The big quarterfinal clashes at the 2016 FINA World Youth Championships in Podgorica did not disappoint. Two had to be decided by penalties while one other saw Croatia crawling back in the fourth quarter to decide a close game in their advantage: 13-14. The Aussies, the only non-European team in the quarters, led the game 12-11 going into the final quarter. But as the Croatians had come back in the third session, from 11-9 and 12-10 down, so did they in the final eight minutes. Croatia opened up the quarter by scoring consecutive goals in the first four minutes to grab the lead 12-13 before Aussie standout Nicholas Elphick levelled the score with 3.49 to play. The back-and-forth game got into a 2-minute deadlock, eventually broken by Duje Pejkovic who struck on extra man with less than a minute remaining giving Croatia the lead. Australia got two more possessions but recorded two turnovers throwing away their last chances to force a shoot-out.
The home fans still have something to cheer for as Montenegro advanced to the semi-finals by beating Russia 14-11. The match-up between Greece and Hungary meanwhile was a rather spectacular one as the Greek forced a shoot-out in the last seconds of regulation scoring on extra man with just 2 seconds on the clock. Hungary though still held on in the penalty series. As Konstantinos Kakaris, Nikolaos Gardikas (who had scored the equaliser in regulation) and eventually Dimitrios Nikolaidis missed their attempts, it made up for Hungary’s 1 miss (by Peter Sugar). Hungarian goalie Mark Banyai saved 2 of Greece’s 3 misses and saw team-mate Gergö Fekete scoring the winner.
Italy completed a strong comeback by edging Serbia on penalties. Three unanswered goals in the final period turned around the score which looked to be a certain win for the Serbs, into a tie and penalty shoot-out. A nail-biting series, Serbia just missed once which proved decisive immediately. Nikola Lukic saw his attempt saved by Italy goalkeeper Francesco di Michelis, and followed by Antonio Maccioni who netted the winner. Italy will now meet host nation Montenegro while Hungary and Croatia play the first of the semi-finals on Friday in Podgorica.
3rd FINA World Men’s Youth Championships 2016
Thursday, September 1 – day 7
Colombia vs. South Africa 13-14 (2-1, 2-6, 2-2, 4-1: penalties: 3-4) – 16th-19th place semifinal
China vs. Brazil 7-21 (3-5, 0-6, 1-5, 3-5) – 13th-16h place semifinal
Kazakhstan vs. Egypt 7-13 (1-2, 1-3, 1-5, 4-3) – 13th-16th place semifinal
USA vs. Japan 16-13 (3-4, 2-3, 4-1, 4-5; penalties: 3-0) – 9th-12th place semifinal
Canada vs. Spain 12-18 (3-5, 0-4, 5-4, 4-5) – 9th-12th place semifinal
Greece vs. Hungary 17-18 (4-3, 2-4, 4-5, 5-3; penalties: 2-3)
Australia vs. Croatia 13-14 (4-6, 3-1, 5-4, 1-3)
Serbia vs. Italy 12-14 (3-1, 4-4, 2-1, 0-3; penalties: 3-5)
Montenegro vs. Russia 14-11 (3-3, 4-3, 3-2, 4-3)
Friday, September 2 – day 8
09.00: South Africa vs. New Zealand (17th place)
10.20: China vs. Kazakhstan (15th place)
11.40: Brazil vs. Egypt (13th place)
13.00: Japan vs. Canada (11th place)
14.20: USA vs. Spain (9th place
17.00: Greece vs. Australia (5th-8th place semifinal)
18.20: Russia vs. Serbia (5th-8th place semifinal)
19.40: Hungary vs. Croatia
21.00: Montenegro vs. Italy
Saturday, September 3 – day 9
N.b.: time mentioned is local time.
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