Croatia, one of the biggest favorites at the 16th FINA Men’s World Cup in Berlin, will go home with no medal. Today in the quarterfinals, Australia upset the world champions and sent them out of the race for medals. There were no surprises in other today’s games.
In the semifinals, Australia will face Germany, while Serbia and Hungary will meet in one of the “water polo classics”.
Australia – Croatia
The first period of the game Australia – Croatia showed that it would be a close battle. The first goal was scored 68 seconds before the first break (Campbell 1:0), while Setka equalized in the last second of the period. The Croats led throughout the second quarter (2:1, 3:2, 4:3, 5:4), but at halftime, it was 5:5. The Croats went 7:5 up in the 19th minute. The “Aussie Sharks” caught the rival by the last break. After the third, quarter, the sides were tied (7:7) and the last eight minutes decided everything. Australia continued its series early in the fourth quarter. The “Aussies” scored the third consecutive goal to earn their second lead in the match – 8:7 (after opening 1:0). Defenses dominated in this quarter. Josip Vrlic back the terms on equal 1:14 before the end (8:8), but in the next possession Joseph Kayes set the final score for a big surprise, Australia won 8:7. Kayes, who is Pro Recco’s new centre-forward, and Vrlic were top scorers with three goals each.
The match was also a “family duel” in which the older one was better. Elvis Fatovic, Australia’s head coach, defeated his son Loren, who is one of the main Croatian players.
The World Cup has remained the only major competition which Croatia has never won.
Hungary – USA
Hungary had a great start against the USA. Only five minutes into the first period, the Hungarians were 4:0 up. The Americans started climbing back and reduced the gap to 1 in the middle of the third quarter (5:6). Hungary soon earned a 3-goal advantage. They were 9:6 after the 3rd quarter. The USA didn’t manage to come back anymore. Hungary won 10:8. Bence Batori toped the scorers’ list with 3 goals.
Serbia – Japan
Serbia recorded a nice 12:7 win over Japan, but the Olympic and the European champion didn’t earn victory easily. The Serbs found themselves 0:2 down after just 102 seconds of play. The favorites “woke up” soon and dominated in the following minutes. They produced a 6:1 rush to go 6:3 up in the 14th minute. There were a lot of goals until the halftime, but the Serbs maintained a 3-goal lead – 8:5. Serbia secured the victory and a spot in the semifinals by the end of the third quarter. Before the fourth period, the Serbs had a 5-goal advantage (11:6) and there was no way back for the Japanese. Serbia slowed down in the final period and saved energy for the hard game against Hungary. Dusan Mandic, Serbia captain, was the best scorer in the winning team. He found the net four times, as well as Okawa in the team od Japan.
Germany – South Africa
Germany didn’t have any troubles in the match against South Africa. The hosts won by a 19-goal margin (24:5). Maurice Juengling scored five goals, Marin Restovic and Mateo Cuk four each…By reaching the semifinals, Germany already achieved a big success, as they secured a spot at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju.
FINA Men’s World Cup 2018, Quarterfinals
Hungary 10:8 USA
(5:2, 1:1, 3:3, 1:2)
Hungary:Batori 3, Manhercz 2, Zalnaki, Nemet, Kovacs, Pasztor, Pohl.
USA: Hallock 2, Cupido 2, Hooper 2, Irving, Obert.
Australia 9:8 Croatia
(1:1, 4:4, 2:2, 2:1)
Australia: Kayes 3, L. Edwards 2, Campbell, Hollis, Younger, B. Edwards.
Croatia: Vrlic 3, Garcia, Setka, Fatovic, Loncar,
Japan 7:12 Serbia
(3:2, 2:6, 1:3, 1:1)
Japan: Okawa 4, Suzuki 2, Adachi.
Serbia: Mandic 4, Subotic 3, Lazic 2, Stojanovic, S. Rasovic, Randjelovic.
Germany 24:5 South Africa
(7:3, 5:1, 7:0, 5:1)
Germany:Juengling 5, Cuk 4, Restovic 4, Reibel 3, Real 2, Eidner 2, Van der Bosch, Strelezkij, Schulz, Stamm.
South Africa:Evezard 2, Stewart, Spencer, Rodda
Saturday, 15 September
Semifinals 1st – 4th place
Serbia – Hungary
Germany – Australia
Semifinals 5th – 8th place
Croatia – South Africa
Japan – USA