© Russel McKinnon 10 Sep Greece-Serbia and Hungary-Italy semifinals By: Tim Hartog National Teams, Juniors Almaty, September 10.— Greece will play Serbia and Hungary will face Italy in Friday’s competition following day-seven action of the FINA Junior Men’s World Water Polo Championships. Greece won a spiteful and controversy-ridden quarterfinal clash with Croatia in which the red card was more dominant than anything else. Croatia scuttled its chances by having three leading players and the coach sidelined early on and more mayhem prevailed in the final quarter as the match descended into a farce. Greece won the match 13-12, but the result was not declared until an hour later. See full report for details. Hungary beat Montenegro 15-12 in the second quarterfinal and Serbia downed Spain 15-11. In the final match of the evening on a long day of action and controversy, Italy defeated Australia 20-9. In the round of 9-12 semifinals, Kazakhstan beat Mexico 18-11 and Egypt toppled Netherlands in another controversy-filled encounter. The first two matches of the day were for the round of 13-18 semifinals in which Japan smashed Uzbekistan 20-6 and Canada tipped out China 14-13. Friday’s schedule: Final 17-18 60. 10:00 RSA v IRI Final 15-16 61. 11:20 UZB v CHN Final 13-14 62. 12:40 JPN v CAN Final 11-12 63. 14:00 MEX v NED Final 9-10 64. 15:40 KAZ v EGY Round 5-8 Semifinals 65. 17:00 CRO v ESP 66. 17:40 MNE v AUS Round 1-4 Semifinal: 67. 19:40 GRE v SRB 58. 20:20 HUN v ITA World Junior Championships Almaty (KAZ) Thursday 10-09: Round 1-8 quarterfinal Match 58: 20:20, ITALY 20 AUSTRALIA 9 Quarters: 6-3, 6-3, 5-2, 3-1 Referees: Andrej Franulovic (CRO), Jaume Teixido (ESP) Extra Man: ITA: 7/9. AUS: 7/13. Pens: AUS: 0/1. Teams: ITALY: Fabio Viola, Umberto Esposito (1), Edoardo di Somma (4), Antonio Maccioni, Gianluigi Foglio (3), Roberto Ravina (5), Vincenze Dolce, Eduardo Campopiano, Jacopo Alesiani (5), Alessandro Velotto (2), Gianmarco Nicosia. Head Coach: Ferdinando Pasci. AUSTRALIA: Anthony Hrysanthos, Nicholas Brooks (1), Angus Lambie, Christopher Perrott (2), William Armstrong (1), Jordan Kremers-Taylor (2), William Mackay, Leo Hurley (2), Andrew Ford (1), James Smith, Sam Cocokios. Head Coach: Slobodan Macic. Match report: Italy advanced to the semifinals and an appointment with Hungary while Australia has match-up to Montenegro in the group 5-8 semifinal. Italy was the more rounded team, with strong shooters out the top making all the difference. Australia worked hard to maintain some hold on Italy, but the more professional outfit put paid to any hopes Australia had of winning a medal. Two strong opening quarters set the tone of the match with Edoardo di Somma scoring three of his four in the second period. Italy was sharp and will be a worthy semifinalist, if not a finalist. Roberto Ravina top-scored with five, two in the first period and two in the third. Match 57: 19:00, SERBIA 15 SPAIN 11 Quarters: 4-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-3 Referees: Ulrich Spiegel (GER), Michail Skalochoritis (GRE) Extra Man: SRB: 6/9. ESP: 2/7. Pens: SRB: 1/1. ESP: 1/1. Teams: SERBIA: Lazar Dobozanov, Mateja Arsanovic (3), Radomir Drasovic, Mihajlo Repanovic (1), Gavril Subotic (6), Ivan Gvozdanovic, Drasko Gogov (2), Nebojsa Toholj, Marko Manojlovic, Filip Radojevic (3), Milan Vitorovic. Head Coach: Vladimir Vujasinovic. SPAIN: Miguel Linares, Sergei Cabanas (2), Guillem Garcia (5), Marc Corbalan, Xavi Serra, Alvaro Granados, Borsa Fenoy, Agusti Pericas (2), Roger Tahull (1), Alesandro Bustos (1), Alfonso Lopez-Saez. Head Coach: Quim Colet. Match Report: Serbia’s 4-2 opening quarter seemed to be a stroke of good fortune as it carried the team right through to the semifinals. Serbia twice took a three-goal advantage in the second quarter and four times in the third as Spain tried to stay in touch. When Mateja Arsanovic scored his third early in the fourth it gave Serbia a four-goal buffer, which Spain did not like. Guillem Garcia and Sergi Cabanas drew back two goals, but after a controversial moment in which it looked like Serbian head coach Vladimir Vujasinovic was red-carded (shown and withdrawn), a penalty was awarded against Spain and Serbia converted for 13-10, which quickly became 15-10. Garcia sent in his fifth goal of the match from outside in the dying seconds for a four-goal loss. Serbia’s superior extra-man count and the sure shooting arm of Gavril Subotic — six goals — gave Serbia an excellent lead-in to the medal round and the encounter with Greece. Match 56: 17:40, HUNGARY 15 MONTENEGRO 12 Quarters: 2-3, 8-3, 3-2, 2-4 Referees: Luca Bianco (ITA), Mikhail Dykman (CAN) Extra Man: HUN: 3/10. MNE: 8/12 Pens: Nil Teams: HUNGARY: Istvan Kardos, Marcell Kolozsi (2), Zoltan Pohl (1), Tamas Sedlmayer (2), Adam Nagy (2), Balasz Kalanovics, Gergo Zalanki (4), Gergo Kovacs (1), Krisztian Peter Manhercz (3), Simon Benedek Vogel, Soma Vogel. Head Coach: Gyorgi Horkai. MONTENEGRO: Arsenije Stanovic, Ugjesa Vukasovic, Dorde Bulatovic, Dusan Matkovic, Matija Brguljan (2), Nicolas Savejic (4), Danilo Adzic (1), Stefan Porobic (1), Filip Gardasevic (4), Janko Krivokapic, Milija Mandic. Head Coach: Zoran Maslovar. Match report: Hungary played aggressively enough to make it to the top four in what seemed a controlled game. Montenegro led 3-1 five minutes into the match, but Hungary pulled one back before the break and then did a job on Montenegro in the second quarter. Six players scored goals for Hungary as Montenegro struggled to stay relevant. Perhaps the longer preparation time due to the late start because of the previous match, had some effect. Hungary led 6-3, 7-4, 8-5 and 10-6 in the period, to turn comfortably. A five-goal margin at the final break seemed to tie the match up except for Montenegro’s willingness in the final eight minutes, bringing the match back to 12-14 at 1:54. Gergo Zalanki scored four in the first half and in the latter stages could not understand when the referee sent him for a major foul. Montenegro’s star was the big-scoring Nicolas Saveljic, whose rocket shots down the line proved vital in the final quarter when he scored three of his four in the hope of pushing for a shootout. Montenegro kept in the game with its superior extra-man statistics, something Hungary will need to brush up on before the semifinals. Match 55: 16:20, CROATIA 12 GREECE 13 Quarters: 3-5, 4-3, 3-3, 2-2 Referees: Radu Matache (ROU), Balazs Szekely (HUN) Extra Man: CRO: 7/19. GRE: 6/13. Pens: CRO: 2/2. GRE: 2/2 Teams: CROATIA: Marin Sparada, Loren Fatovic, Rino Buric (1), Andro Gagulic (2), Antun Goreta, Andrija Basic (5), Luka Lozina (2), Antonio Buha (1), Ivan Zovic (1), Ivan Zivkovic, Marin Jukic. Head Coach: Miho Bobic. GREECE: Emmanouil Zerdevas, Nikolaos Kopeliadis (3), Michail Sartzetakis, Angelos Foskolos, Stylianos Argyropoulos-Kanakkis (2), Dmitrios Nicolaidis (1), Panteleimon Kalogerakos, Grigorios Kapetanakis (2), Christos Papoukas (3), Alexandros Athymaritis (1), Rafail Forotzidis. Head Coach: Theodoros Chatzitheodorou. Match Report: If the previous match was full of drama, then this match was just unbelievable. In a match where red cards were coming out of the referees’ pockets faster than the OK Corral shootout, the final two and a half minutes probably took closer to 15. Players were being ditched from the game at will, following several red cards against Croatia and then the red card against head coach Miho Bobic at the start of the third quarter. There were double exclusions, misconducts, violence and then to top it all off a double brutality inside the final three minutes and then a double exclusion inside the final two minutes. No one left his seat. Not until well after the dust had settled and the gunslingers waltzed away. When the match was over, Croatian players advanced on the referees and climbed on to the walkway — closely followed by security guards — to vent their anger and question the decisions. A smashed window told the story. Drama was everything and amidst it all Greece emerged as the victor. One could have put money on Croatia taking out the championships, but when sharp shooter Antun Goreta was given the first red card late in the first quarter and severely reprimanded by his coach, some of the power had been stripped from the team. Later in the match it was Rino Buric who allegedly head-butted centre forward Stylianos Argyropoulos-Kanakkis when the score was 7-10 and two of the best players in the team were sidelined. Then Ivan Zivkovic was evicted for throwing a punch and Greece went to 11-7 ahead a second later. With assistant coach Nikica Gulin seemingly unable to sit on the bench as per the rules and Bobic protesting in the crowd, along with other Croatian officials, the match reached a crescendo. Throw in the fact that Greece reckoned Stylianos Argyropoulos-Kanakkis only had two fouls and not three and the team argued and a member approached the secretary’s table for clarification several times (which infuriated Croatia), the match had everything FINA would evidently not wish to desire. On the double brutality at 11-11 and after much discussion, the game was reduced to four field players after both teams converted penalty goals for 12-12. At 1:46 there was another double exclusion, this time with substitution, bringing the total number of red cards delivered as eight. At 1:33, Grigorios Kapetanakis scored from eight metres for 13-12 and Croatia went crazy again with players protesting that Kapetanakis had three major fouls — as the scoreboard declared. This was found to be incorrect, the scoreboard adjusted, and the score stood. Croatia’s final attempt was blocked and Greece swam into a storm as the victor, taking part in the melee at the base of the secretary’s table, but trying to settle the Croatians. Croatian officials continued the “conversation” as one played bashed an advertising hoarding, a window was smashed and one player lay on a walkway crying. Croatia was out of the semifinals and the reality of world water polo was starting to sink in. FINA officials met for nearly an hour before declaring the result and setting about sorting out the reports. Round 9-12 semifinal Match 54: 14:00, EGYPT 15 NETHERLANDS 11 Quarters: 7-4, 1-3, 3-3, 4-1 Referees: Sinisa Matijasevic (MNE), Akbar Sadikov (UZB) Extra Man: EGY: 2/7. NED: 3/14. Pens: EGY: 1/1. NED: 1/1. Teams: EGYPT: Omara Osama, Moustafa Essmat (6), Aly Elaassar, Mahmoud Tarek, Ahmed Barakat (1), Abdelrahman Haroun, Ahmed Sherif (5), Hassan Haroun (2), Karim Mahmoud, Mahomed Mohsen (1), Marwan Ayman. Head Coach: Denes Lukacs. NETHERLANDS: Milan Koff, Kjeld Veenhuis (2), Guus van Yperen (1), Sam Burg, Guus Wolswinkel, Tarik Scherrenburg (1), Harmen Muller (3), Pascal Janssen, Bilal Gbadamassi (2), Benjamin Hoepelman (2), Brent Hofmeyer. Head Coach: Jacob Spijker. Match Report: On a scale of one to 10 for excitement, this rated 100! It was a match unlike previously in the week. This one mattered and it meant a higher spot up the ladder. For Egypt it was a do-or-die effort, and that was just from the officials’ bench. This match had high drama. By the end of the match, only one goalkeeper and a third official sat on the Egyptian bench. Head coach Denes Lukacs, a Hungarian was still on the deck. The rest of the Egyptians were missing in action. Tarek Mahmoud was suspended for misconduct and reluctantly left the poolside. He returned some time later and was forced outside. Two other players went on three majors and they decided to discard the caps and sit at the end of the pool. They were escorted off pool deck. Assistant coach Aly Haroun was red-carded, but this did not stop him. In fact, he was more vociferous from the bleachers, seemingly issuing orders and continuing to dispute referees’ decisions. Another official on the bench bellowed orders non-stop. Lukacs was living the match like it was his last and urged on his team, what was left of it, to victory. He was successful and the celebration poolside afterwards was like winning an Olympic final, but even more excitable, if that was possible. Egypt deserved the victory and with emotions long past boiling point, the players concentrated and delivered. Egypt had a magnificent first quarter. But slumped in the second as Netherlands levelled at 7-7 before trailing by a goal at halftime. The Dutch scored twice at the top of the third and then the Egyptians twice for 10-9. The Dutch levelled and Ahmed Sherif scored to give Egypt an 11-10 advantage two seconds from the final break. Muller Harmen brought Netherlands back to 11-12 early in the final quarter, but Egypt controlled in the water even though out of the water it was a debacle. Mahmoud went and mayhem ensued. When Moustafa Essmat scored the 13th and 14th goals — his fifth and sixth of the match — the match was won by Egypt, despite there being still three minutes left. No way was Egypt going to let that lead slip. Will Egypt carry that same emotion through to the play-off for ninth with Kazakhstan on Friday. Only time will tell. The Dutch will look at the extra-man figures and see where it went wrong. Match 53: 12:40, KAZAKHSTAN 18 MEXICO 11 Quarters: 3-5, 4-0, 5-3, 6-3 Referees: Liang Zhang (CHN), Miodrag Stefanovic (SRB) Extra Man: KAZ: 4/8. MEX: 4/7. Pens: KAZ: 2/2. MEX: 2/2. Teams: KAZAKHSTAN: Aleksandr Lopatkin, Stanislav Shedov (4), Ruslan Akhmetov, Sultan, Shonzhigitov, Miras Aubakirov (2), Sergey Bogomolov, Maxim Zhardan (8), Egor Berbelyuk (1), Altay Altayev (2), Yulian Verdesh (1), Valeriy Shlemov. Head Coach: Nemanja Knezevic. MEXICO: Alfredo de la Mova, Hazed Veya, Raul Vargus (2), Raul Muniz, Rodrigo Avalos (2), Sinahi Gonzalez (1), Arturo Ocejo (1), Alexey Grubnik (1), Diego Mercado (3), Jorge Cervantes (1), Isaac Contreras. Head Coach: Raul de la Pena. Match report: Kazakhstan gained a third victory, this time against Mexico and has earned a slot in the play-off for ninth. For Mexico, the effort was there, especially with such an excellent start, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 5-3 lead at the first quarter. However, going scoreless in the second quarter did not help its cause. For its part, Kazakhstan, with a large daytime crowd packed into the stands, was sublime in that period, with Maxim Zhardan netting three of his eight goals. The third period was indicative of how this new style of game can change so quickly. When Altay Altayev struck so strongly from centre forward for 11-7 at 0:54, it looked like it could be the score at the break. However, firstly Mexico gave up a penalty goal and then Kazakhstan did the same. Both were converted with Mexico making it 12-8 a second before the break. Then two minutes into the final quarter the score had advanced to 15-9 and then 16-11 by 2:10. Stanislav Shevdev closed the scoring at 18-11 for his second goal of the quarter. Round 13-18 semifinal Match 52: 11:20, CANADA 14 CHINA 13 Quarters: 4-6, 6-1, 2-2, 2-4 Referees: Erwin Schapers (NED), Haldun Toygarli (TUR) Extra Man: CAN: 6/6. CHN: 4/10. Pens: Nil Teams: CANADA: Samuel Reiber, Giordano Marconuto, Maxime Schapowal, Gaelan Patterson (3), Matthew Halajian (5), Julien Allard, Paule Kotarac (1), Sean Spooner (2), Jeremie Blanchard (1), Aria Suleimanipak (2), Benjamin Bolduc. Head Coach: Nikola Maric. CHINA: Guozheng Wei, Zekai Xie (2), Zhongxzan Chen (5), Jiahao Peng, Rongkun Lie, Bezyi Wang (1), Yingyi Gao (3), Rui Chen (3), Yi Lu, Dong Ni, Xiang Fu. Head Coach: Yaohua Chen. Match report: Canada came from 3-0 down and firstly gained an advantage at 8-7 two minutes from halftime. The good start by China could not be maintained and it trailed by three at halftime. The difference was the same at the final break and then China lifted a notch, drawing level on extra at 2:46 and then again off a cross pass for Rui Chen’s second goal of the period for 13-13 at 2:02. Canada head coach Nicola Maric, so vocal throughout the match that he drew a yellow card midway through the third period, urged his team on and Paul Kotarac sent in what was an easy shot at 1:40 for 14-13. It was left to Yingyi Gao to try for the equaliser in the dying seconds, but the solid defence blocked the shot before it even made the goal. Canada’s best was once again the hard-working Matthew Halajian with five goals, scoring in each of the quarters. One audacious backhander from the deep left side of the pool nearly came off. Canada, who scored the perfect conversion on extra-man attack, will now play Japan in the 13-14 final and China has one last chance at victory against Uzbekistan for 15th place. Match 50: 10:00, UZBEKISTAN 6 JAPAN 20 Quarters: 0-5, 2-5, 2-5, 2-5 Referees: Michael Baty (RSA), Nick Hodgers (AUS). Extra Man: UZB: 2/5. JPN: 5/9. Pens: UZB: 1/1. Teams: UZBEKISTAN: Radion Knabibullaev, Mirjalol Nagmatov, Doniyor Umarov, Artur Kim (1), Maksim Krakhotin, Aleksey Zaytsev (1), Kirill Rustamov (3), Egor Chumachenko (1), Grorgiy Mamedov, Aleksey Massel, Khayotson Rakhimov. Head Coach: Aleksey Sokolov. JAPAN: Kazuki Hashimoto, Kenta Araki (1), Mitsuru Takata (3), Shuma Kawamoto (3), Shotaro Yamada (1), Daichi Nagano (2), Shu Hamada (7), Seiya Adachi (1), Miki Sato (2), Kohei Inaba, Ryosuke Oshima. Head Coach: Yoshinori Shiota. Match Report: Japan started with 5-0 opening quarter, which became 6-0 before Uzbekistan responded. The result of the match was there and Japan went eight ahead at halftime and then 11 by the final break. Shui Hamada was on fire with seven goals, three of them in the opening period. Uzbekistan had its third head coach in three days with Aleksey Sokolov standing in for his father Aleksandr, who suffered a heart attack two days earlier. On Wednesday, Boris Rustamov, the team leader, stepped into the role. It was not a good debut for young Sokolov with his charges looking tired after the heavy workload and the new style of game, which requires extra effort and more swimming. In an unusual turn of events, scoring machine Kirill Rustamov, did the unthinkable midway through the final quarter when he swam underwater up field after his team scored a goal. He then surfaced outside the field of play and came back in. Japan’s bench yelled for the referee, the situation ascertained and Rustamov was expelled from the match for misconduct. His slow exit from the pool deck was also noted. Rustamov scored three goals to lift his tournament tally to 41. Japan will now go to the 13-14 final and Uzbekistan to the 15-17 final. Text: Russel McKinnon.