USA overcame surging Australia 16:15 after a tense shootout to enter the semi-finals, while Serbia, Italy and Greece breezed past their rivals at the FINA Men's Water Polo World League Super Final here in Huizhou (CHN) on Friday.

On Saturday, Italy will play Serbia and USA will meet Greece in the semis. Brazil will face Japan and Australia will go against China for the remaining spots (5-8th).

Game 13: ITALY 12 BRAZIL 6
Quarters: 4-1, 2-3, 3-1, 3-1

Referees: Daniel Flahiva (AUS), Joe Peila (USA)
Extra Man: ITA 4/14, BRA 0/10
Pens: 0

ITALY: Marco Del Lungo, Francesco Di Fulvio (1), Niccolo Figari (1), Peitro Figlioli (2), Andrea Foundelli, Michael Alexandrea Bodegas (1), Massimo Giacoppo, Alessandro Nora, Christian Presciutti (Captain), Stefano Luongo, Niccolo Figari, Nicholas Presciutti, Gariele Vassallo.

Head Coach: Alessandro Campagna

BRAZIL: Vinicius Antonelli, Jonas Crivella, Guilherme Gomes, Ives Alonso, Paulo Salemi, Bernardo Gomes, Adrian Baches, Felipe Silva, Bernardo Rocha, Felipe Perrone, Gustavo Guimaraes, Josip Vrlic, Bernardo Oliveira.
Head Coach: Ratko Rudic

Italy enjoyed an early lead 6-1 and kept the advantage until the end of the game. Brazil managed a strong comeback in the second quarter to close the gap 6-4 but again faded in the second half. Jonas Crivela of Brazil received a red card for brutality in the second quarter.


Alessandro Campagna-ITA: “It was a tough match between our two teams. I believed we will be better in Rio. At the beginning we played well, after the second quarter, the Brazilian team played better than us. They almost blocked us every shot. We did many mistakes. Tomorrow we will play Serbia, which is the best team in the world, so it will be a good opportunity to gain experience.”

Ratko Rudic-BRA: “We made many mistakes from the beginning that helped Italy an easy lead 6-1. We tried hard later but could not catch the scores. We did not make use of the Extra-Man at all. I guess that was a lesson. We need to do better in the next games.”

Game 14: AUSTRALIA 15 USA 16
Quarters: 1-2, 3-3, 0-1, 4-2. Shootout: 7-8

Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Ivan Rakovic (SRB)
Extra Man: AUS 7/14, USA 2/12
Pens: 0

AUSTRALIA: Joel Dennerley, Richard Campbell (5), George Ford, John Cotterill (3), Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist, Aidan Roach (1), Aaron Younger (3), Joel Swift (1), Joe Kayes, Rhys Howden (Captain, 2), Tyler Martin, James Stanton
Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic

USA: Merrill Moses, Thomas Dunstan (2), Ben Hallock, Alex Obert (2), Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido (3), Josh Samuels (1), Tony Azevedo (Captain, 4), Alex Bowen (1), Bret Bonanni (2), Jesse Smith, John Mann (1), McQuin Baron.
Head Coach: Dejan Udovicic

USA started the game with a shot from John Mann and kept one goal advance most of the time until Australia surged to make it 8-8 with 1:26 left of the fourth quarter. During the shootout, USA edged Australia by one goal 8-7 and earned the chance to meet Greece in one of the semi-final matches.

Dejan Udovicic-USA: “I did not expect to play such a close game. I just hope our young team could improve from each game. We performed well the first three quarters but we lost energy in the fourth and was caught by the Australians. We should win easier than this. Playing the shootout is good for my young team to gain experience towards the Olympic Games. Everything could happen and everyone could win the shootout. Tomorrow we will play Greece. Greece showed a high quality of play and great teamwork so far at the Super Final. Our young team will learn something from them.”


Quarters: 4-1, 5-2, 2-1, 4-1

Referees: Bianco Daniele (ITA), Natacha Florestano (BRA)
Extra Man: GRE 2/4 CHN 1/7
Pens: GRE 1/2 CHN 1/1

GREECE: Konstantinos Flegkas, Dimitrios Tigkas (2), Georgios Dervisis (1), Konstantinos Genidounias, Ioannis Fountoulis (2), Kyriakos Pontikeas (1), Christos Afroudakis (Captain, 2), Evangelos Delakas, Emmanouil Solanakis (3), Christodoulos Kolomvos (2), Alexandros Gounas (1), Angelos Vlaschopoulos (1), Stefanos Galanopoulos
Head Coach: Theodoros Vlachos

CHINA: Liang Zhiwei, Xie Zekai, Li Yongxuan, Huang Weihong (1), Chen Rui, Liang Zhongxing (Captain), Lu Wenhui, Chen Zhongxian (1),Chen Chunlin, Chen Jinghao, Zhang Chufeng (3), Liang Nianxiang,
Head Coach: Chen Yaohua

In front of the hosts China, which consisted of the Guangdong local team, Greece showed supremacy throughout the game and played extremely well - 15 easy shots. China found difficulties in shooting against the defensive Greeks. Emmanouil Solanakis and Zhang Chufeng shared the top scorer place with 3 goals each.


Theodoros Vlachos-GRE: “We were serious about the game and controlled the game with good offence and defence. We qualified to the quarter finals and that is the most important thing. Tomorrow we will play against USA. We don't play with them very often. It will be a good test for our conditions.”

Chen Yaohua-CHN: “Greece is one of the best teams in the world. We are far behind them. We are here to learn and expect to learn as much as possible.”

Game 16: JAPAN 10 SERBIA 19
Quarters: 3-4, 1-7, 3-5, 3-3

Referees: Michail Kouretas (GRE), Li Shihao (CHN)
Extra Man: JPN 4/14, SRB 4/7
Pens: SRB 1/1

JAPAN: Katsuyuki Tanamura, Seiya Adachi (2), Atsushi Arai (1), Mitsuaki Shiga (1), Akira Yanase, Atsuto Iida, Yusuke Shimizu, Yuki Kadono, Koji Takei (3), Kenya Yasuda, Keigo Okawa (1), Shota Hazui (2), Tomoyoshi Fukushima.
Head Coach: Yoji Omoto

SERBIA: Gojko Pijetlovic, Viktor Rasovic, Gocic Zivko (Captain, 1), Sava Randelovic, Milos Cuk (1), Dusko Pijetlovic (4), Nemanja Ubovic (5), Milan Aleksic (2), Nikola Jaksic, Fillip Filipovic (1), Gavril Subotic (2), Stefan Mitrovic (3), Branislav Mitroic
Head Coach: Dejan Savic

Japan seemed sharp and determined to shoot 3 goals in the first period, only one goal shy of the defending champions Serbia. However, Serbia romped 7 goals in a row in the second quarter and dominated the rest of the game. Milan Aleksic sealed the victory 19-10 with a last minute penalty goal. Nemanja Ubovic was the top scorer with 5 goals.


Yoji Omoto-JPN: “We played the best we could. We started well with 3-4 behind Serbia in the first quarter, but we made some mistakes in defence in the second quarter. It was good to learn from the defending champions.”

Dejan Savic-SRB: “This was a strange situation, because it's the first time we played against this kind of defence and Japan had some innovative ways of defending. So it was a nice experience. And I am proud of our good game. Tomorrow we will play against Italy.”