Wednesday Programme
Classification 17-18
Match 39 09:00 Uzbekistan v Kuwait
Classification 13-16 Semifinals
Match 40 10:30 Turkey v South Africa
Match 41 12:00 Brazil v New Zealand
Classification 9-12 Semifinals
Match 42 13:30 Australia v Canada
Match 43 15:00 Kazakhstan v United States of America
Classification 1-8 Quarter-finals
Match 44 16:30 Hungary v Italy
Match 45 18:00 Greece v Spain
Match 46 19:30 Serbia v Croatia
Match 47 21:00 Montenegro v Netherlands

Classification 1-12 Cross-overs

Photos courtesy of Sandic Photography

Croatia steamed through to the quarter-finals and a Balkan match-up with Serbia, winning the quarters 5-1, 3-1, 3-1 and 3-1. It was tighter than the score suggests with long periods of no scoring. Croatia claimed the better of the extra-man attacks, looked more dangerous more often and had the 5-1 opening quarter as a buffer, so that energy could be saved for the later, harder matches. Croatia suffered its only loss to Hungary and this match only assisted in sharpening up plays and players. Australia worked hard on defence and took what it could up front, although the pickings were slim. Australia now goes to the round 9-12 semifinals and will play Canada.

Match heroes
Toni Mozara was best in water with three goals, along with Vito Jankovic. For Australia, Rory McKell netted twice. Croatia converted four from 10 on extra and defended eight from nine.

What they said
Toni Mozara (CRO) — Player of the Match
“This game was really tough for us, but we played a really good game overall. This is one of our most important games of this tournament.”
Spencer Burdack (AUS) — “It was a tough game, they play in European style and we didn’t know how to keep up with them. But to be honest, it was great experience to play with them.”

Netherlands packed too many punches for Kazakhstan and gained plenty of practice ahead of the quarter-finals where it will meet Montenegro. The Dutch went 6-0, 13-0 and 21-1 in the quarter breaks, closing with the 9-2 period. Kazakhstan took until the last second of the third period to score its first goal — on extra from the deep-left wing. The second came from an eight-metre blast from the top and the third with a superb-angled pass to deep left after a timeout, with Anataloliy Pustalov scoring his second. Counter-attack was a scary thing for Kazakhstan as Netherlands sent in eight for the first three periods and added six more in the final eight minutes as Kazakhstan was tiring, although not wilting, as displayed by its two goals. Kazakhstan will have another tough battle when it comes against USA in the classification 9-12 semifinals on Wednesday.

Match heroes
Chris van de Dobbelsteen was just one of 10 scorers for Netherlands and he picked up the award for his five goals, the same number as team-mate Hugo Wouters. Lars Ten Broek netted four for 19 in Belgrade — second on the ladder.

What they said
Chris van de Dobbelsteen (NED) — Player of the Match
“We are really happy to be in quarter-finals.”
Kirill Panteleyev (KAZ) — Player
“This game was really tough for us. This team is really good., but you know how it’s said: ‘Without losing, there is no victory!’”

Italy had too much skill, speed and agility and showed why it will go far in the competition. The 8-1 first quarter said it all as Italy took its foot off the accelerator, turned at 11-1 and went into the final period 15-3 ahead. Italy had the moves on extra, countered twice and made some excellent passes into damaging situations, whether that was centre forward on extra or cross passes to the far post. Canada’s biggest challenge will be a Commonwealth clash with Australia in the classification 9-12 semifinals on Wednesday. Italy booked a quarter-final berth with group winner Hungary.

Match heroes
Alessandro Gullotta was the highest scorer with four from six attempts and named the match’s best player. Alessandro Agnolet went three from three and Agostino Maria Somma three from four. Giancarlo Marquez scored four of Canada’s goals. Italy was deadly on extra-man attack with five from six while Canada converted one of its two chances.

What they said
Alessandro Gullotta (ITA) — Player of the Match
“We played a good game and we are ready for tomorrow.”
Giancarlo Marquez (CAN) — Player
“I don’t think we started off playing how we know to play, but I think we finished strong, I think we had a better fourth quarter.”

The closest match of the day was the last on the schedule and it provided some excellent water polo. Spain gained its winning score at 4:54 of the final quarter, but it was not without its ups and downs. Spain was never headed and started with the first two goals and led the periods 4-2, 7-6 and 11-10, showing just how close this match was. USA levelled at two, four, five, seven, eight and nine. The match broke open for Italy when Hugo Castro scored consecutive goals, scoring from the left and then on counter for the critical 11-9 gap. USA grabbed one back on extra-man attack, but it was to be the last score and that was 14 seconds from the final break. Italy closed with a 2-0 period. Ryder Dodd scored five of USA’s first eight goals, twice lobbing from the left, scoring another two on extra and then nailing the 8-8 penalty goal. However, he was then shut out of the match.

Match heroes
Dodd was the major threat to Spain, scoring five goals as he tried desperately to keep USA in the match and lift his Belgrade tally to 13, the same number as Spain’s Castro, who scored three today.

What they said
Hugo Castro (ESP) — Player of the Match
We are really happy with the win. It was very physical game. We played very good. This game was really hard because it was dependent if we are in first eight. It was really difficult, but we are like family, so we go all in one.” 
Robert Sinclair (USA) — Head Coach
Obviously very physical and the fourth quarter got extremely physical; pace a little too fast for us, but the first three quarters were good for us.”

Classification 13-18 Quarter-finals

Turkey will face South Africa in the 13-16 play-offs after an enterprising match in which it led 5-3, 14-3 and 16-8 at the breaks. That second-quarter romp proved the breaker with goals coming from all over the pool. Uzbekistan’s 5-2 win in the third period was mainly due to Daniil Krivoxijin who scored on counter and consecutive goals from the left side of the pool to bring the score to 15-7 — his fourth and fifth goals. Sadly, for Uzbekistan with its two leading scorers, it will play Kuwait for 17th position on Wednesday — the last opportunity to finish atop the scoring. On the extra-man count, Turkey converted four from nine and Uzbekistan none from three.

Match heroes
Kemel Ata Caferli was named best in pool with four goals from five attempts as seven other team members made their mark on scoring. Mert Ali Yener, with three goals, lifted his Belgrade total to 13 with Caferli one behind. Uzbekistan’s Krivoxijin maintains his leading position and is now four clear with 23 goals after scoring five goals from 10 attempts. Shakhzod Turgunov, with three goals, sits at 15 on the all-tournament list.

What they said
Mehmet Alp Olcaytu (TUR)  – Head Coach
We could have done better. Everybody is the same, we try to take chances to score.”
Mert Ali Yener (TUR) — Three Goals
To be honest, we all know we can do better than this. We gave our opponents way too many chances to score.”

Brazil booked a classification 13-16 semifinal berth against New Zealand with a stirring 27-1 victory over Kuwait, who will now play Uzbekistan for 17th. Brazil was totally in control and went through the quarters 7-0, 15-0 and 21-0 before allowing Kuwait a penalty goal at the top of the fourth. Brazil has improved considerably since day one when it lost by two goals to Australia and will be out to prove it deserved to be higher in the rankings. It could easily pick two more victories before returning home. Kuwait is still the minnow of the competition, but learning more with every match. Kuwait’s penalty conversion was by Mohammad Aldusari who goes to seven goals on the tournament ladder.

Match heroes
Joaquim Fernandes scored five goals from five attempts while Fabiano Gomes was perfect with four — topping his team with 16 for the week — and all field players scored goals. Brazil nailed six from 10 on extra and Kuwait none from five.

What they said
Joaquim Fernandes (BRA) — Player of the Match
“The game was not difficult, almost like a training for us, but the next game is going to be hard.”
Abbas Baqer (KUW) — Goalkeeper
“It was a good game; we played as hard as we can, and it is the first time we have played in the championship. Most of our team players are young…I am 16.”