This day gave the answer to the main question – who will be playing for gold in the Men’s World League? The game results also determined the pairs for the bronze medal match and consolation finals.
CHINA – BRAZIL12-7.
The bracket brought China and Brazil together for the second time at the Men’s World League Super Final. The teams already faced each other in Round Robin, and the match proved quite unhappy for the Brazilians – they lost 3-18. The situation on the field of play today was not much different. The only quarter with the Brazilians’ advantage in scoring was the third, but this spurt did not affect the final score. China wins 12-7 (3-0, 4-2, 2-3, 3-2).
RUSSIA – JAPAN 13-7.
For Team Russia that was eliminated from medal fight yesterday, today’s victory over Team Japan was a matter of principle. Despite conceding an early first goal, the Russian players were quick to gain back the initiative on the water court. A slight advantage in scoring achieved in the first half turned into a total dominance of the Russians in the second. It is remarkable that the Russians conceded only three goals in the third and fourth quarters combined. 13-7 (4-3, 2-1, 6-0, 1-3), a solid and smooth victory for Team Russia that will play the Chinese squad again, now for the fifth place. Japan and Brazil will contest for the 7th place.
MONTENEGRO – SERBIA 6-8.
Representatives of the same water polo school and neighboring states – Serbia and Montenegro – met today to clinch a berth in the “golden” match of the World League Super Final. Throughout the first half of the game, the teams were exchanging goals – as soon as ones took the lead, the others came back. The goalies of both teams also gave a phenomenal performance. At half-time, Serbia and Montenegro were tied, 4-4. In the third quarter, the Serbian players finally managed to gain a little advantage. In such a game, being just one goal up is an asset. This one-goal difference eventually turned out to be the abyss that Team Montenegro failed to jump over. Further still, with a few seconds remaining in the game, the Serbs sent one more ball into the Montenegrin net. 8-6 (2-2, 2-2, 2-1, 2-1), a victory for Team Serbia.
USA – HUNGARY 6-8.
Teams USA and Hungary also met at the group stage. Then they needed a penalty shoot-out where the Americans were luckier. Today the strength was not equal on the field. If the Hungarians had been thinking of a revenge, they got it 100%. The Europeans built such a solid defensive fence in their half that the Americans could not get over for a period and a half. Meanwhile, the balls flew into the opposite net with regularity and precision. The US players scored a few goals with long shots but did not manage to get so close as to pose a real threat to their rivals. 8-6 (2-0, 2-2, 4-3, 0-1), a victory for Team Hungary that will play against Team Serbia in tomorrow’s final.