The battle of South America between Brazil and Peru, that kicked off day 4 of the World Youth Championships in Perth, Australia, was an off-balanced one. Right from the start it was obvious that Brazil had the better plays as Peru stuggled to get a shot off and if they managed to do so, the Brazilians more than once could score on the counter attack. At quarter-time Brazil already led 6-0 and it was not until the end of the third quarter before Peru finally managed to score (15-1). In the fourth quarter Brazil clearly eased up allowing Peru more man-up from which they off twice. When the Brazilians then stepped on the gas pedal four unaswered goals brought them close to the twenty-goal mark. But Peru had the final goal as their lefthanded number ten, Diego Villar, scored on an extra man possession with five seconds left to close out the game with a 19-4 score, the first win for Brazil this tournament.
Nice all-team performance gets Italy six-goal victory
The big meeting between Italy and Serbia, the second game on Tuesday, saw a talented and impressive Italian side claiming a six-goal victory as they won 10-4 and seem to have emerged as the number one canditate to reach the final in Perth. A nice all-around effort, mainly in an impressive first half that featured some high percentage shooting, movement, defensive stops, swimming and physical but skilled plays from centre-forwards Lorenzo Bruni and Tommaso Busilacchi kept Serbia under pressure as Italy jumped out to leading 4-1 at half time after a 1-0 first quarter in which Nikola Radulovic was red carded for kicking had Serbia trailing from the end of the first quarter on.
In the second quarter the Italian centre-forwards emerged as biggest problem for the Serbian defence that suffered two goals in a row of major fouls drawn by both Bruni and Busilacchi. A penalty shot by Andrea Fondelli (who had missed one in the first quarter) and Vince Dolce got Italy up 3-0 before an active Dusan Mandic, who was trying to force a turnaround for several minutes with isolation plays and long rage shots finaly succeeded and in what way: a quickly taken but beautiful backhand shot off a free throw from six meters out with over a minute left in the first half got Serbia on the scoreboard: 3-1. But the respons did not took long. Luca Cupido fired over Mandic two possessions later as time was running out, again from distance to retain the three-goal advantage for Italy at half time leading 4-1.
After the break Serbia tried to force a comeback bringing a more swimming-type game that looked successful at first. Exclusions were drawn and two straight goals of well-played extra man possessions (Nikola Jaksic and Dimitrije Obradovic) got the Serbs right back in the match with still most of the third period left to be played. But as good as the little comeback surge was, the response from Italy was equally impressive. No less than four unanswered goals, from which three of were made off major fouls from the Serbian defence including one penalty, more or less decided the game. A well-played counter attack with top scorer Luca Cupido (3) tipping in the 8-3 after good passing ment a nice conclusion of that little but decisive run. Serbia head coach Dejan Savic substituted two starters and the three goals scored in the final eight minutes, with Italy even winning that encounter 2-1, did not changed anything but the final score figures. With the win Italy looks to win group D and qualifying for the quarter-finals while Serbia needs to play crossing matches against, if they finished second, group A’s number three.
USA powers past Egypt
In group A the USA joined Canada with two points after two games gaining their first win in convincing fashion beating Egypt 14-4. The North Americans had not much to worry about on the defensive end against a physical weaker Egyptian side that struggled to get a shot off but, as they tried, allowed USA to strike on counter attacks which they did twice in a row in the first quarter alone opening up a 4-0 lead after the first eight minutes. The focus of the American side seemed to slip away in the second period allowing Egypt to score twice on man-ups while USA was not able to create much on the offensive end. The poor performance from the second quarter was made up for in the third as USA scored six consecutive goals in a dominant effort to lead 10-2 after the third period. That dominance was continued in the final eight minutes, or at least most part of it as the US-team scored four goals in a row to even lead 14-2 before Egypt closed out the game with two of their own to bring the final score to 14-4. Ryder Roberts finished as top scorer for the US with three goals while being assisted by four teammates who netted a pair. With only a game against Hungary left, Egypt seems to have been eliminated for the playoffs phase while USA faces Canada on Wednesday in a head-to-head duel for second place in group A.
Croatia routs to undefeated group B win
Next to medal contenders Italy and Serbia battling for group victory on Tuesday, Croatia routed to an undefeated group win. For the third time in four games, the Croatians recorded a blowout victory and can now prepare themselves for a quarter-final meeting with the winner of the battle between group A’s number two and group D’s number three, to be determined on Wednesday and Thursday.
Only being tested against Australia in their opening game (8-6), the Croats are yet to show the best of themselves. Colombia tried but faced a Croatian team that, just like yesterday’s game against New Zealand, was not to be surprised in the opening phase of the game jumping out to leading 2-7 at the end of the first quarter outswimming the Colombians who were slow on getting back in transition defence.
That remained the biggest problem as Croatia could easily use the counter attacks to extend their lead to eleven goals at half time scoring five consecutive goals on missed or blocked shots by Colombia leading 2-13 going into the break. No real match was contested in the third and fourth quarter as Croatia continued to benifit from the slow Colombia defence to walk even further away from their opponents who kept trying but managed to score only three goals in the entire second half and suffer a 5-24 defeat against the, undoubtedly, medal contenders who are yet to show their real face.
FINA World Youth Championships
18 & Under
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
09.00: Brazil vs. Peru 19-4 (6-0, 3-0, 6-1 4-3)
10.20: Italy vs. Serbia 10-4 (1-0, 3-1, 4-2, 2-1)
11.40: USA vs. Egypt 14-4 (4-0, 0-2, 6-0, 4-2)
13.00: Colombia vs. Croatia 5-24 (2-7, 0-6, 1-3, 2-8)
14.20: Uzbekistan vs. Greece 5-26 (3-6, 2-5, 0-8, 0-7)
18.30: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Romania
20.00: New Zealand vs. Australia
1. Hungary 2 – 4 pts
2. Canada 2 – 2
3. USA 2 – 2
4. Egypt 2 – 0
1. Croatia 4 – 8 pts
2. Colombia 3 – 2
3. New Zealand 2 – 2
4. Australia 2 – 2
5. South Africa 3 – 0
1. Greece 2 – 4 pts
2. Romania 3 – 4
3. Uzbekistan 2 – 2
4. Iran 3 – 2
5. Trinidad & Tobago 2 – 0
1. Italy 3 – 6 pts
2. Serbia 4 – 6
3. Kazakhstan 3 – 2
4. Brazil 3 – 2
5. Peru 3 – 0
Monday, 3 December 2012
09.00: Greece vs. Iran 16-5 (2-1, 3-0, 5-3, 6-1)
10.20: Romania vs. Uzbekistan 9-8 (3-3, 3-1, 3-2, 0-2)
11.40: Peru vs. Kazakhstan 6-15 (1-6, 1-3, 2-3, 2-3)
13.00: Serbia vs. Brazil 12-9 (2-3, 2-0, 3-3, 5-3)
14.20: Egypt vs. Canada 10-14 (2-4, 2-4, 4-3, 2-3)
18.30: Croatia vs. New Zealand – outdoor pool – 17-4 (4-1, 4-0, 5-2, 4-1)
20.00: Australia vs. South Africa 15-4 (2-2, 3-1, 7-0, 3-1)
Sunday, 2 December 2012
09.00: South Africa vs. Croatia 1-25 (0-8, 1-4, 0-4, 0-9)
10.20: New Zealand vs. Colombia 11-10 (2-2, 3-2, 4-4, 2-2)
11.40: Iran vs. Romania 4-11 (0-3, 0-2, 2-4, 2-2)
13.00: Uzbekistan vs. Trinidad & Tobago 19-16 * (2-2, 7-4, 8-1, 2-9)
14.20: Kazakhstan vs. Serbia 1-20 (0-4, 1-6, 0-5, 0-5)
15.40: Brazil vs. Italy 7-17 (1-5, 2-4, 1-4, 3-4)
20.00: USA vs. Hungary 9-10 (1-2, 3-3, 2-3, 3-2)
*the final score of the game is being reviewed by FINA
Saturday, 1 December 2012
09.00: Hungary vs. Canada 20-6 (4-1, 7-2, 3-2, 6-1)
10.20: Colombia vs. South Africa 11-4 (1-1, 1-2, 4-0, 5-1)
11.40: Romania vs. Greece 5-8 (2-2, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3)
13.00: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Iran 7-9 (3-4, 1-2, 2-2, 1-1)
14.20: Serbia vs. Peru 26-2 (9-0, 7-0, 6-1, 4-1)
17.15: Opening Ceremony
18.30: Croatia vs. Australia 8-6 (1-2, 3-1, 2-2, 2-1)
20.00: Italy vs. Kazakhstan 26-5 (7-1, 5-3, 5-1, 9-0)