Group Standings
Group A: Hungary 4, Croatia 4, Uzbekistan 2, Kazakhstan 2, Kuwait 0.
Group B: Greece 4, Australia 4, Netherlands 2, Brazil 2, Turkey 0.
Group C: Serbia 4, Italy 3, USA 1, New Zealand 0.
Group D: Montenegro 4, Spain 4, South Africa 0, Canada 0.

Group A

Photos courtesy of Sandic Photography

Croatia probably treated this as a training match as it out-played, out-scored and out-swum the Kuwaiti team. Kuwait was kept scoreless until after 24 goals had rained into its goal. Centre-forward Abdullah Altheyab gained the exclusion, received the ball and scored from two metres for the lone goal. Croatia went 7-0 in both the first two quarters and 9-0 in the third before closing the match with the 7-1 period.

Match heroes
Vlaho Pavlic was best in pool with eight from eight while eight other team-mates made the scoring list. Croatia was six from 10 on extra-man plays and Kuwait one from four.

Hungary was untroubled with a second large-margin victory, shooting through the quarters 8-1, 5-0, 8-1 and 4-1. The only blemishes were Kazakhstan’s three goals that came at 4-1 (extra-man, 21-2 (extra man from the centre forward) and 24-3 (left-hand-catch position). Hungary was faster, managed six counter-attack goals and converted two penalty fouls. On extra-man, Hungary converted six from seven while Kazakhstan grabbed two from seven.

Match heroes
Vince Varga, with six goals from seven attempts, was named player of the match. Every other field player scored.

What they said
Robert Kovacs-Csatlos (HUN) — Coach
Yesterday’s game was a really good training for us and good preparation for the tomorrow’s match against Croatia. We focused on every moment in the game.
Nurtaza Nurzhas (KAZ) — Player
This was a really hard match for us and this was one of the best teams in the whole championship.

Group B

Australia came from behind for the second time in Belgrade, being 2-1 and 3-2 down in the first quarter. Once it took the lead at 4-3 with a penalty goal, it allowed Turkey back to level twice for 5-5 and then stretched the score to 9-5. Turkey was not deterred, scoring the next three, netting the 9-8 goal on extra-man attack with 15 seconds until the halftime buzzer. The Aussies went to 11-8 with Turkey coming back to 11-10 and 12-11 with 2:08 left in the match. William Valentine gained inside water on his marker, accepted a pass and scored from deep left for 13-11 at 1:58. Turkey took a timeout and scored for 13-12, but at 0:11, it was too late.

Match heroes
Valentine was instrumental in the victory with four goals from six attempts. His most important contributions were the 12th and 13th goals that took Australia to within the brink of victory. Seven others scored for Australia. Mert Ali Yener gained his second four-goal haul for Turkey, who had the better of the extra-man plays, converting seven from 10 compared to Australia’s five from 16. Both goalkeepers made seven saves each.

What they said
John Fox (AUS) — Head Coach
We expected a really tough and hard game, and that’s what it turned out to be. We got four goals up. I think our boys relaxed a little bit because we had that little advantage, but then Turkey took their credit and kept coming at us. Well done to them, but well done to our guys as well to eventually grind it out.”
Metin Karabenli (TUR) — Player
It was an important match for us and we gave our best. We gave our best in the attacks but Australians were better.”

Greece appeared very strong at times, but allowed Brazil to slip behind its defences a few times too many. These are early days, so Greece will be happy with a better showing than its one-goal defeat of Netherlands on day two. Greece had the match by the scruff when it turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 first period. That became 12-5 by halftime and 15-7 at the third break as Brazil was still chipping away at the Greek goal. The 4-1 final quarter included two counters and a fantastic six-metre-free-throw-helicopter shot from Paulo de Oliviera — the second such shot of the tournament.

Match heroes
Konstantinos Mathiopoulos was given the match award with his four goals from six attempts. Team-mate Christos Bitsakos also scored four. De Oliviera netted three for Brazil. Greece made sure of extra-man attack with eight from nine and Brazil converted three from seven.

What he said
Anastasios Myrilos (GRE) — Centre Forward
“It was a really good game and we took the result that we wanted. I expect my team to win against Australia (on Sunday) and actions will speak for themselves.”

Group C

Italy yielded a 4-1 opening-quarter advantage and an 8-6 last-break lead for the 8-8 draw. Italy looked the better team, but USA struck back to 4-4 with a penalty goal and two field goals — the equaliser coming with eight seconds left on the clock. Italy went 5-4 and 7-5 ahead as the rain started to fall. The seventh goal was a magnificent centre-forward shot from Riccardo De Simon. This became 8-6 with a counter-attack goal to finish the third period. USA closed to one at the top of the fourth with a six-metre-free-throw goal. At 4:33, USA equalised on extra when the goalkeeper came out and centre forward Will Schneider easily lobbed into goal. The final stanza was all about defence with not one shot in anger as most balls were stolen. The teams take a point each and goal differential will become most important in deciding who finishes higher on the ladder.

Match heroes
Ryder Dodd (USA) was named best player with three goals from seven attempts. Italy’s only double scorer was De Simon with two. Extra-man goals were hard to come by with Italy converting one from four and USA three from 13.

Serbia was far too strong for the South Pacific nation, cleaning up the first two quarters 5-0 and 7-0. New Zealand struck its first goal at 13-1 on a one-two pass at two metres on extra-man attack. Serbia responded and the Kiwis sent in the next two from centre forward and on counter. Serbia went to the final quarter 16-3 ahead and stretched the margin to 19-3 before New Zealand’s fourth came on extra and the fifth on penalty. Serbia had its second win in front of the home crowd. The skills displayed will keep Serbia in good stead, especially when it comes up against Italy on day five.

Match heroes
Nikola Kojic was the top scorer for Serbia with four from seven attempts and eight others also made the sheet. New Zealand’s Ethan Carrington netted twice. Serbia converted five from nine on extra and New Zealand two from eight.

What they said
Bogdan Gavrilovic (SRB) — Player
The game was very interesting. We have some special exercises for this game. It's all about our next game against Italy. We're going to give our 100 per cent and try to win that game and secure first position in our group.
Lachlan Frazer (NZL) — Player
We need to give them a lot of respect, Serbia is great team. We really picked up in a second half. They played amazing throughout the game, but we need to give some credit to ourselves, especially for the third quarter.”

Group D

Montenegro gained a second big win as the rain was pouring down. It did not dampen Montenegro’s enthusiasm for goals, racing to 6-0 at the quarter-time break and 7-1 before Canada scored its first goal on extra at 4:45. Its second came at 10-2, just 11 seconds from halftime when Giancarlo Marquez tried for a six-metre foul at eight metres, could not get, but shot and scored anyway. The third goal came at 12-3 when Adam Mekni turned at centre forward — his second strike. Montenegro closed the period at 17-3 with a last-gasp score and shut Canada out of the fourth — 6-0. Montenegro’s big test will be the clash with Spain on day five.

Match heroes
Nedo Bastrica was perfect with six from six as nine players were in a scoring mode. Montenegro was four from seven on extra-man attack and defended seven from eight.

Spain was all over South Africa once it had gained the ascendancy. That took some time coming with the match tied at all the numbers to five. Surprisingly, with the big score, South Africa led at one, three, four and five before Spain wrested control and swam away with the match. From a 4-3 South African advantage at quarter time, Spain led 8-5 at the long break and 12-5 at three-quarter time. South Africa’s only goal of the second half came at 16-6 from deep left. Spain scored six of its goals on counter and was generally better in front of goal with accurate, fast passing and dominant shots, including some powerful centre-forward goals.

Match heroes
Hugo Castro was in the action with five goals from eight attempts and named player of the match. Biel Gomila was close behind with four from six. Matthew Pryce and Tigran Sennett scored a pair each for South Africa. Spain converted six from 10 on extra-man attack and South Africa one from eight.