© Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee


USA will play Croatia in the quarter-finals of the FINA Junior Men’s World Championships on Friday. John Hooper claimed four of the goals — three in the final quarter — as USA swept aside Canada 14-4 to earn the encounter with Group B winner Croatia, who had a rest day. 

Source: Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

The second team to the quarters was Spain with a tsunami of goals against China, finishing 27-5, all field players scoring for Spain. The best were Alex de la Fuente and centre forward Roger Tahull, who scored the last four goals inside three minutes.

Italy gained the better of Russia 10-7 after winning the second period 3-0 and pulling away in the second half thanks to all-round teamwork and despite a red card against Giacomo Cannella midway through the fourth.

The last quarter-finalist was Montenegro, downing Australia 16-5 with hard-pressing water polo in the early stages to race out to a 4-0 lead and on to victory.

In the round 13-20, Iran collected its first win with a 14-9 margin over South Africa, leading 6-0 at halftime. Jason Evazard top-scored with four goals as South Africa awoke and won the second half 9-8. Netherlands sent off New Zealand 14-4 in a match of red cards and multiple exclusions. Egypt controlled Puerto Rico for a 10-6 win in an engrossing match where the smaller Puerto Ricans defended brilliantly against heavier odds. Japan closed the group with a handsome 23-8 defeat of Argentina, Kiyomu Date netting five from five attempts.

In Friday's classification semifinals for 13-16, Japan will play Egypt and Iran will clash with Netherlands. In the classification 17-20 semifinals, South Africa plays New Zealand and Puerto Rico faces Argentina.

Day 7 programme:
Classification 17-20 Semifinal
Match 49. 08:00, RSA-NZL
Classification 13-16 Semifinal
Match 50, 09:20, IRI-NED
Classification 17-20 Semifinal
Match 51, 10:40, PUR-ARG
Classification 13-16 Semifinal
Match 52. 12:00, EGY-JPN
Classification 9-12 Semifinals
Match 53, 13:20, CAN-CHN
Match 54. 14:40, RUS-AUS
Classification 1-8 Quarter-finals
Match 55. 16:40, GRE-ESP
Match 57. 18:00, SRB-ITA
Match 56. 19:20, CRO-USA
Match 58. 20:40, HUN-MNE


Quarters: 4-0, 2-0, 3-4, 5-5
Referees: Daniel Vazquez (MEX), Scott Voltz (USA).
Penalties: RSA: 1/1.
Extra Man: IRI: 5/10. RSA: 1/11.

IRAN:  Shayan Ghasemi, Amir Parhoon, Alireza Pourang (1), Arshia Almasi (3), Mehdi Yazdankhan (3), Hosein Khaledi (1), Amir Rahbar, Sajad Saviz (1), Amir Heidari (2), Amin Ghavidel, Bardia Peiravani (3), Mehdi Barzegari, Arash Pourzargar. Head Coach: Vahid Rezaei.

SOUTH AFRICA: Keegan Clark, Michael Stewart (1), Miguel Morais, Cameron Laurenson, David Rom, Sven Van Zyl (2), Jason Evazard (4), Mika’eel Essa, Ethan Coryndon, Michael Brakspear (1), Liam Neil (1), Isma’eel Essa, Themba Mthembu. Head Coach: Jason Selino.

Iran made the most of South Africa’s indecisiveness in the first half to turn a 6-0 lead into a victory. South finally woke up and won the second half 9-8 in a match where it was expected to be a one-goal difference either way. South Africa had chances to shoot, but elected to hold on to the ball for long periods or pass off, even having to waste the ball. The coach called for press and the players sloughed. It was a different match in the third and fourth periods where several goals from the deep right lifted the team into believing it could win. For Iran, it was first win and well deserved, putting so much pressure on the Africans, disrupting their attacks. With Mehdi Yazdankhan lifting his tournament tally to 12 with three goals, Iran was inspired and produced its best water polo in Belgrade. Arshia Almasi scored his first three goals for the championship. South African Jason Evazard netted four goals to go to nine in five matches. One look at the extra-man count will tell you why Iran won — five from 10 and one from 11.

Quarters: 2-2, 5-0, 4-2, 3-0
Referees: Josko Prancic (CRO), Ammar Saleh (EGY).
Penalties: NED: 1/1. NZL: 1/1.
Extra Man: NED: 2/14. NZL: 0/10.

NETHERLANDS: Frank Aarts, Bilal Gbadamassi (2), Mika Smelt (3), Sam van den Burg (1), Tarik Scherrenburg, Niels Hofmeijer (1), Tim De Mey (2), Tom Geestman (2), Bram van den Bersselaar (1), Tom de Weerd (1), Guus Wolswinkel, Stan van Ruiten, Thijs Stroomberg. Head Coach: Jacob Spijker.

NEW ZEALAND: Joshua De Reeper, Billy Simpson, Matija Jancic. Daniel Cameron, Hamish Booker (1), Liam Paterson (1), James Catlin, Rowan Brown, Adam Milne, Mark Morris (2), Brandon Matthews, Michael Slessor-White, Eric Munro. Head Coach: Goran Sablic.

Netherlands was by far the better team and won easily against New Zealand, who tired too early. Netherlands was sharper, more agile, harder shooting and more aggressive, especially with shots close to goal. New Zealand failed to pressure the shooters, was slow to the loose ball and in the final quarter, botched five consecutive attacks with poor passing. Some wayward shooting at least showed some zest. The Dutch gained their second win and showed that they are capable of going high up in the 13-20 classifications. Their balance around the pool and the multitude of scorers shows there is no reliance on a single player and they look much better that the first few days. The match had its upsets with the Dutch giving up a penalty when the re-entry was incorrect on exclusion. At the other end the Kiwis put eight players in the pool at one stage, giving up a penalty (Adam Milne) when he entered before the other player had reached the corner, earning a red card. Late in the match another red card was given, against Netherlands’ star player Guus Wolswinkel, for aggressive play. Neither side mastered the extra-man attack and the Dutch could not get past the goalkeepers on penalty. Joshua De Reeper saved two and Eric Munro one. Frank Aarts made seven saves at the other end. The Dutch were better in turnovers and steals and had five less exclusions and took 10 more shots at goal. 

Quarters: 2-1, 1-3, 1-2, 2-4
Referees: Michael Baty (RSA), John Waldow (NZL).
Penalties: Nil.
Extra Man: PUR: 2/12. EGY: 4/8.

PUERTO RICO: Jorge Torres, Alec Martir (1), Angel Andino, Guillermo Ocasio, Misael Andino, Raymond Rodriguez, Diego Zayas (1), Gabriel Robles, Angel Rosado, Fabio Mujica (1), Jose Loubriel (2), Jafet Hernandez (1), Roberto Gordills. Head Coach: Jean Pierre Mujica.

EGYPT: Marwan Reda Hafez, Abdallah Abdelgawad (1), Marwan Hafez Yehia (1), Ahmed Elsapagh (2), Ezzeldin Sayed Sheweta, Karim Nabil (1), Seifeldeen Hesham (3), Mohamed Abubakr Eliwa, Ayman Badr, Youssef Saadeldin, Moustafa Essmat (2), Mohamed Hosny, Marwan Yehia. Head Coach: Ashraf Mahmoud.

Both teams were willing to play water polo from the start and while Egypt finished on top, Puerto Rico was heavily involved in defence and took some chances up front. Egypt’s fourth goal, from Diego Zayas, was particularly strong from the top and indicative of this team’s potential in the following days. There were few major fouls as players concentrated on the ball and not the man. The second half also went the way of the Egyptians but not without a fight. Puerto Rico was solid on defence while on attack it lacked size and power with outside shooting. Egypt’s Abdallah Abdelgawad was inspiring with his goal for 6-3 early in the third quarter, spinning around his opponent and unleashing a rifle shot to the bottom right. Seifeldeen Hesham, who scored the 4-2 goal in the second quarter, repeated the effort at the start of the third, both shots coming like missiles from outside. To Puerto Rico’s credit, the four-goal difference was a triumph as the bigger Egyptians made use of their size and strength. Remarkably Egypt stole 16 balls and Puerto Rico 14. Puerto Rico gained more exclusions, however, could not take advantage. Seifeldeen Hesham’s three goals lifted him to 11 for the tournament.

Quarters: 5-0, 5-2, 5-3, 8-3
Referees: Martin Murray (CAN), Amir Sakabakhsh (IRI).
Penalties: ARG: 1/1.
Extra Man: JPN: 4/7. ARG: 1/6.

JAPAN: Yusuke Ogura, Kenta Kobayashi (1), Tomoya Ichimura (3), Haruki Koppu (2), Kiyomu Date (5), Toi Suzuki (4), Ryosuke Aizawa (2), Shogo Kageta (1), Koki Maita (1), Takanori Maeno (1), Takeru Ogawa, Yusuke Inaba (3), Towa Mishimura. Head Coach: Makihiro Motomiya.

ARGENTINA: Facundo Camps, Facundo Gonzalez, Tomas Pannitto (1), Tomas Alfonso Polo, Felipe Alfonso, Franco Chinellato, Guido Martino (2), Guido Poggi (1), Carlos Camnasio (3), Nicolas Provenzano, Augusto Antunes Balbi, Tadeo Petrocelli (1), Octavio Salas. Head Coach: Gabriel Ramirez.

Japan eased into the semifinal for 13-16 positions as expected with a large win over Argentina, built on a 9-0 lead. It took until 2:04 left in the half for Guido Martino to score from about seven metres and then Carlos Camnasio converted from the penalty line for 10-2 at the long break. Five of the first-half Japanese goals came on counter and Kiyomu Date had three goals in the first four. By the end of the match he had five goals from five attempts for 16 in . Those counters appeared easy for the Japanese who did not need to hit top gear while utilising their superior shooting skills. Argentina came back in the second half and grab goals it should have had in the bag earlier. They were coming from the field and not on extra-man attack, something Japan was good at scoring. The style of play Japan brings to the game is quick and this upsets many teams. Scoring eight of its 12 counter-attack chances, was telling. Stealing the ball 20 times compared to Argentina’s seven was another killer. Toi Suzuki, with four goals, goes to the top of the goal-scoring list with 17.

Quarters: 4-1, 3-1, 3-0, 4-2
Referees: Sinisa Matijasevic (MNE), Liang Zhang (CHN).
Penalties: USA: 1/1.
Extra Man: USA: 4/11. CAN: 3/6.

USA: Alexander Wolf, Hannes Daube (2), Tyler Abramson (2), Ethan Wojciechowski, Quinten Osborne (2), Dylan Woodhead (1), Nicholas Bisconti, Jacob Ehrhardt, Jacob Cavano (1), Ashworth Molthen (2), Beck Jurasius, Johnathan Hooper (4), Samuel Murphy. Head Coach: Gavin Arroyo.

CANADA: Samuel Reihar, Gareth Jones, Alexis Reiher (1), Felix Poliseno, Aleksa Gardijan (1), Benjamin, Lemay-Lavoie, Bogdan Djerkovic, Mark Spooner (1), Jeremie Blanchard, Aria Soleimanipak, Jeremie Cote (1), Reuel D’Souza, Aleksa Stanic. Head Coach: Nikola Maric.

Johnathan Hooper helped fire United States of America to a 14-4 win over North American neighbour Canada to burst into the quarter-finals. Canada struggled against the slicker USA, trailing in every quarter. Canada gave up more major fouls but was equal to the task and defended well on man down. It was the turnovers that really hurt, USA forcing 17 mistakes while only giving up nine. Hooper was his usual best and four goals pushed him to 16 for the championship. Two came on counter and he scored three at the tail end when Canada was wilting. While Hooper had four, six other USA players made the scoresheet, showing the all-round capability of the side.

Quarters: 6-0, 5-4, 7-1, 9-0
Referees: Ivan Rakovic (SRB), Tamas Kovacs-Csatlos (HUN).
Penalties: ESP: 1/2.
Extra Man: ESP: 1/5. CHN: 1/7.

SPAIN: Miguel Linares, Pablo Gomez (1), Alvaro Granados (3), Nikolas Paul (3), David Carrasco (2), Fran Valera (3), Borja Fenoy (2), Oriol Rodriguez (2), Roger Tahull (4), Alejandro Bustos (1), Guillem Garcia (2), Alex De La Fuente (4), Alfonso Lopez-Saez. Head Coach: Svilen Piraklov.

CHINA: JunJing Wang, BeiYu Wang (1), JinPeng Zhang, YuTian Wang, XingMeng He, RongKun Lie (1), Yi Lu, YingYi Gao (1), XuLiang Zhang, DingSong Shen (1), Chi Liao, Boren Shi, LinFeng Li. Head Coach: Jie Shen.

Spain is one of the favourites for the championship so China proved nothing more than a road bump en route to a quarterfinal meeting with Greece. Spain raced away like a Formula 1 team in qualifying and had eight goals in the pit lane before China crossed the start line. Once China took a few corners, goals started to come and the halftime break had the score at a more respectable 11-4. China was back on the track. Spain seemed to have a more high-octane approach to the match and managed to sweep through the Chinese chicanes with deft play and rocket shots from outside. The all-important third quarter had Spain firmly in the driver’s seat, almost shutting out China. As the goals mounted, China began to have engine trouble, turning the ball over five times in four minutes in the final quarter.  In fact, China’s first shot at goal — unsuccessful — came six minutes into the final period. By now, all Spanish field players had scored with Alex de la Fuente and Roger Tahull the best with four each. Tahull left his run late, scoring the last four of the match in the last 2:23. Rongkun Lie scored twice for China and BeiYi Wang was working hard in the pits, gaining just the one goal. YingYi Gao, who scored China’s first goal, had to flick the ball into goal from centre forward while heavily marked. It did jumpstart China’s race. It will now go to the repecharge segment, the semifinals for positions 9-12.