Camillo Cametti, FINA Media Committee Chairman

On the third day of the Preliminary Round, Spain managed to defeat Italy by the narrowest margin (9-8). The Netherlands defeated Germany with the identical score (9-8) after a fierce battle and jumped on top of Group B with 6 points having won all the 3 matches played so far, the only team capable of this feat.

Hungary, Canada, and Kazakhstan beat respectively Romania, Slovakia, and South Africa. Russia, instead, was unpredictably defeated by France (12-11) in the most thrilling game of the day.

In Group A Canada has emerged as one of the major forces in this tournament and co-leads the Group A with Hungary, both teams have 5 points.

Schedule and Results

13. 13:50 A6-A5 HUN-ROU 12-8    
14. 15:10 A2-A4 SVK-CAN 9-11
15. 16:30 A3-A1 FRA-RUS 12-11
16. 17:50 B6-B5 NED-GER  9-8
17. 19:10 B2-B4 RSA-KAZ 6-9
18. 20:30 B3-B1 ESP-ITA 9-8

Game by Game

Game 13 (A) - 13:50 Hungary-Romania 12-8 (4-2, 2-3; 4-1, 2-2)

Hungary: 1. Viktor Nagy, 2.Gergo Zalanki (1), 3. Krisztian Manhercz (1), 4. Balasz Erdely (1), 5. Marton Vamos (1), 6. Norbert Hosnyanszky (1), 7. Adam Decker, 8. Marton Szivos (4), 9. Daniel Varga ©, 10. Denes Varga (2,1P), 11. Krisztian Bedo, 12. Balasz Harai (1), 13. David Bisztritsanyi. Head Coach: Tibor Benedek.
Romania: 1. Dragos Stonescu, 2. Cosmin Radu ©, 3. Tiberiu Negrean (3), 4. Mihnea Gheorghe (1), 5. Nicolae Oanta, 6. Dan Andrei Busila, 7. Daniel Teohari (2), 8. Mihnea Chioveanu (1), 9. Dimitri Goanta, 10. Roland Szabo, 11. Alexandru Ghiban (1), 12. Alex Popoviciu, 13. Marius Tic. Head Coach: Dejan Stanojevic.
Referees: Filippo Gomez (ITA), Henk Smit (NED).
Fina Delegate: Khosrow Amini.
Notes - Exclusion with substitution Ghiban (R) in the 3rd  period. Extra man goals: Hungary 4/7 + 1 penalty, Romania 2/7.

After a strong start Hungary suffered Romania equally strong reaction. At about 2 minutes to the end of the 2nd period Chioveanu sealed a short lived tie at 5-5; in fact a minute later a goal from Vamos put Hungary again in the lead.  Score at half time was 6-5. First quarter 4-2 for Hungary, 2nd quarter 3-2 for Romania.

In the 3rd quarter the Magyars took the reins of the game again in their hands, they scored 4 goals, the Romanians one. The teams went into the last period on the score of 10-6, a 4-goal gap.

The 4th quarter was the most balanced and ended in a tie, 2-2 (Szivos scored twice for Hungary), leaving unchanged the 4-goal gap existing at the end of the previous period.


Tibor Benedek, Hungary’s coach: "The reaction was positive. The problem arises when we go at a disadvantage and the team gets nervous. In this tournament the outcome of a lot of matches depend on one or two shots. We must be perfect".

Tiberiu Negrean, Romania’s player: "I'm happy because I scored three goals but I'm sad because we lost the game. We start very well, we tried to win. We knew it would be an hard game against Hungary. I feel good about this tournament, it's very nice and the organization is amazing, the city too”.

HUN vs ROU ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia


Game 14 (A) 15.10 – Slovakia-Canada 9-11 (2-2, 1-5; 3-2, 3-2)

Slovakia: 1. Lukas Kozmer, 2. Martin Famera (2), 3. Jurai Zatovic ©, 4. Adam Furman, 5. Lukas Durik, 6. Samuel Balaz, 7. Lukas Seman (1), 8. Maros Tkac (2), 9. Michal Uradnik (2), 10. Igor Szabo, 11. Martin Kolarik (1), 12. Tomas Bruder (1), 13. Michal Hruska. Head Coach: Antonio Esteller Serrahima.
Canada: 1. Dusan Aleksic, 2. Constantin Kudaba (1), 3. Oliver Vikalo (1), 4.Nicolas Constantin Bicari (2 ), 5. Justin Boyd (2), 6. Scott Robinson (1), 7. David Lapins, 8. Kevin Graham ©, 9. Dusan Radoscic, 10. John Conway (2P), 11. Giorges Torakis (2), 12. Jared McElroy, 13. Robin Randall. Head Coach: Giuseppe Porzio.
Referees: Radaslow Koryzna (POL), Gernot Hantschel (GER).
Fina Delegate: Takeshi Inoue.
Notes – Red card for McElroy (C) in the 4th period. Excluded with substitution Boyd (C) and Durik (S) in the 3rd period. Extra man goals: Slovakia 6/11 + 1 penalty, Canada 3/8 + 2 penalties.

A hard fought and balanced 1st quarter ended 2-2.
01:40 Slovakia: Tkac scored for Slovakia on extra player after 1:40. Boyd answered for Canada with an Boyd action goal a couple of minutes later. Slovakia ahead again with Kolarik in superiority at 7:30; Conway levelled 13 seconds later on a penalty goal.

In the 2nd quarter the team coached by Giuseppe Porzio was devastating: first Canada scored in superiority with Bicari, his goal was followed up seconds later by an action goal from Torakis. Slovakia narrowed the gap on a penalty converted by Bruder.

Soon after Bicari scored his second on extra man, to reset the 2-goal gap. Kudaba and Vikalo followed up with action goals in the last minute of the 2nd period.
5-1 for Canada the split score in the 2nd period. On a 3-7 score at half time the rest of the game appeared to go downhill.

3rd period. Slovakia’s left hander Uradnik scored first scorer in this period (4-7). Boyd’ second goal, a blaze from outside, reset the 4-goal gap (4-8). Seconds later it was Slovakia’s turn to score a pair of goals, with Tcak  and Famera, to narrow the gap to 2 goals (6-8) . A penalty converted by Conway in the last minute of the period (his second in the match) sent the teams in the last quarter on the score of 6-9, still a comfortable 3-goal advantage for Canada.

The last quarter was 3-2 for Slovakia, enough just to narrow the final gap to 2 goals.


Giuseppe Porzio, Canada’scoach: “I must say the truth, this game was the most difficult one because we had a very good classification instead for the Romania it was the last chance to stay in this tournament. It wasn't easy to win; Romania did well until the last second. We knew that we played against a good team and that they would give all the best today. We played well and we managed the score. This wasn't never easy in a international tournament. For us it was very important to reach the quarter finals"

Justin Boyd, Canada’s player: "I'm glad that we won but we needed to play a little bit better. It's good because we needed to win. We knew they were going to try very hard and they did it. Now we move on to our game of tomorrow."

Antonio Esteller, Slovakia’s coach: "We suffered in the second period, we were disconnected. This match was very difficult. I hoped to get to the quarter-finals, but we need a lot of more training. In my team there are two very young players, under eighteen".

Martin Famera, Slovakia’s player: "We started very good but we lost the second period 5-1 and we were overwhelmed. We wanted to win this match. Now our tournament may be finished because we have to play against France and Hungary. It will be hard for us".

SVK-CAN ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia


Game 15 (A) 16.30 – France-Russia 12-11 (3-3, 5-4; 2-2, 2-2)

France: 1. Remi Garsau, 2. Remi Saudadier, 3. Igor Kovacevic (1), 4. Blary Romain (1), 5. Enzo Khasz, 6. Simon Thibaut, 7.Ugo Crousillat (4), 8. Michal Izdinsky (1), 9. Mehdi Marzouki (3), 10. Mathieu Peisson (1), 11. Petar Tomasevic, 12. Alexandre Camarasa © (1), 13. Billy Noyon. Head Coach: Florian Bruzzo.
Russia:  1. Kiril Korneev, 2. Adel Giniiatov (1), 3. Artem Odintson, 4. Daniil Merkulov (2), 5. Konstantin Kharkov, 6. Mikhail Krasnov (1), 7. Pavel Khalturin (4), 8. Andrei Balakirev, 9. Igor Bychrov, 10. Dmitrii Kholod © (1), 11. Sergey Lisunov (1), 12. Lev Magomaev (1), 13. Petr Peclotov. Head Coach: Erkin Shagaev.
Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Sergio Galindo (ESP).
Fina Delegate: John Whitehouse.
Notes - Excluded with substitution Khalturin (R) in the 3rd period and Odintson (R) in the 4th period. Extra man goals: France 3/6, Russia 3/9 + 1 penalty.

With 5 seconds to the end of the game France’s  Izdinsky scored the decisive goal on extra man, an authentic coup de theatre.
Crousillat (F) and Khalturin top scored the game with 4 goals each. Russia was favourite but in the field both teams appeared to be of the same level.

They fought strenuously for victory  tying as many as three periods: 3-3 the first, 2-2 the third and the fourth. France won the 2nd period by one goal, 5-4, enough to claim victory at the end.
Motivated by their coach Forian Bruzzo, who raucously spurred them all the way throughout the game, the French players could pick the sweet fruit of victory, a gift that at times seemed to have been within the reach of the Russians.

Russia was out fast with 2 consecutive goals, both from Khalturin, the first on action, the second on penalty. France’s answer was steadfast with 3 straight action goals, respectively scored by Crousillat, Peisson and Marzouki. Khalturin, Russia’s best striker in this tournament levelled at 3-3 with extra player goal, his third in the initial leg of this match.

In the second period the two teams trade goals at a fast rate: 29 seconds inside the 2nd quarter Khalturin scored his 4th goal; 21 seconds later it was answered by a goal from France’s captain Camarasa.
About a minute later Giniiatov sent Russia up one goal again. Half a minute later  Marzouki answered on extra man to equalize 5-5. Russia one goal up again with Magomaev;  Crousillat tied with a blaze from outside (6-6).

The turning point of the game: Marzouki scored his second goal, also on action from outside, putting France in lead, one goal up, for the first time. Crousillat followed up with his third goal. France up 2 goals (8-6). Russia’s centre forward Kholod narrowed the gap to one goal: 8-7 for France the score at half time.

The 3rd quarter was tied at 3-3. Russia equalized soon after the opening and regained the lead on an extra man goal from Krasnov (8-9).

France’s top striker Crousillat scored his 4th  goal to equalize 9-9. With 32 seconds to the end France’s n.4, Romain, scored his first to send his team one goal ahead for the second time: 10-9 after the 3rd quarter.

A minute inside the last quarter and Kovacevic scores a goal which means a crucial advantage of 2 goals for France (11-9). In the less than a minute Russia managed to level the score with goals from Merkulov and Magomaev . At 11-11 the score outcome reflected the course of the game. But, as already reports, at 5  seconds to the end France’s n. 8, Izdinski, netted the winning ball giving his team a certainly deserved but equally unpredictable victory.


Florian Bruzzo, France’s coach: "This tournament is special; it qualifies for the Olympic Games. So you must be ready, you must fight until the last second and never surrender. If we win tomorrow we will qualify for the quarters”.

Alexandre Camarasa,  France’s captain: "It was a tough match so we are very happy for this win. Russia's players are both physically strong and very good swimmers. We played as a united team and that made the difference. We learn from Hungary to play as a team and not individually. It decreases the psychological pressure. Now we have to forget this victory and think about the match of tomorrow against Slovakia that is very important to go at quarter finals".

Erkin Shagaev, Russia’s coach: "We expected this match to be so difficult. We are disappointed because we lost for just a goal in power play at 5 seconds before the end. We could have managed better our advantage ".

FRA-CAN ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia


Game 16 (B) 17.50 – Netherlands-Germany 9-8 (2-1, 2-2; 3-3, 2-2)

Netherlands: 1. Eelco Wagenaar, 2. Yoran Frauenfelder (2), 3. Jorn Winkelhorst (1), 4. Ruud Van der Horst, 5. Lucas Gielen (1), 6. Robin Lindhout (2,1P), 7. Lars Cottemaker, 8. Lars Reuten, 9. Josep Van der Bersselaar, 10. Roeland Spijker ©, 11. Jesse Koopman (2), 12. Thomas Lucas (1), 13. Ruben Hoepelman. Head Coach: Robin Van Galen.
Germany: 1. Roger Kong, 2. Erik Bukowski (1), 3. Christian Schlanstedt (1), 4. Julian Real ©, 5. Tobias Preuss (1), 6.Maurice Jungling, 7. Heiko Nossek (2), 8. Paul Schuler, 9. Marko Stamm (1), 10. Mateo Cuk, 11. Marin Restovic (1), 12. Dennis Eidner (1), 13. Tim Hohne. Head Coach: Patrick Weissinger.
Referees: Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Sergey Naumov (RUS).
Fina Delegate: Alan Balfanbayev.
Notes - Red card for Van der Berssellar (N) in the 3rd period. Excluded with substitution Nossek (G) in the 3rd period. Extra man goals: Netherlands 3/8 + 1 penalty, Germany 3/8.

It was a difficult game played by two combative teams. The opening goal was signed by Germany’s n°7, Nossek, on extra man, answered by Koopman three minutes later. Then Lucas scored again for the Netherlands on extra man: 2-1 the score at the end of the first leg.
Germany’s managed to tie 2-2 only after 3 minutes inside the 2nd period with Eidner. The Dutch went again in the lead, courtesy of a penalty converted by Lindhout….
At 33 seconds to the conclusion  of the period Preuss levelled at 3-3 on a action goal but a late action goal from Fraunfelder at 4 seconds to the major interval put the Netherlands up one goal again. 4-3 for the Dutch the score at half time.

Restovic equalized 4-4 a little more than a minute inside the 3rd quarter. A minute later Bukowski put Germany in the lead. Nossek’ second goal sent Germany 2 goals up (4-6). Gielen narrowed on extra player. Frauenfelder’ second goal brought the Dutch one goal close to their rival. At seconds from the expiration of the period Lindhout scored his second to give the Netherlands their second lead in the match.

A minute inside the last quarter Stamm scored for Germany to tie at 7-7. Just 13 seconds later the Dutch went up again with Koopman, 8-7. There were two more goals on extra man one from the Dutch, with Winkelhorst, the second one from Germany, with Schlanstedt: they did not change the fate of the game, which was decided earlier. Final score 9-8 for the Netherlands.


Robin Van Galen, coach of The Netherlands: "It was very important for both teams to win, also because we are neighbours. We know Germany very well and they know us. We trained a lot together so it was more than just a match. I'm very happy for the result and I think we are at least second, which is a good ranking for the quarter finals. Italy is really stronger than us but we'll play match for match. We have a lot of supporter among the public”.

Patrick Weissinger, coach of Germany: "We are very disappointed because we lost the most important game for us until now. We didn't play well, so the score was correct. The Dutch team has been cleverer than us”.

GER-NED ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia


Game 17 (B) 19.10 – South Africa-Kazakhstan 6-11 (3-2, 2-3; 1-4, 0-2)  

South Africa: 1. Julian Lewis, 2. Devon Card ©, 3. Christopher Brown, 4. Jordan Rumbelow, 5. Nicholas Downes, 6. Nicholas Schooling (1), 7. Lodewyk Rabie, 8. Nicholas Rodda (1), 9. Jason Evezard (2), 10. Simon Purchase, 11. Nicholas Molyneux (1), 12. Dayne Jagga (1), 13. Lwazi Madi. Head Coach: Paul Martin.
Kazakhstan: 1. Alexandr Fedorov, 2. Sergey Gubarev © (1), 3. Maxim Zhardan (1), 4. Roman Pilipenko, 5. Vladimir Ushakov (1), 6. Alexey Shmider (1), 7. Muat Shakenov, 8. Yulian Verdesh, 9. Rustam Ukumanov (2) 10. Andrey Rekechenskiy, 11. Miras Aubakirov (1), 12. Branko Pekovich (4), 13. Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Sergey Drozdov.
Referees: Doriel Terpenka (CAN), Balasz Szekely (HUN).
Fina Delegate: Manuel Ibern.
Notes - Fedorov (K) saved a penalty on Evezard (S) in the 2nd  period. Excluded with substitution Pilipenko (K) in the 4th  period. Extra man goals: South Africa 2/8 + 1 penalty, Kazakhstan 3/7.

Under South Africa in scoring for most of the time (1-0, 4-2, 5-4), Kazakhstan managed the decisive break in the 3rd  time when they went 7-5 with goals from Zhardan and Pekovich (2) and then reaches the 9-6 with goal by Ushakov and again Pekovich, the topscorer of the match with 4 goals. In the last period there were goals from Ukumanov, Aubakirov in extra player.


Paul Martin, coach of South Africa: "It's a beautiful performance by our team and before the half time we were very competitive. We have played in the right way. Tomorrow we'll play against Spain, it will be a very good experience. We have never play against them".

Branko Pekovich, Kazakhstan’s player: "We won and that's the most important thing. Tomorrow we'll play against Germany, it'll be tough, but we'll try to get a good result".

RSA-KAZ ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia


Game 18 (B) – Spain-Italy  9-8 (4-1, 2-2; 1-3, 2-2)

Spain: 1. Inaki Aguilar, 2. Alberto Munarriz (1), 3. Alejandro Busto, 4. Ricard Alarcon, 5. Guillermo Molina (3), 6. Marc Minguell (1), 7.Balasz Sziranyi, 8. Albert Espanol, 9. Roger Tahull (1), 10. Francisco Fernandez (1), 11. Blai Mallarach, 12. Gonzalo Echenique (2), 13. Daniel Lopez. Head Coach: Gabriel Hernandez.
Italy: 1. Stefano Tempesti©, 2. Francesco Di Fulvio (3), 3. Niccolò Gitto, 4. Pietro Figlioli (1P), 5. Alex Giorgetti, 6. Michael Bodegas, 7. Alessandro Velotto, 8. Alessandro Nora, 9. Christian Presciutti, 10. Stefano Luongo (2, 1P), 11. Matteo Aicardi (2), 12. Fabio Baraldi, 13. Marco Del Lungo. Head Coach. Alessandro Campagna.
Referees: Vojin Putnikovic (SRB), Georgios Stavridis (GRE).
Fina Delegate: Takeshi Inoue.
Notes – Three double exclusion in this game. Excluded with substitution Minguell (S) in the 4th period. Extra man goals: Spain 6/9, Italy 4/10+ 2 penalties.

It was a balanced game between two teams of similar strength. Spain was more brilliant and focused than in the previous two matches, not so Italy. The second and fourth quarter were tied with the identical score of 2-2. Italy won the 3rd quarter 3-1 while Spain won the 1st period 4-1.
The first period was crucial for the outcome of the match. Spain prevailed thanks to their scoring skill in superiority, the Spanish converted in goals 3 out of 4 extra man opportunities (75%), Italy 0 out of 3. In the 1st quarter Spain went out in the lead with two consecutive goals on extra player: the first with Molina, the second with Tahull.

Figlioli scored Italy’s first goal on a penalty but Spain increased the gap with two more goals, respectively with Fernandez, again in superiority, followed an action goal from Echenique.
The score at the end of the first leg was 4-1 for the Spanish side.

The 2nd  quarter was tied 2-2, courtesy of Molina and Luongo who scored 2 goals each. At 5:37 Luongo scored the first action goal for Italy from outside. At about half period Molina scored his second goal converting a penalty. Then Molina, undoubtedly the most incisive and decisive Spanish player, scored his 3rd goal on superiority. At 2 minutes to the end of the period, Luongo scored his second goal on a penalty.

Spain, again, was the first to score in the third fraction with an extra man goal from Munarriz at 6:29 . At 3:17 Italy managed to take advantage of an extra man opportunity, with  Aicardi, followed by an action goal from Di Fulvio two minutes later, dubbed by the same Di Fulvio at 18 seconds to the end of the period, this time on extra player. The score before going into the last quarter was 7-6 for Spain.
At 1.35 inside the last period Di Fulvio scored his third goal, his second in superiority, levelling the score at 7-7.

At half period Spain went up again following an action goal from Minguell (8-7).Then Echenique and Aicardi traded goals, for both it was the second goal in the match: (9-8, end of the game.


Guillermo Molina, Spain’s player: "The match was intense, we started well and we were clean in the shots. They are a great team, one of the best and it was hard to defend ourselves. We made big steps from the first match and we always want to get better".

ESP-ITA ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia