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FINA WC Day 8 - Men's Water Polo Match 27 & 28

Jul 20, 2003

Match 27, Men 12:00, 20.07.03
Quarters: 1-1, 2-3, 0-3, 3-3

Referees: Peter Bookelman (NED), Erhan Tulga (TUR)

CROATIA: Frano Vican, Damir Buric, Goran Volarevic, Dubravko Simenc, Tihomil Vranjes (1), Ratko Stritof, Mile Smodlaka, Teo Dogas (1), Nikola Frankovic (2), Samir Barac (1), Igor Hinic, Elvis Fatovic (1), Vjekoslav Kobescak
Coach: Zoran Roje

AUSTRALIA: James Stanton, Ryan Moody, Trent Franklin (2), Pietro Figlioli (1), Dean Semmens (1), Toby Jenkins, Timothy Neesham (1), Samuel McGregor, Thomas Whalan, Gavin Woods (2), Aleksandr Osadchuk (1), Nathan Thomas (2), Rafael Sterk
Coach: Erkin Shagaev

The slogan for the World Championships is Unbelievable. And that's what happened at the water polo pool when Australia defeated European No 2 Croatia 10-6. Australia will now play Italy in the quarter-finals. The size of the win was amazing and at one stage the game was 8-3 in the Aussie Sharks' advantage. Never before had Australia beaten Croatia at this level, let alone by four goals. The first period was tight with Gavin Woods scoring first. Nathan Thomas took the game to 2-1 for Australia but Nikola Frankovic levelled on counter-attack for his second goal. Then Dubravko Simenc was sent for the game after an altercation with Australian Ryan Moody. Two goals on extra for Australia had the green caps 4-2 up but Croatia replied through Tihomil Vranjes on extra to close out the half. The third period was all Australia with Woods on extra, Aleksandr Osadchuk from nine metres and Timothy Neesham on extra pushing the score to 7-3. Dean Semmens made it 8-3 soon after the start of the fourth period. Elvis Fatovic and Samir Barac scored on extra for 8-5 but Trent Franklin, who was sporting stitches above his right eye from an alleged punch in the third period, scored, as did Nathan Thomas on counter for 10-5. Teo Dogas scored on extra at 2:19 and Australia shut the game down for the historic victory. Australian goalkeeper James Stanton was exceptional with a multitude of saves.

Match 28, Men 13:15, 20.07.03
Quarters: 0-3, 1-3, 1-0, 1-5

Referees: Vladimir Prikhodko (KAZ), Gyorgy Juhasz (HUN)

ROMANIA: Robert Dinu, Cosmin Radu, Florin Musat, Florin Bonca, Andrei Iosep (1), Dragos Stoenescu, Adrian Cretu (1), Robert Fieresteanu, Ramses Jurawle (1), Ionut Angelescu, Nicolae Diaconu, Kalman Kabar, Edward Andrei Dina
Coach: Dragan Jovonovic

SERBIA & MONTENEGRO: Nikola Kuljaca, Slobodan Nikic, Boris Zlokovic, Vanja Udovicic (2), Dejan Savic (1), Danilo Ikodinovic (1), Viktor Jelenic, Vladimir Gojkovic, Aleksandar Ciric, Aleksandar Sapic (4), Vladimir Vujasinovic (2), Predrag Jokic (1), Denis Sefik
Coach: Nenad Manojlovic

European champion Serbia & Montenegro produced two fine quarters but seemed to struggle in the middle two against Romania. With a 3-0 opening period it looked like they would completely overcome the Romanians. However, the Romanians have proved these championships that they are capable of playing at the elite level. But there would be just one winner and the Serbians cruised into the top eight and a clash with world champion Spain. Dejan Savic, Aleksandar Sapic and Vladimir Vujasinovic had the game at 3-0. Adrian Cretu responded to start the second quarter but captain Vujasinovic, Danilo Ikodinovic and Sapic took it to 6-1. The only goal of the third was via penalty to Andrei Iosep. Sapic scored his third and fourth from centre forward and extra with Vanja Udovicic scoring either side of Romania's Ramses Jurawle. Predrag Jokic scored on counter with 18 seconds left as the victor had control of the match.