© Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee


Greece will play Serbia and Croatia will face Hungary in the semifinals. Greece came from two down to defeat Spain 8-7 in the first quarter-final and was never in front until 3:22 in the final quarter, resisted Spain levelling at 7-7 and scored the winner inside the final minute. Serbia sent off Italy 17-9, thanks to four goals from Djorde Vucinic. In the third quarterfinal, Croatia held off United States of America 5-4, always having the edge, except when USA levelled at 3-3. Hungary will be Croatia’s opponent after it defeated Montenegro 12-8 with a flashy 6-1 second quarter when coming from behind. Kristian Manhercz was the undoubted star with five first-half goals plus another late in the match, making him the highest scorer in Belgrade with a total of 22.

Source: Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

Canada took out the first classification 9-12 semifinal, getting the better of China 17-4. Aria Soleimanipak top-scored with five goals. Russia will be Canada's opponent after defeating Australia 11-8 in an engrossing match, which was tied 7-7 heading into the final quarter. A last-second penalty goal to Konstantin Kharkov gave him four goals and 20 for the championship.

In the classification 13-16 semifinals, Netherlands downed Iran 14-5 with Sam van der Burg leading the way with five goals. Facing Netherlands on Saturday for 13th will be Japan, a 19-11 victor over Egypt. Toi Suzuki was one of four players to score four goals, lifting his Belgrade tally to 21.

In the semifinal round for places 17-20, New Zealand beat South Africa 6-5 with two goals in the final two minutes after the South African goalkeeper left the water with a medical condition. Argentina screamed in six unanswered goals in the third period to set up victory over Puerto Rico 7-5 in the other semfiinal. Three goals from Puerto Rico in the final period were not enough.

Today's match schedule:

Match 49. 08:00, SOUTH AFRICA 5 NEW ZEALAND 6
Classification 17-20 Semifinal
Match 50, 09:20, IRAN 5 NETHERLANDS 14
Classification 13-16 Semifinal
Match 51, 10:40, PUERTO RICO 5 ARGENTINA 7
Classification 17-20 Semifinal
Match 52. 12:00, EGYPT 11 JAPAN 19
Classification 13-16 Semifinal
Match 53, 13:20, CANADA 17 CHINA 4
Classification 9-12 Semifinal
Match 54. 14:40, RUSSIA 11 AUSTRALIA 8
Classification 9-12 Semifinal
Match 55. 16:40, GREECE 8 SPAIN 7
Classification 1-8 Quarter-final
Match 57. 18:00, SERBIA 17 ITALY 9
Classification 1-8 Quarter-final
Classification 1-8 Quarter-final
Match 58. 20:40, HUNGARY 12 MONTENEGRO 8
Classification 1-8 Quarter-final

Day 8 programme:
Match 59. 08:00, RSA-PUR
Classification 19-20
Match 60, 09:20, NZL-ARG
Classification 17-18
Match 61, 10:40, IRI-EGY
Classification 15-16
Match 62. 12:00, NED-JPN
Classification 13-14
Match 63, 13:20, CHN-AUS
Classification 11-12
Match 64. 14:40, CAN-RUS
Classification 9-10
Match 65. 16:40, ESP-ITA
Classification 5-8 Semifinal
Match 66. 18:00, USA-MNE
Classification 5-8 Semifinal
Match 68. 19:20, CRO-HUN
Classification 1-4 Semifinal
Match 67. 20:40, GRE-SRB
Classification 1-4 Semifinal



Classification 17-20 Semifinal
Quarters: 0-1, 1-1, 1-1, 3-3
Referees: Sinisa Matijasevic (MNE), Kazuzo Moribayashi (JPN).
Penalties: Nil.
Extra Man: RSA: 1/11. AUS: 3/9.

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

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

What a difference a goalkeeper can make to a match! Themba Mthembu, South Africa’s second goalkeeper form the FINA World Championships in Budapest, had a brilliant match before a medical condition overtook him inside the final two minutes of this critical match. He had made an incredible 13 saves and one official declared him the best goalkeeper in Belgrade. Soon after making his 13th save at 1:57 of the fourth period and his team 5-4 ahead, he left the field in obvious discomfort and was replaced by Keegan Clark. South Africa then turned the ball over and Adam Milne struck from the deep right for 5-5 at 1:07, severely testing the not-warmed-up Clark. Jason Evezard had a shot blocked on extra and was then ejected, gifting New Zealand a timeout and a chance to win the match. This New Zealand did when Rowan Brown gained his second goal on extra at 0:21. South Africa turned over the ball and New Zealand held on for victory. New Zealand led 2-0 and 3-1 before South Africa drew level at three and four and took the lead at 3:11 in the fourth period. New Zealand now goes to the play-off for 17th and South Africa to the 19th classification.


Classification 13-16 Semifinal
Quarters: 2-4, 1-5, 2-2, 0-3
Referees: Ivan Rakovic (SRB), Martin Murray (CAN).
Penalties: NED: 1/3.
Extra Man: IRI: 1/9. NED: 3/8.

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


Frank Aarts, Bilal Gbadamassi (1), Mika Smelt (1), Sam van den Burg (5), Tarik Scherrenburg (1), Niels Hofmeijer, (2) Tim De Mey, Tom Geestman (1), Bram van den Bersselaar, Tom de Weerd (1), Guus Wolswinkel (2), Stan van Ruiten, Thijs Stroomberg. Head Coach: Jacob Spijker.

Netherlands eased into the classification for 13th with a solid, spectator-inspired performance against Iran. The Dutch opened up a 3-0 lead and took it to 4-1 before Iran made the margin two. With two extra-man goals, one from action and the fourth on penalty, Netherlands was 8-2 up late in the second quarter. Goals were traded and the halftime score was 9-3. Iran fought to draw the third period and took five shots in the fourth, only to miss or be blocked. Netherlands has played up and down this tournament and a shot at 13th — and top spot in the lower part of the competition — will be some consolation. Iran could not conjure up the same enthusiasm and penetration of Thursday’s 14-9 win over South Africa.


Classification 17-20 Semifinal
Quarters: 1-0, 1-1, 0-6, 3-0
Referees: Liang Zhang (CHN), Daniel Vazquez (MEX).
Penalties: PUR: 1/2.
Extra Man: PUR: 2/10. ARG: 1/10.

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

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

Allowing a team to fire in six goals in any quarter is near fatal, let alone in the all-important third period. Puerto Rico had a 2-1 lead midway through the second quarter and maintained it until halftime. With things looking good for a first victory, Puerto Rico slipped into sleep mode and watched as Argentina scored on the first attack and then in the last four minutes of the period, rattle in five more for an unbeatable 7-2 lead. Despite three unanswered goals in the fourth, Puerto Rico could not bridge the gap and will suffer the ignominy of playing for 19th place on Saturday. Good play was undone by poor play in one quarter the team will never forget. For Argentina, it is the second victory in Belgrade, along with a one-goal loss. Puerto Rico had a one-goal loss to  Iran, its previous best.


Classification 13-16 Semifinal

Quarters: 2-5, 2-3, 3-7, 4-4
Referees: German Moller (ARG), Scott Voltz (USA).
Penalties: EGY: 2/2.
Extra Man: EGY: 1/6. JPN: 3/6.

EGYPT: Marwan Reda Hafez, Abdallah Abdelgawad, Marwan Hafez Yehia, Ahmed Elsapagh (1), Ezzeldin Sayed Sheweta, Karim Nabil (3), Seifeldeen Hesham (4), Mohamed Abubakr Eliwa (1), Ayman Badr, Youssef Saadeldin (1), Moustafa Essmat, Mohamed Hosny, Marwan Yehia. Head Coach: Ashraf Mahmoud.

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

Japan shifted into the play-off for 13th with Netherlands, as expected, in what was a high-scoring and low-fouling match. With superior counter-attack — Japan scored eight from nine and Egypt two from two — Japan proved the master. Both teams pressured each other into mistakes and the steal count was high. Japan’s success comes from a better shooting rate, taking 10 more for a better percentage. Three Japanese and one Egyptian scored four goals each with Toi Suzuki moving to 21 for a championship best, three clear of team-mate Kiyomu Date, who scored two today. Seifeldeen Hesham’s four lifts him to a team best of 15. Egypt will now face Iran for 15th classification.


Classification 9-12 Semifinal
Quarters: 6-2, 4-0, 4-1, 3-1
Referees: Amir Sakabakhsh (IRI), Konstantinos Kyranis (GRE).
Penalties: CAN: 1/1. CHN: 1/1.
Extra Man: CAN: 6/8. CHN: 1/6

CANADA: Samuel Reihar, Gareth Jones (2), Alexis Reiher (1), Felix Poliseno (1), Aleksa Gardijan (2), Benjamin Lemay-Lavoie (1), Bogdan Djerkovic (1), Mark Spooner, Jeremie Blanchard (1), Aria Soleimanipak (5), Jeremie Cote (1), Reuel D’Souza (2), Aleksa Stanic. Head Coach: Nikola Maric.

CHINA: JunJing Wang, BeiYu Wang (1), JinPeng Zhang, YuTian Wang, XingMeng He (1), RongKun Lie, Yi Lu, YingYi Gao (2), XuLiang Zhang, DingSong Shen, Chi Liao, Boren Shi, LinFeng Li. Head Coach: Jie Shen.

Canada bolted into the play-off for ninth place with a withering opening half by turning the blade in the second half. It was a dominant performance from a team that was so beaten by United States of America on Thursday. Canada wanted to make sure its showing was a message to the winner of the next match ahead of Saturday’s decider. Shooting earlier on extra-man attack brought up a 75 percent conversion rate and the 35 scoring attempts was far better than China’s 21. Canada went 3-0 ahead early in the first quarter and the 6-2 lead at the break was turned into 10-2 midway through the second. From then on it was a canter. Aria Soleimanipak fired in five goals to double his total, showing his class after a great showing in Budapest at the recent FINA World Championships. Ten Canadians made the scoresheet as China looked out of sorts. YingYi Gao was the best with a pair, having scored in the last five matches. Canada will face Russia for ninth and China will encounter Australia for 11th position.