Serbian and Croatian national water polo teams both won first places in the group stage of FINA World League Super Final tournament in the Russian town of Ruza.
Serbia won another derby, this time against USA – 15:8, while Croats beat Australia 8:3. Italy was convincing against Kazakhstan, 15:6 and the host, Russia didn’t have problems with Japan – 12:5.
Serbian water polo team played this round without injured Sava Randjelovic. Head coach Dejan Savic did not want to risk anything and Randjelovic stayed in the hotel to prepare for the quarter-finals.
Serbia played as expected. Americans were physically very well-prepared and managed to keep the rhythm for three-quarters.
But the second quarter Serbian team played an almost brilliant game. Prlainovic scored three goals in this part, Filipovic, Pijetlovic and excellent Stefan Mitrovic added more.
After a 10:4 lead at the half-time, Savic’s players could relax a little bit in the second part of the game. Some younger guys used the opportunity in the third and fourth quarter – above all, Viktor Rasovic, Nemanja Ubovic, and Radomir Drasovic.
Serbia ended this group competition with maximum nine points and will face Japan in the quarter-final match on Friday.
AUSSIES WON ONE QUARTER, BUT CROATS ANSWERED QUICKLY
Croatia water polo team also confirmed the first place in the group after another convincing win against Australia 8:3 in Round 3 match of Group B.
Croats entered the game perfectly, and after the first quarter had a 3-0 lead. Aussies answered in the second period which they won 1:0, but Croatian team answered quickly in the third quarter.
Andjelo Setka was the most efficient with three goals, and Marko Macan, Antonio Petkovic, Ivan Buljubasic, Andro Buslje and Javier Garcia were among the scorers.
Nathan Power, Aaron Younger, and Nicolas Brooks scored one goal each for Australians.
RENZUTO AND MIRARCHI LEAD ITALIANS TO VICTORY
Italian water polo team rose after a defeat against Serbia in the previous round and won against Kazakhstan 14-6 to secure the second place in Group A. Azzurri were favorites in this game and they demonstrated that from the first minute in the swimming pool.
The Kazakhs scored only one goal in the first 22 minutes and their second came when Italy already had an 11-1. Renzuto scored four goals for Azzurri, while Mirarchi found the net three times.
In the last game of the third day of the tournament, Russian water polo team had no problem against Japan. They won 12:5 to secure the second place in the standings.
Quarterfinal games of the Super Final tournament will be played on Friday, semifinals are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday is reserved for the big final.
Serbia – USA 15:8 (4:3, 6:1, 2:1,3:3)
Serbia: S. Mitrovic 4, Prlainovic 3, Filipovic 2, Drasovic, Aleksic, Ubovic, V. Rasovic
USA: Hallock 3, Vavic 2, Dunstan 2, Irving
Kazakhstan – Italy 6:14 (0:3, 1:3, 2:5, 3:3)
Croatia – Australia 8:3 (3-0, 0-1, 3-0, 2-2)
Japan – Russia 5:12 (2:3, 2:3, 0:2, 1:4)
1. Serbia 3 games – 9 pts
2. Italy 3 – 5
3. USA 3 – 4
4. Kazakhstan 3 – 0
1. Croatia 3 – 9
2. Russia 3 – 6
3. Australia 3 – 3
4. Japan 3 – 0
Friday, June 23
Italy – Australia
USA – Russia
Serbia – Japan
Croatia – Kazakhstan