U20 World Water Polo Championship: Hungary downs Italy, Croatia edges Spain

Croatia - Spain Photo: Ivica Veselinov/WP of Serbia

The second day of the 19th World Men’s Junior Championship in Belgrade was completely different than the first one. Yesterday, favourites achieved big victories, there were not uncertain matches. Today, several exciting games and derbies were seen.
Croatia achieved a narrow win against Spain (6:5). Hungary gave Italy a lesson of water polo in the highlight of the evening programme (7:2).

Heavy rain and live stream by cell phone

Group A

Greece blew away Iran 18:2. As expected, the Asians couldn’t find a solution to stop Greece strikers. The most goals scored Papanastosiu and Masmanidis – four each. After two rounds they are on the top of the list of the scorers, together with Hungarian Krisztian Manhercz. Every of them netted nine times during the first two rounds.

Belgrade was one of the hottest towns in Europe this weekend. Thermometers recorded more than 40 degrees by the Celsius scale several times. But, in the evening a storm brought a heavy rain to Belgrade.Because of that the last match of the day USA-Russia was moved to a pool under the roof.

USA Russia water polo

USA – Russia under the roof (click to enlarge) Photo: Ivica Veselinov

The USA team, which played its first game in the tournament, won 12:9. The Americans controlled the close game from the beginning. In the middle of the 3rd quarter, Russia reduced a deficit to one for the last time (7:6). In the following seven minutes the USA scored four consecutive goals, jumped to an 11:6 lead and secured the victory.
The match was also the clash of two strikers. Johnatan Hooper scored six goals for the USA team. Russia player Konstantin Kharkov also netted six times.

All matches from the WCH in Belgrade can be watched on the Facebook page of the Water Polo Federation of Serbia. But, the organisers didn’t have time to move cameras and other equipment which are needed for realising the live stream to another pool, before the match  USA – Russia. The World Championship director Darko Udovicic found a solution. He streamed the last game by his cell phone on his Facebook page.

Croats almost secured quarterfinals

Group B

Day 2 was opened by the derby Croatia-Spain. The Croats earned two points thanks to a 6:5 win and almost secured the first place in Group A and a place in the quarterfinals. They beat Montenegro in the first round (9:6). Till the end of the preliminary competition, they will play against Japan and The Netherlands, the outsiders of the group. The Croats were on a good way to a victory. In the middle of the third period, they had a 6:2 lead. But, Spain didn’t give up and came close to Croatia – 6:5 (4:23 on the clock). In the remaining time, Spain put the rival under the hard pressure, but couldn’t hit the target. The main reason for a low-scoring game was a poor extra-man efficiency of both teams. Croatia had 14,3 % (1 goal of 7 attack ). Spain was worse – 12,5% (1 of 8).

Montenegro - Netheralnds water polo

Montenegro Netherlands (click to enlarge) Photo: Ivica Veselinov

Montenegro did a clean job against The Netherlands. The Montenegrins were six goals ahead at the half-time (9:3). Nikola Moskov was outstanding (6 goals of 7 shots) and led his team to a big victory (14:6).

C group

China beat Argentina in a match which ended in a thriller finish. Argentina took an early lead (2:0), but the Chinese managed to turn around an early deficit into a 4:2 advantage (6:27 before the end of the 2nd quarter). The team from Asia jumped to a 8:4 lead at the start of the second half. After that, Argentina scored four unanswered goals till the last rest, and the rivals were tied before the 4th period (8:8). China entered in a finish of the big battle with a two-goal lead (13:11). The Argentinians netted an equaliser (13:13) a minute before the end. In the next attack, China gained a penalty, which Gao converted to a goal for a 14:13 victory.

Australia achieved another victory with a ten-goal difference. The „Aussie Sharks“ defeated „neighbours“ from New Zealand 13:3, after yesterday’s win against China (14:4). Australia led 4:0 after first 8 minutes. New Zealand managed to keep the four-goal difference until the 27th minute. In the remaining time, Australia scored six unanswered goals for a 13:3 victory.

Mighty Hungarian defence

D group

The encounter between two favourites of Group D didn’t offer excitements and turns. Everything was decided much before the end. Hungary celebrated a 7:2 victory against Italy. Only three goals were scored in the first half of the game. Krisztian Peter Manhercz, the silver medalist at the World Senior Championship in Budapest, scored for a 2:1 lead eight seconds by the end of the second quarter,

The third quarter was crucial. The Hungarians scored three goals in a row and jumped to 5:1 (2:02 before the last period). They played excellent in defence and didn’t let Italy come back. There were a lot of personal fouls, but not many goals in extra-man attacks. Italy scored both goals from an extra man, despite they had 13 chances (15,4%), Hungary had 25 % (3 of 12).

Egypt won two points in the African derby against South Africa. The first half ended in a 3:3 draw. The team from the north of the “Black Continent” gained a first two-goal lead in the 19th minute (5:3). South Africa had a plenty of chances, but also and many misses (extra-player 0 of 5), so the Egyptians kept the advantage and won 7:5.

Scores, standings, schedule


Iran 2:18 Greece
(1:3, 1:7, 0:7, 0:1)

Iran: Yadankah 1, Raharbjedi 1.
Greece: Papanastasiou 4, Masmanidis 4, Nikolaidis 3, Gardikas 2, Skoumpakis 1, Gkuovetsis 1, Delagrammatikas 1.

USA 12:9 Russia
(3:2, 3:2, 4:2, 2:3)

USA: Hooper 6, Abramson 2, Daube 1, Wojciechowski 1, Woodhead 1, Cavano 1, Molthen 1.
Russia: Kharkov 6, Shein 1, Usov 1, Merkulov 1.


1. Greece 2-4

2. USA 1-2
3. Russia 2-2
4. Puerto Rico 1-0

5. Iran 2-0


Croatia 6:5 Spain
(2:1, 3:1, 1:2, 0:1)

Croatia: Zovic 2, Butic 1, Dasic 1, Biljaka 1, Paparic 1.
Spain: Grandos 2, Bustos 2, Tahull 1.

Netherlands 6:14 Montenegro
(1:5, 2:4, 2:2, 1:3)

Netherlands: Van den Burg 3, Hofmeijer 1, Geestman 1, Van Ruiten 1.
Montenegro: Moskov 6, Saveljic 2, Matkovic 1, Mitrovic 1, Ukropina 1, Radovic 1, Spaic 1, Grgurevic 1.


1. Croatia 2 – 4
2. Spain 2 – 2
3. Montenegro 2 – 2
4. Netherlands 1 – 0
5. Japan 1 – 0


China 14:13 Argentina
(2:2, 5:2, 1:4, 6:5)

China: Beiyi 4, Rongkun 3, G. Yingyi 3, Dingsong 2, Jinpeng 1, Xuliang 1.
Argentina: M. Gido 4, Carlos 4, Tomaas 3, Felipe 1, P. Gido 1.

New Zealand 3:13 Australia
(0:4, 2:2, 1:2, 0:5)

New Zealand: Cameron 1, Paterson 1, Morris 1.
Australia: Putt 4, Nangle 2, Hallam 2, Elphick 1, Anstey 1, Holden 1, Negus 1, Wolohan 1.


1. Australia 2 – 4
2. Serbia 1 – 2
3. China 2-2
4. New Zealand 1 – 0
5. Argentina 2 – 0


South Africa 5:7 Egypt
(1:1, 2:2, 1:2, 1:2)

South Africa: Evezard 3, Neil 2.
Egypt: Hesham 2, Yehia 1, Elsapagh 1, Nabil 1, Badr 1, Saadeldin 1

Italy 2:7 Hungary
(0:1, 1:1, 1:4, 0:1)

Italy: Mezzarobba 1, Camopiano 1.
Hungary: Manhercz 3, Simon 2, Szatmari 1, Burian 1.



1. Hungary 2 – 4
2. Canada 1 – 2
3. Egypt 2 – 2
4. Italy 1 – 0
5. South Africa 2 – 0


9:00 Argentina – New Zealand
10:20 Canada – South Africa
11:40 Egypt – Italy
13:00 Puerto Rico – Iran
16:40 Greece – USA
18:00 Serbia – China
19:20 Japan – Croatia
20:40 Spain – Netherlands


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