkeepers did a tremendous job at both ends, the Magyars shut out the US boys in the entire second period but the Americans hit back with four goals in the third and led 5-6 before the last break. However, the hosts managed to deny their rivals for a whole period once more and netted the crucial equaliser for 6-6 with 2:11 to go. The decision was left to the penalties, the Hungarians netted all four while a save and the post denied two US attempts so the Magyars managed to go through.
The final act: Quinn Woodhead directs the ball high to pass 2m high goalie Mark Grieszbacher but hits the post in the fifth round and that decided the shootout...
In the games for the lower positions Egypt crashed Saudi Arabia in a bit surprisingly devastating mood as they even eclipsed Hungary's scoring record of 30 goals by netting 36 in the opening match of the day. Later New Zealand staged the first shutout of the tournament by beating China 11-0. The middle two matches were closer though Argentina extended the gap to 5 with a great last period. South Africa took a commanding lead against Canada and even though the North Americans could climb back they suffered another shocking loss after going down against Colombia on the last day of the prelims.
A night to be remembered: 2,000 fans celebrated the home side
Schedule, Day 7
15:30 Croatia v Spain
17:00 Serbia v Italy
18:30 Greece v Australia
20:00 Montenegro v Hungary
For places 9-12th
12:30 Colombia v United States
14:00 Brazil v Russia
For places 13-16th
09.30 Egypt v Argentina
11.00 South Africa v New Zealand
For places 17-20th (indoor pool)
09.30: Saudi Arabia v Uzbekistan
12.00: Canada v China