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FINA WC Day 12 - Men's Water Polo Match 39 & 40

Jul 24, 2003

Match 39, Men 09:30, 24.07.03
Play-off for 11th & 12th
Quarters: 0-1, 2-2, 2-3, 3-0

Referees: Michael McNeill (AUS), Wim Keman (AHO)

GERMANY: Alexander Tchigir, Steffen Dierolf (1), Fabian Schroedter, Patrick Weissinger, Michael Zellmer, Marc Politze, Tim Wollthan, Thomas Schertwitis, Tobias Kreuzmann (1), Heiko Nossek (5), Timo Purschke, Soeren Mackeben, Jens Pohlmann. Coach: Hagen Stamm.

ROMANIA: Robert Dinu, Cosmin Radu (1), Florin Musat (1), Florin Bonca, Andrei Iosep, Dragos Stoenescu, Adrian Cretu (3), Robert Fieresteanu, Ramses Jurawle (1), Ionut Angelescu, Nicolae Diaconu, Kalman Kabar, Edward Andrei Dina. Coach: Dragan Jovonovic.

A player from German second division club SSV Esslingen, Heiko Nossek, assumed immortality as his German team won the race for 11th over Romania. Nossek, seemingly rooted to the right-hand catch position at 8m, fired in five missiles with such accuracy that Romania will be viewing the tapes to see who was responsible for slack defence. Romania led 3-0 until halfway through the second quarter. Then Nossek struck with his first two to trail 3-2 at halftime. Adrian Cretu took Romania 4-2 ahead. Germany replied twice for 4-4 and Cosmin Radu and Cretu saw Romania 6-4 up with 17 seconds left. Then Nossek converted on the hooter. Nossek levelled the game at 2:58 of the fourth and, after a timeout, who gets to shoot? Nossek. The win came at 0:59.

Match 40, Men 10:45, 24.07.03
Play-off for 9th & 10th
Quarters: 2-1, 2-1, 1-0, 3-1

Referees: Radu Matache (ROM), Joaquin Fernandez Escola (ESP)

CROATIA: Frano Vican, Damir Buric, Goran Volarevic, Dubravko Simenc (1), Tihomil Vranjes, Ratko Stritof (1), Mile Smodlaka, Teo Dogas, Nikola Frankovic (4), Samir Barac (2), Igor Hinic, Elvis Fatovic, Vjekoslav Kobescak
Coach: Zoran Roje

RUSSIA: Nicolay Maksimov, Yury Iatsev, Alexander Fedorov, Nikolay Kozlov, Roman Balashov, Alexander Eryshov, Revaz Tchomakhidze (1), Dmitri Stratan, Dmitri Gorchkov (1), Marat Zakirov, Sergey Garbuzov, Irek Zinnourov (1), Andrey Reketchinski
Coach: Alexander Kabanov

Russia's demise was complete with Croatia too good for the World Cup and World League champion of 2002. And the man responsible was Nikola Frankovic with four goals, three on extra man. As the No 2 team in Europe and so close to winning the European championship last month, Croatia had the arsenal. Dmitri Gorchkov opened for Russia but Samir Barac and Frankovic ensured a Croatia lead a the first break. Frankovic again and Irek Zinnourov for Russia made it 3-2. Frankovic scored his second extra goal for 4-2. Then Zinnourov took a penalty for Russia but hammered the right-hand top corner of the goal face. Frankovic made it 5-2 at 2:09 of the third and Revaz Tchomakhidze scored his eighth goal of the championship from centre forward immediately after pulling an ejection. Barac on right-hand catch and Dubravko Simenc from the top middle had an unassailable lead at 1:43. Ratko Stritof completed the rout on extra at 0:35. Russia has never before finished lower than seventh as Russia or the Soviet Union at World Championship level. Croatia was eighth in 2001 and ninth in 1998. Its best result is fourth in 1994, when it was beaten by Russia in the bronze-medal final.