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Serbia: Escape to victory

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Favourite Serbian team has survived in the men’s water polo tournament in Rio after beating Japan 12-8. (Image: waterpolo.hu)

Favourite Serbian team has survived in the men’s water polo tournament in Rio after beating Japan 12-8. The Serbs have finished fourth in group A, and meet Spain in the quarter-final.

„We began the tournament with some poor results, so we had to improve and fight to go through to the last eight. Congratulations for the Japanese team, they have players with 160 cm and 60 kg, but they have still managed to play a good game. Fortunately in the end we won the game” – captain Zivko Gocic said.

„I have never seen this kind of water polo that the Japenese have shown today. If they improve more, they can play even tougher matches against top teams. For us, however, the most important thing was to win” – said Gojko Pijetlovic.

Hungary finished first in the group. The team of Tibor Benedek beat Brazil 10-6.

„It was a good match for us, we were clearly the better side. We were preapered for every situation, but we had the match in our hand until the very last minute” – Benedek said for the official homepage of the Hungarian federation.

„Our next opponent, Montenegro is very aggressive, we expereienced that in the European Championship. If they can confuse us with their physical dominance, we can get in trouble, but if we ignore that and believe that we can be better – and this is the case in my opinion – we will win the game” – the head coach added.

Australia beat Greece 12-7, but it was still not enough to go through to the quarter-final.

“I’m happy with the performance of my players because it’s not easy to step up after the game with Serbia, which I think we played even better than we played today” - Australian head coach Elvis Fatovic said.

“We played better on this tournament every game and that’s a signal to us that we need more and more games to have more experiences in a situation like this.”

There were some silly results in group B, as defending champion Croatia lost 9-8 against France, and the US Team beat Italy 10-7.

„It was a stupid game, but I have to stay that we have missed a couple of key players like injured Loncar and Sukno. I had already said before the game that it would not be easy for us” – Croatian Josip Pavid stressed.

„We did not play well, but the most important part of the tournament is beginning now, the teams are focusing on the knockout phase” – Maro Jokovic said.

The USA have not managed to qualify for the quarter-final, but said goodbye for Rio with a nice result against Italy.

„It was good we finished strong. We had a couple of guys who hadn’t scored a goal all tournament and they finally did. We came out and we played together and we came out with a win. Unfortunately we aren’t where we wanted to be, but when you are in the Olympic Games you are representing your country and you are representing a lot more than your individual self” – US captain Tony Azevedo said.

Spain and Montenegro shared the points (9-9), that means that the Spanish team finished on top in group B.

Men’s water polo tournament

Group A:

  1. Hungary 7 points
  2. Greece 6
  3. Brazil 6
  4. Serbia 6
  5. Australia 5
  6. Japan 0

Group B:

  1. Spain 7 points
  2. Croatia 6
  3. Italy 6
  4. Montenegro 5
  5. USA 4
  6. France 2

The pairings in the quarter-final: Hungary–Montenegro, Greece–Italy, Brazil–Croatia, Serbia-Spain

Sources: www.sportske.net, waterpolo.hu, Slobodna Dalmacija,waterpoloaustralia.com.au, swimswam.com 

Images: waterpolo.hu