Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

Belgrade, Serbia, August 12.— Greece will play Croatia in the gold-medal final of the FINA Junior Men’s Water Polo World Championships at the Sports Centre Milan Gale Muskatirovic here on Sunday night.

Croatia was first past the post in a drama-ridden clash with Hungary, winning 6-4 in the final few minutes in the inside pool. The night session was shifted because of the raging storm predicted earlier, arriving during the first of the four encounters. The match was interrupted by frequent red cards and multiple fouls with the four red cards challenging the number of goals for the highest total.

Greece triumphed over host nation Serbia 9-8, even though Greece playmaker Alexandros Papanastasiou was ousted for violence in a match that saw just the two red cards.

It makes for enticing view on Sunday night with two complete teams, looking to eye off the gold medal and Croatia looking for the senior-junior double after the men’s team was victorious in Budapest two weeks ago.

In the classification 5-8 semifinals, Spain took Italy apart 12-8 after leading 10-4 midway through the third period. Eduardo Manzi scored three of his four goals in the final period to try and get Italy back into the match, to no avail. Fran Valera scored the final goal, his fourth. In the second semifinal, Montenegro broke away in the second quarter to go 9-6 ahead into the second half and on to a 12-10 victory.

In classification matches, Russia took ninth place thanks to a 14-7 result with Canada. Daniil Merkulov top-scored with four goals.

For positions 11-12, Australia ripped to an 8-1 halftime lead and finished 14-3 over China.

In earlier matches, Puerto Rico beat South Africa 14-9 for 19th; Argentina downed New Zealand 7-3 for 17th; Seifeldeen Hesham hammered in nine goals as Egypt beat Iran 16-8 to claim 15th position and Japan gained 13th place by beating Netherlands 15-6 after leading scorer Toi Suzuki was hospitalised with a suspected broken nose following a second-quarter incident.

Match schedule:

Match 59. 08:00, SOUTH AFRICA 9 PUERTO RICO 14
Classification 19-20
Match 60, 09:20, NEW ZEALAND 3 ARGENTINA 7
Classification 17-18
Match 61, 10:40, IRAN 8 EGYPT 16
Classification 15-16
Match 62. 12:00, NETHERLANDS 6 JAPAN 15
Classification 13-14
Match 63, 13:20, CHINA 3 AUSTRALIA 14
Classification 11-12
Match 64. 14:40, CANADA 7 RUSSIA 14
Classification 9-10
Match 65. 16:40, SPAIN 12 ITALY 8
Classification 5-8 Semifinal
Classification 5-8 Semifinal
Match 68. 20:40, CROATIA 6 HUNGARY 4
Classification 1-4 Semifinal
Match 67. 19:20, GREECE 9 SERBIA 8
Classification 1-4 Semifinal

Day 9 programme:

Match 69. 16:00, ITA-USA
Classification 7-8
Match 70. 17:20, ESP-MNE
Classification 5-6
Match 71. 18:40, SRB-HUN
Classification 3-4
Match 72. 20:00, GRE-CRO
Classification 1-2