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© Máté Balogh/Bp2017

BUDAPEST MEN: GREECE, SERBIA, HUNGARY AND CROATIA TO SEMI-FINALS

Greece, Serbia and Hungary managed to win their quarterfinals relatively easily. The final match between Croatia and Italy, on the other hand, was a real thriller that was decided only in the last period of the match in favour of Croatia.

Source: FINA Budapest 2017


Schedule after quarterfinals, 27th July, Thursday:

For 11th place:
10:30 – Brazil-Kazakhstan

For 9th place:
12:00 – Spain-Japan

For 5-8th places:
13:30 – Montenegro-Russia
15:00 – Australia-Italy

Semi-finals:
20:30 – Greece-Hungary
22:00 – Serbia-Croatia

Quarterfinals play-by-play

1st quarterfinal

Montenegro-Greece 7-12 (0-1, 2-5, 1-4, 4-2)
Referees: Alexandrescu (ROU), Flahive (AUS)

Montenegro: Lazovic – Drasko Brguljan 1, Petkovic 1, Draskovic, Radovic 2, Misic 1, Cuckovic. Subs.: Scepanovic (gk), Banicevic, Darko Brguljan 1, Radovic, Ukropina, Murisic 1. Head coach: Vladimir Gojkovic
Greece: Flegkas – Genidounias 1, Delakas, Fountoulis 4, Kolomvos 1, Gounas 2, Vlachopoulos 1. Subs.: Dervisis 1, Kapotsis, Pontikeas, Argyropoulos 1, Mourikis 1. Head coach: Theodorus Vlachos

Montenegro got to the quarter finals directly by winning its group. Even point saving against Canada went easily for the team. The Greeks had a much more difficult task getting into the quarter final. This training has proved to be useful.

Greece beat Spain 8-7, went down against Serbia 11-6, and they successfully faced off Japan 14-4.

The Olympic bronze medallist national team started the quarter final better. Gounas made Greece lead the game by the middle of the quarter by scoring the only goal of the first part. Angelos Vlachopoulos increased their lead, soon followed by the tricky action of Georgios Dervisis, 0-3.

After the score of 4-1, Sasa Misic scored for Montenegro, but the Greeks have proved to be much better at shooting on target, they increased their lead to five goals. Aeskasandar Radovic successfully hit through the wall, being fuelled by anger (2-6), but the European Championship’s silver medallist couldn’t get any closer until the break.

The disappointment of the players of Montenegro may have intensified in the third quarter as after the score of 3-0, the Greeks’ lead grew up to the score of 9-2, mostly due to Ioannis Fountoulis’s incredible gameplay.

By the beginning of the fourth quarter, Montenegro faced the seven goal advance of Greece, something they couldn’t handle. The team didn’t succeed in turning the match around.

Greece got through to the semi-finals!

Vladimir Gojkovic, head coach (MNE):
„Congratulations for the Greeks, they played really well today. We only played well in the first quarter, in the second quarter our defence was weaker, we got many exclusions. We knew that Greece is the favourite, but we believed that we could defeat them and play in the semi-final. But after the first quarter they were obviously leading, mainly because of our weak defence.”

Drasko Brguljan (MNE):
„We played really bad. Maybe if we shoot the penalty, or if we lead in the beginning, it could have been different, but we missed out on many chances. But that's how it is, we are in progress as a team. I understand the young players, I don't blame them, his was the first competition for many of them. Greece was stronger, but us, older ones, should've played better.”

Milos Scepanovic (MNE):
„We started off well. Later, we had some chances we didn’t take advantage of, including the 5m penalty shot in the beginning. They afterwards scored in situations that were expected, and that made us slow down. We have a lot of new young players in the team, which is partially the cause of that.”

Theodorus Vlachos, head coach (GRE):
„We did a great game today. I am really proud because Montenegro is a significantly good team and we were really ahead of them. Our defence was really good and that helped us achieve this score.”

Evangelos Delakas (GRE):
„I think we were really concentrated, we were 100% ready and our coach trained us really well for this match. I can't say that we expected this result, but we really did our best and finally achieved this score.”

 

2nd quarterfinal

Serbia-Australia 15-5 (4-1, 4-2, 4-2, 3-0)
Referees: Naumov (RUS), Ohme (GER)

Serbia: B. Mitrovic – V. Rasovic 1, M. Cuk 2, D. Pijetlovic 2, Aleksic 1, Filipovic 3, Prlainovic 2. Subs.: G. Pijetlovic (kapus), Mandic, Randelovic 1, Ubovic, Jaksic 1, S. Mitrovic 2. Head coach: Dejan Savic
Australia: Hrysanthos – G. Ford, Kayes 1, Gilchrist 1, Younger 1, A. Ford, Hollis.
Subs.: Putt, Power 1, Edwards 1, Fannon, Brooks. Head coach: Elvis Fatovic

Without exaggeration, it would have been a world sensation if the Australian team would defeat the Olympic champion, world champion, European Champion and World League winner Serbian team, the potentially winner of the World Championships.

The Serbs have become a group leader and the Australians have suffered from the French for a comeback, after the Hungarian and Italian nationals have been defeated them easily. Of course the Brazilians were beaten for the eight, so they could face the title defender today.

The Serbs started well, 30 seconds were enough to get the first goal, by Milos Cuk, Filip Filipovic doubled the advantage, Jarrad Gilchrist could beautify not much later. At the beginning of the second quarter Dusko Pijetlovic's goal resulted a 5-1 Serbian lead, and it was encouraging for the Fatovic team to catch to 5-3 in the second quarter after a few minutes.

After that, Serbia has initiated the rockets so Stefan Mitrovic had three more goals, made the advantage to five goals before the big break.

The Serbs demonstrated in this match  - as usual - that the national team members were equally successful, at the end of the third quarter, when 12-5 were the result, and five players were on two goals. In the end, Filipovic was the only player made 3 points, with the Serbs having won 10 in total for the quarter finals.

Gojko Pijetlovic (SRB):
„We had a really good, solid defence, so I hope we will continue like this. The hardest match so far in the tournament is ahead of us now, we have to prepare mentally and tactically. Now we will see who will be our opponent, but we don't think about who might be an easier rival, we prepare match by match.”

Branislav Mitrovic (SRB):
„We had three days of rest, that's why we started a little bit bad. We had to get back to the rhythm, but then everything was in place again. So far, we haven't played against a really strong opponent, I'm sure in the semi-final we will have a lot more difficult match.”

Elvis Fatovic, head coach (AUS):
„We know that Serbia has a much better team, so it was definitely a deserved win. I feel like we started off too insecure, though, and one of the crucial factors was also our lack of players- 9 of them, to be exact. It is still a huge accomplishment to be in the top 8, but we will still keep on going, and give our best in the next match.”

Andrew Ford (AUS):
„Obviously the final result disappoints us.  We are a really young team but we learned a lot from this World Championship. Our rival, Serbia, had better results and probably fought better than us. The quarter final provided us with a lot of experience. I hope we’ll be able to make use of it.”

 

3rd quarterfinal

Hungary-Russia 14-5  (5-0, 3-1, 3-3, 3-1)
7300 spectators, Referees: Severo (Italian), Buch (Spanish)

Hungary:
 V.Nagy - Vámos 2, Hosnyánszky 4, Gór-Nagy, Dénes Varga 4, Erdélyi, Hárai 1. Replacement: Turkish, Manhercz 3, Zalánki, Á.Decker, Mezei. Head Coach: Tamás Märcz
Russia: Statsenko - Vasilyev, Merkulov, Nagaev 1, Kholod, Lisunov 1, Shepelev. Replacement: Korneev (goalkeeper), Lazarev, Dereviankin 1, Bugaychuk 2, Ashaev, Suchkov. Head Coach: Sergey Evstigneev