World U20 Championship: Greece and Croatia clash for gold

Photo: Ivica Veselinov/WP OF SERBIA

Croatia and Greece will clash in the final game of the 19th World Men’s Junior Championship in Belgrade tomorrow. Fans saw two exciting semifinal matches in the “Milan Gale Muskatirovic” pool today. Croatia beat Hungary (6:4), while Greece defeated Serbia, the hosts and the gold medal winners from the previous championship 9:8.The match Greece – Croatia will start at 20:00. Serbia and Hungary will face in the match for the third place (18:40)

Thriller semifinals


The first semifinal game saw a low-scoring encounter between Hungary, which won bronze two years ago, and Croatia. Hungary led 1:0 and 2:1 in the opening minutes, but after the first quarter, the Croats had a minimal lead, thanks to Duzevic’s goal, two seconds before the first 2-minute rest. In the second half, the defences were dominant, and only one goal was seen (Paparic for 4:2).

Both teams played on the same way in the third period too. Both didn’t manage to find a way for good shots and true chances for goals. But, in the last minute of the period, Hungary came back. The Hungarians netted twice for 4:4 (0:50 and 0:05 on the clock) and the last period was a new start.
Rino Buric was the man of the match. He netted twice (both with an extra-man) in the finish of the game (2:22 and 0:48 on the clock), for a 6:4 victory and for sad faces of a lot of Hungarians in the stands.

Besides Buric, Duzevic scored two goals for Croatia. In the team of Hungary four players netted once each. Among them wasn’t the best scorer of Kristzian Manhercz. Croatia found a way to shut him.

Throughout the first half of the second semifinal Serbia – Greece, the score was moving “click-clack”. The Greeks were taking a one goal lead, but Serbia was answering and was setting result to equal. It was until the last minute. 24 seconds before the end Troulos scored for 7:5. But, in the last second, while a buzzer for the end of the 2nd quarter was beeping, Radojevic hit the target for 7:6.

Everything that was interesting in the third quarter happened in the first two minutes. Greece went on 8:6 in the first minute. In the following attack, Radojevic netted fourth time this evening (8:7). After that, Papanastasiou was booked. Referees showed him a red card because he hit Toholj while they were swimming to the goal of Greece. But, it didn’t help Serbia in that moment. Greece got an extra man 30 seconds later, which Skoumpakis converted to a 9:6 lead.

The Greeks played excellently and controlled the match, while Serbia couldn’t find the right rhythm in the fourth quarter, too. After more than 11 minutes without a goal, Serbia finally netted for 9:8 (1:18 on the clock). Toholj stole the ball from Gkoutvetsis in the next action. The fans were cheering: “Serbia, Serbia”, the loudest as they can. The hosts had an attack to equalise but Gkouvetsis blocked Radojevic’s shot (0:23 by the end). In the remaining time, the Greeks kept the ball and to celebrate a 9:8 victory.


Spain and Montenegro play for 5h place

The Spaniards recovered from the shocking defeat in the match against Greece (they led 6:3, but, at the end, they lose 7:8). In the first semifinal match for the places from 5th to 8th Spain overpowered Italy 12:8. The Italians, who were beaten by Serbia yesterday ( 9:17), took the early lead today (2:0). But, Spain managed to equalise till the end of the 1st quarter (2:2) and added two more goals in the first two minutes of the second period for 4:2. Mezzaroba broke the series in the middle of the quarter (4:3), but the Spaniards returned to the right track soon. At halftime, they led 7:3. A 5-1 quarter was crucial, after the big rest, Spain played well enough to keep the win.

In the second semifinal for 5th place, Montenegro beat the USA team 12:10. The Americans led 1:0 and 2:1 in the first quarter but from the second period, Montenegro was a team which controlled the game. In the last second of the first half, Spaic netted for the first three-goal lead (9:6). Before the last period, Montenegro again was three goals ahead (11:8). The Americans came very close once more. They scored twice in the first minute of the last period (10:11). Despite many chances on both sides, there were no goals in following minutes. Goalkeepers were dominant figures in the pool. Mitrovic hit for the final score 2:17 by the end.

Moving  to an indoor pool

Matches of the evening programme (semi finals 5th-8th and semi finals 1st-4th places) were played in the indoor pool of the “Milan Muskatirovic Gale” sports centre.After four hot days, a heavy rain was falling in Belgrade this evening. The organizers were forced to move the matches indoors. It happened six days ago, too. The match USA – Russia was played in the indoor pool because of storm and rain. According to the latest information, the games of the last day will be played outdoors. Weather observers and forecasters don’t predict heavy rain for Sunday.



Croatia 6:4 Hungary
(3:2, 1:0, 0:2, 2:0)

Croatia: Duzevic 2, Buric 2,Lazic 1, Paparic 1.
Hungary: Vadovics 1, Rauser 1, Szatmari 1, Burian 1

Greece 9:8 Serbia
(3:3, 4:3, 2:1, 0:1)

Greece: Skoumpakis 3, Masmanidis 2, Gkouvetsis 1, Papanastasiou 1, Troulos 1, Kapetanikis 1.
Serbia: RAdojevic 4, Lukic 1, Vucinic 1, Drasovic 1, Velkic 1.

5th – 8th places (semifinals)

Spain 12:8 Italy
(2:2, 5:1, 3:2, 2:3)

Spain: Calatrava 4, Tahull 3, Granados 2, Paul 1, Rodriguez 1, Garcia 1.
Italy: Manzi 4, Mezzarobba 2, Guerrato 1, Maccioni 1.

USA 10:12 Montenegro
(3:3, 3:6, 2:2, 2:1)

USA: Osborne 3, Daube 2, Abramson 2, Hooper 2, Ehrhardt 1.
Montenegro: Mitrovic 3, Moskov 3, Radovic 2, Saveljic 1, Vujasevic 1, Gardasevic 1, Spaic 1.

For 9th place

Canada 7:14 Russia
(1:5, 2:3, 0:5, 4:1)

Canada:Reiher 2, Poliseno 1, Dherkovic 1, Cote 1, D’Souza 1.
Russia: Merkulov 4, Zakirov 3, Gusarov 2, Kharkov 2, Kucherenko 2, Usov 1.

For 11th place

China 3:14 Australia
(0:3, 1:5, 2:1, 0:5)

China: Beiyi 2, Yi 1.
Australia: Wolohan 4, Negus 3, Elphick 2, Hallam 2, Vos 2, Anstey 1.

For 13th place

Netherlands 6:15 Japan
(2:2, 1:2, 2:7, 0:5)

Netherlands: Mama Radji 2, Van den Bersselaar 2, Geestman 1, Wolswinkel 1.
Japan: Inaba 5, Date 4, Koppu 2, Kobayashi 1, Ichimura 1, Suzuki 1, Aizawa 1.

For 15th place

Iran 8:16 Egypt
(1:5, 2:4, 2:4, 3:3)

Iran: Yazdankhan 3, Parhoon 2, Rahbar 1, Peiravani 1, Ghavidel 1.

For 17th place

New Zealand 3:7 Argentina
(1:0, 2:3, 0:2, 0:2)

New Zealand: Booker 1, Catlin 1, Morris 1.
Argentina: Camnasio 4, Poggi 2, Provenzano 1.

For 19th place

South Africa 9:14 Puerto Rico
(1:2, 5:4, 2:4, 1:4)

South Africa: Neil 4, Rom 2, Van Zyl 1, Evezard 1, Brekspear 1.
Puerto Rico: Zayas 3, Martir 2, Ocasio 2, Hernandez 2, Robles 2, Andino 1, Loubriel 1.

Sunday, August 13th

Classification 7th-8th place
16:00 Italy – USA

Classification 5th-6th place
17:20 Spain – Montenegro

For bronze medal
18:40 Hungary – Serebia


20:00 Croatia – Greece

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