Spain, Croatia, Italy, Hungary Win, Advance to Men’s WP Semifinals at Worlds

World Aquatics Championships – Men’s Water Polo

Spain, Croatia, Hungary and Italy all won close battles in the quarterfinals to stay in the medal hunt at World Championships. 

Meanwhile, the United States and Montenegro earned the right to play for ninth place with Tuesday wins, while Brazil claimed 13th place and Korea ended its tournament appearance with its first victory to grab 15th place over New Zealand.

Tuesday’s Top Scorers

4 Matthew Lewis, New Zealand vs. Korea, 7/23
4 Ben Hallock, USA vs. South Africa, 7/23
4 Alex Bowen, USA vs. South Africa, 7/23
4 Max Irving, USA vs. South Africa, 7/23
4 Strahinja Rasovic, Serbia vs. Spain, 7/23
3 Louis Clark, New Zealand vs. Korea, 7/23
3 Yeonggyun Gwon, Korea vs. New Zealand, 7/23
3 Rafael Real, Brazil vs. Kazakhstan, 7/23
3 Aleksandar Ivovic, Montenegro vs. Japan, 7/23
3 Nikola Murisic, Montenegro vs. Japan, 7/23
3 Maro Jokovic, Croatia vs. Germany, 7/23
3 Luuk Gielen, Germany vs. Croatia, 7/23
3 Gergo Zalanki, Hungary vs. Australia, 7/23
3 Marton Vamos, Hungary vs. Australia, 7/23

Tuesday Results

July 23. Matchup Result
Quarterfinals Serbia vs. Spain Spain 12-9
Quarterfinals Croatia vs. Germany Croatia 10-8
Quarterfinals Hungary vs. Australia Hungary 10-9
Quarterfinals Italy vs. Greece Italy 7-6
9th through 12th Classification Montenegro vs. Japan Montenegro 14-7
9th through 12th Classification USA vs. South Africa USA 20-3
13th Place Kazakhstan vs. Brazil Brazil 9-8
15th Place Korea vs. New Zealand Korea 17-16

Tuesday Recaps


Spain, Croatia, Hungary and Italy moved on to the semifinals with slim victories on Tuesday. Spain will play Croatia on Thursday, while Hungary will take on Italy for a spot in the championship match.

Spain built a 7-3 halftime lead and held on for a 12-9 victory over Serbia.

The Spaniards led 6-1 after two goal effort by Roger Tahull I Compte and Alberto Munarriz Egana, but Serbia scored two of the final three goals in the first half to make it 7-3.

Serbia was within three three times, last at 10-7, but could not break through. Each team put in two goals in the final eight minutes, including the final Serbian score by Nikola Dedovic, which came with just 16 seconds to play.

Munarriz Egana, Tahull I Compte and Francisco Fernandez Miranda each scored two goals among nine Spanish scorers. Spain put in 12 of 31 shots, including 3 of 9 extra-man tries and one penalty.

Strahinja Rasovic led all scorers with four goals for Serbia as the team hit 9 of 27 shots, including 6 of 13 extra-man opportunities.

After trailing by as many as four (7-3), Germany rallied to tie the score at 7, before being outscored 3-1 over the final 7:25 to fall 10-8 to Croatia.

Croatia snapped a 3-3 tie with a four-goal onslaught in the late second and early third quarter, going up 7-3 on a Maro Jokovic penalty with 5:06 to play in the third stanza. Germany answered with four goals of its own, two on extra-man goals by Luuk Gielen, to level the score at 7.

Jokovic put in two action shots to give Croatia a 9-7 advantage with 6:31 to play. Julian Real had Germany within one (9-8 with 5:06 left), before Josip Vrlic issued the final blow at the 3:31 mark.

Jokovic turned in a hat trick for Croatia, while Ante Vukicevic and Andro Buslje each scored twice. Croatia made 10 of 31 shots, including 4 of 7 extra-man tries and both of its penalties.

Gielen put in three goals for Germany, while Real added two. The Germans scored on 8 of 26 shots, including 2 of 9 extra-man tries and their lone penalty.

Hungary trailed 6-5 at the half, but managed a 3-1 advantage in the third quarter to grab the lead in a 10-9 decision over Australia.

Australia trailed 4-3 in the second quarter, before scoring three goals in a row, two center shots from Lachlan Edwards and an extra-man goal by Aidan Roach, to go up 6-4. Marton Vamos ended the first half with an extra-man goal for Hungary to cut it to 6-5.

Gergo Zalanki put in an action shot 12 seconds into the third quarter to knot the score at 6. An extra-man shot by Joe Kayes put Australia back on top momentarily, but Denes Varga evened the score at 7 with an action shot 18 seconds later (3:53). Tamas Sedlmayer buried an extra-man try (3:08, 3rd) and Zalanki added one with 6:46 left in the game to put Hungary up 9-7. Roach and Kayes answered for the Aussies to make it 9-all.

Vamos put in a 6-meter direct shot in a free throw situation with four seconds to play, giving Hungary the game winner at 10-9. Aaron Younger took one final shot for the Aussies with one second left, but it was blocked to clinch the win.

Zalanki and Vamos each registered three goals for Hungary as the team hit 10 of 33 shots, including 4 of 14 extra-man tries and its lone penalty.

Kayes, Edwards and Nathan Power each netted two goals for lead Australia, which made 9 of 33 shots, including 6 of 14 extra-man tries.

Italy scored the lone goal of the fourth quarter to snap a 6-all tie and punch its ticket to the semifinals with a 7-6 victory over Greece.

Italy led 5-3 early in the third quarter, only to see Greece rally with three goals to go up 6-5 with 52 seconds left in the stanza. Extra-man shots by Alexandros Gounas and Christodoulos Kolomvos and a penalty by Konstantinos Genidounias put Greece on top, but Pietro Figlioli answered with an extra-man goal for Italy with 19 seconds to go in the third to even the score at 6.

Francesco DiFulvio made the lone goal of the fourth quarter, a 6-meter direct shot in a free throw situation with 6:50 to play to close out the scoring. The teams combined for 12 other shots in the final stanza, but all were left wanting. Italy missed three shots, had two saved and hit the post twice. Greece had two shots blocked, two saved and missed the fifth.

DiFulvio and Stefano Luongo each put in two goals for Italy, while made 7 of 29 shots, including 3 of 10 extra-man tries.

Genidounias and Gounas each scored twice for Greece, which hit 6 of 29 shots, including 5 of 12 extra-man tries and its lone penalty.

9th through 12th Place Classification

Montenegro and the United States will meet for ninth place on Thursday after each won convincingly in classification play on Tuesday.

Montenegro scored three of the first four goals of the game against Japan and led by four at the half (7-3). Japan put in the first two goals of the second half to cut the margin to two (7-5), but the victors  outscored their foes 7-2 from there to close out the win.

Japan ended a 5-0 run for Montenegro with a final goal by Atsushi Arai with 3:13 to play.

Alexandar Ivovic and Nikola Murisic scored three goals apiece for Montenegro, while six other players also added at least one goal. Montenegro made 14 of 29 shots, including 4 of 7 extra-man tries, but missed its lone penalty.

Arai and Yusuke Inaba each scored twice for Japan. The Japanese made 7 of 29 shots, including both of their penalties, but were 0 for 6 in extra-man tries.

The USA cruised past South Africa, scoring the first 12 goals of the game and never letting up in a 20-3 victory.

Ben Hallock scored four goals as the Americans went up 12-0. Alex Bowen also had four goals in the first half, giving the USA a 13-1 lead at the break.

South Africa scored twice in the third quarter, on an action shot by Nicholas Rodda (6:02) and a penalty by Dylan Cronje (1:15) to make it 18-3. The Americans finished the game with extra-man goals by Max Irving (4:50) and Hannes Daube (1:23).

Hallock, Bowen and Irving each scored four goals for the United States, which saw nine players find the back of the net. The USA scored on 20 of its 34 shots, including 9 of 15 extra-man tries and both of its penalties.

Rodda, Cronje and Mark Spencer each scored once for South Africa, which made 3 of 31 shots, including 1 of 2 penalties and 0 of 3 extra-man tries.

13th Place

The lead changed hands three times in the first half, but it was a 2-1 advantage in the third quarter that gave Brazil a lead it would not relinquish in the 9-8 victory over Kazakhstan.

With the score tied at 5 at the half, Rafael Real and Roberto Freitas each put in action shots to give the Brazilians a 7-6 edge with eight minutes to play.

A penalty by Gustavo Guimaraes just 47 seconds into the final period made it 8-6. Kazakhstan responded with an extra-man goal by Mikhail Ruday (6:47) and another by Yevgeniy Medvedev (1:59) to tie it up at 8. Real delivered the game winner on a 6-meter direct shot in a free throw situation with 1:32 to play.

Rafael Rael led all scorers with a hat trick for Brazil, while Pedro Real and Guimaraes each scored twice. Brazil hit 9 of 28 shots, including 2 of 6 extra-man tries and both of its penalties.

Medvedev, Ruday and Maxim Zhardan each scored twice to lead Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs scored on 8 of 23 shots, including 5 of 5 extra-man tries, but missed their lone penalty try.

15th Place

Korea earned its first victory of the tournament, besting New Zealand 17-16, edging the Kiwis 5-4 in a penalty shootout.

Neither team led by more than one goal, until New Zealand netted a 6-meter direct shot from Matthew Lewis with 4:48 to go in regulation, giving the Kiwis 11-9 advantage. The goal capped a 4-1 run for New Zealand, which trailed 8-7 with 3:46 to play in the third quarter. Lewis also accounted for two other goals in the rally, a counter attack and an action shot.

Korea answered with an extra-man goal by Yeonggyun Gwon (4:22) and a counter attack by Seonggyu Lee (3:19) to tie it up at 11. Sean Newcombe gave New Zealand the 12-11 edge with 1:30 to play, but Gwon put in an action shot with 32 seconds left to send the game to a shootout.

New Zealand had it second shot, taken by Nicholas Stankovich, saved, while Lee made his attempt giving the Koreans the advantage. Each team made its remaining three attempts, sealing the 5-4 Korean win and final 17-16 score.

Gwon scored three times to lead Korea, while Seonggyu Lee, Daeyong Gwon and Seonuk Lee each scored twice. Korea hit 12 of 27 shots in regulation, including 3 of 8 extra-player goals and one penalty.

Lewis led New Zealand with four goals, while Louis Clark added a hat trick. The Kiwis made 12 of 33 shots in regulation, including 5 of 7 extra-man tries.


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4 years ago

Semi finals will be even more tense as usual since finalists qualify for Tokio.