WPWL Men’s Super Final 2015, Bergamo, Day 5: Croatia and Serbia will play for The gold medal, Brazil and The USA for the bronze

World League

Gold will go to the Balkans, bronze to Americas. Following the results of the semifinals Serbia and Croatia will play the final for the first place while Brazil and the United States will play the match for the third place.

Under the helm of two top coaches, both from the former Yugoslavia – Ratko Rudic (Croatia) and Dejan Udovicic (Serbia) – Brazil and the United States have improved and become more competitive.

A final between Serbia and Croatia was among the predictable options. Not so much the final for the bronze medal between Brazil and the United States. In fact everybody was expecting Hungary and Italy to be among the top four but both teams, still in the middle of the preparation for the World Championships, did not perform at their best. The winner takes it all: the gold medal, the Olympic qualification and the 100,000 dollar FINA prize money.

For the 5th place Australia will play Hungary while China, the only team with no victories, will face Italy for the 7th place in the last day of the tournament.

Prize money for the Super Final • 1st Place 100’000.- USD • 2nd Place 70’000.- USD • 3rd Place 50’000.- USD • 4th Place 35’000.- USD • 5th Place 30’000.- USD • 6th Place 25’000.- USD • 7th Place 20’000.- USD • 8th Place 15’000.- USD

Schedule of Finals/Sunday, 28th June 2015
7th place: China-Italy at 4:00 pm
5th place: Australia-Hungary at 5:20 pm
3rd place/bronze medal:  Brazil-USA at 6:40 pm
1st place/gold medal: Serbia-Croatia at 8:00 pm

Semifinals Report

GAME 17: AUSTRALIA - CHINA: 13-3 (5-1, 2-1; 3-1,3-0)

AUSTRALIA: Joel DENNERLY (GK), Richard CAMPBELL (2), George FORD, John COTTERILL (1), Nathan POWER (1), Jarrod GILCHRIST (2), Aidan ROACH (1), Aaron YOUNGER, Joel SWIFT (1), Martin TYLER (1), Rhys HOWDEN (1), William MILLER (3), James CLARK (GK). Head Coach: Elvis FATOVIC.

CHINA: Honghui WU (GK), Feihu TAN, Zhangxin HU, Tao DONG, Wenhui LU, Li LI (1), Zhongxian CHEN (1), Liang GU, Ze Kai XIE, Jinghao CHEN (1), Chufeng ZHANG, Nianxiang LIANG (), Zhiwei LIANG (GK). Head Coach: Paolo MALARA.

Australia fast breaks and defensive pressing created more than a problem to the Chinese side, especially in the first quarter when the Asian players seemed to be caught by surprise and the Aussies scored five times.
In the second quarter the Chinese appeared to have listened the instructions of coach Paolo Malara who was asking for more discipline and a more dynamic style of play. In this period the Australians scored 2 goals, China 1. At half time the score was 7-2 for the team in white cap.

Photo credit: Giorgio Scala

The 3rd quarter developed similarly to the previous one, with the Aussies scoring three goals and the Chinese one. The score before the last quarter was 10-3 for the Australians.

The 4th quarter opened with two consecutive goals from Australia #12 Miller. The divide between the contenders grew to nine goals (12-3). Campbell  sealed the match with his second goal. Final score 13-3, a difference of 10 goals.

Australia scored with five nine players, the result of an excellent collective work of the team coached by Elvis Fatovic. The top scorer was Miller, with three goals.

Paolo Malara (China’s coach): "We expected this kind of results. We are proud to represent Asia and to be amongst the finalists of the tournament. We are a young team and it is very important for us to grow and to make experience. I am happy of the offensive game we played. On the other hand, we made too many mistakes in defense; you always pay for these mistakes when you play against high level teams".

Joel Dennerley (Australia’s goalkeeper)
"We won thanks to a good defense. The opponents were not amongst the toughest teams to play against. We have, however, to improve our offensive game: we missed several opportunities".

Game 18: ITALY 5- HUNGARY 10 / (1-3,1-2; 1-3,2-2)

HUNGARY: Viktor NAGY (GK), Miklos GOR-NAGY (1), Norbert MADARAS (2), Balasz ERDELYI , Marton VAMOS, Norbert HOSNYASKY (1), Ferenc SALAMON (1) , Daniel ANGYAL (1), Daniel VARGA © (1), Denes VARGA (2), Toni NEMET, Balazs HARAI (1), Attila DECKER (GK). Head Coach: Tibor BENEDEK.

ITALY: Stefano TEMPESTI (GK) ©, Francesco DI FULVIO, Alessandro VELOTTO, Pietro FIGLIOLI, Alex GIORGETTI , Andrea FONDELLI (1), Nicholas PRESCIUTTI, Valentino GALLO (2), Niccolò GITTO, Stefano LUONGO, Matteo AICARDI, Fabio BARALDI (1), Marco DEL LUNGO (GK). Head Coach: Alessandro CAMPAGNA.


The confrontation between Hungary, the world champion from Barcelona 2013, and Italy, the Olympic silver medalist from London 2012, this time was for a less ambitious fifth place.

Photo credit: Giorgio Scala

The Magyars seemed more focused while the Italian looked tired, not so much motivated, certainly not brilliant.
Italy paid for the mistakes in extra player (3/14), and also for the mental and physical tiredness accumulated in the previous days.
In the first quarter 3 action goals boosted Hungary’s hopes of winning the game while Italy badly missed some great opportunities on extra player..

The first goal was scored by Denes Vargas, two minutes after the start. After few seconds Italy had the chance to tie but Figlioli missed a penalty (Nagy saved).
A minute later the Magyars doubled with Angyal on a lethal counterattack. Hungay up two goals at half time in the first period. Italy missed a new incredible opportunity with two men up. Hungary’s widened the gap to three goals when Angyal scored his second.

Italy’s first goal came from Gallo, almost at the expiration of the period (3-1).
One minute 17 seconds inside the second quarter Denes Vargas doubled his tally shooting from the long distance (10 meters): a missile that surprised Italy’s veteran goalie Tempesti (4-1).

Italy’s center Baraldi scored from2-meter on a back shot at half of the second period.
Hungary went up three goals soon after when its center Hosnyansky scored also from 2 meters. 5-2 the score at half time.
On the opening of the 3rd quarter Italy had one more opportunity on extra player (Hosnyansky was excluded). Instead, nearly to minutes inside the quarter Hungary’s captain Daniel Varga scored on counter attack, increasing the gap to four goals (6-2). An action goal from Fondelli was answered by Salomon, also on action (3-7). Hungary’s number 3, the left hander Madaras, scored his first on action to bring the difference to five goals. 8-3.
Hungary lost his mighty center forward Hosnyasky for three major fouls.

4th Q. An early goal of Baraldi from the center was answered by two more goals of Hungary, with Gor-Nagy on man-up and Madaras on action (4-10).

At half time in the last quarter Italy’s Figlioli was shown a red a card for protests.
Gallo scored his second goal on action from outside at less than a minute from  the conclusion of the period.
Hungary won with 10 goals, the double of those scored by Italy (5).

Alessandro Campagna (Italy’s coach): "In five days we played against teams physically strong and this is not easy: this afternoon we paid for all the efforts of the previous days. We were not cynical in offensive actions because during the tournament we worked very hard to get in the best shape at the world championships, in Kazan. However I have received signals extremely encouraging by my team".

Daniel Varga (Hungary’s captain): "I am satisfied with our game. We played together and well. We are sorry we did not reached the semifinals".

Tibor Benedek (Hungary’s coach): "It was a difficult match, because the team was demoralized for not making the semifinals”. Tomorrow against Australia we will play at our best to bring home victory".

Game 19: BRAZIL 9-SERBIA 13 / (3-4, 1-1; 2-5, 3-3)

BRAZIL: Vinicius ANTONELLI (GK), Jonas CRIVELLA (1), Guilherme GOMES (2), Ives ALONSO, Paulo SALEMI, Bernardo GOMES (1), Adrian DELGADO (1), Felipe SANTOS (1), Bernardo ROCHA, Felipe PERRONE (2), Gustavo GUIMARAES (1), Josip VRLIC, Thye BEZERRA (GK). Head Coach: Ratko RUDIC.

SERBIA: Gojko PIJETLOVIC (GK), Dusan MANDIC (2), Zivko GOCIC © (1), Sava RANDELOVIC (1), Milos CUK, Dusko PIJETLOVIC (2), Slobodan NIKIC, Milan ALEKSIC (2), Nikola JAKSIC, Filip FILIPOVIC (2), Andrija PRLAINOIVC (1), Stefan MITROVIC (2), Branislav MITROVIC (GK). Head Coach: Dejan SAVIC


Photo credit: Giorgio Scala

In the first of the two matches due to designate the finalists for the gold medal, Serbia reported a predictable victory against Brazil. But the South Americans were not flattened by the mighty Balkan powerhouse. On the contrary they staged an effective opposition throughout the game.

1st Q. Serbia went all out and scored two early goals with Aleksic and Filipovic, followed up by an action goal from Mandic. It seemed that Serbia would bury Brazil under an avalanche, instead Rudic’s team confirmed the excellent impression of the previous days and reacted without fear. However the superior standing of Serbia allowed coach Savic’s team to be always in control of the game, always in the lead, and, eventually, to win the match and advance to the gold medal final with no major worries to report.
Delgado and Guilherme Gomes closed on, from 0-3 to 2-3. Then Gocic scored again for Serbia while Brazil answered with a goal from Crivella. The score of the end of the first period was 3-4 for Serbia. Six out of seven goals were score on extra player.

In the 2nd quarter Randelovic scored on man-up. His goal was answered by Bernardo Gomes who scored from 5 meters with 6 seconds to the end of the period. The split score of the period was 1-1, 4-5 at half time. Brazil down just one goal.
A minute and half inside the 3rd  period Prlainovic put Serbia two up wih an action goal, but Brazil’s captain Perrone reacted with on a counter attack after receiving a nice pass from Salemi (who has also an Italian passport).
Stefan Mitrovic reset the 2-goal gap on extra player. Soon after Dusko Pijetlovic scored his first goal from the center (8-5, the decisive break) immediately answered by Perrone’ second goal from 5 meters (6-8).  Serbia went up 3-goal again when Filipovic converted a penalty (6-9). Mandic ‘s second goal on extra player sent the teams to the last interval on the score of 6-10 ( Serbia up 4 goals).

In the last quarter in between two Serbian goals from the center, with Pijetlovic and Alecsis there was a goal from Guilherme Gomes on extra player (7-11). The nicest goal was scored by Guimaraes, 3 seconds inside the last minute on a timed, fast and spectacular breakaway action. With 31seconds to go Mitrovic scored again on extra player. The last goal came from Brazil, again with Guilherme Gomes who netted from 5 meters. Final score 9-13.
For Serbia 7 goals on extra player, one on a penalty, 2 on action and 3 from the centre; for Brazil 3 on superiority, 3 from 5 meters, 2 on counter attacks and one action goal.

Paulo Salemi (Brazil): "Our opponents were played stronger than us and there were some doubtfull decision by the referees. We will enter the match for the third place more determined and with more will to win".
Slobodan Nikic (Serbia): "This was a very important match. We will play the final and we want the first place; I hope we will play against Croatia".

Dejan Savic (Serbia’s coach): "I am not completely satisfied by our match; however, in the semifinals, only the result matters. Tomorrow, in order to win, we will have to play much better. We want to win the World League also to obtain the first Olympic pass available".

Game 20: CROATIA 11-USA 6 / (2-2, 3-2;  2-0, 4-2)

CROATIA: Josip PAVIC, Damir BURIC (1), Antonio PETKOVIC (2), Luka LONCAR, Maro JOKOVIC (2), Luka BUKIC (1), Ante VUKICEVIC (1), Andro BUSLJE, Sandro SUKNO (2), Fran PASKVALIN, Andelo SETKA (1), Paulo OBRADOVIC (1), Marko BIJAC. Head Coach: Ivica TUCAK

UNITED STATES: Merrill MOSES (GK), Connor VIRJEE, Alex OBERT, Jackson KIMBELL, Alex ROELSE (1), Luca CUPIDO (1), Josh SAMUELS (1), Tony AZEVEDO © (2), Alex BOWEN (1), Bret BONANNI, Jesse SMITH, John MANN, Mc Quin BARON (GK). Head Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.


An exciting match played by both teams at their best. The outcome of the match was difficult to predict as the United States, under Udovicic, have made substantial progresses while the Olympic champions of Croatia, with coach Tucak at the helm, although still working on getting back to their top standard, lived up to their reputation.
The outcome of the first quarter seemed to confirm this analysis. Two early goal from the two number 7, Vukicevic on counter attack for Croatia, Samuels on extra man for the United States, opened the scoreboard. Then a goal from Roelse was answered immediately by Bukic. 2-2.

Photo credit: Giorgio Scala

In the 2nd quarter the first goal came from Croatia’s number 9 Sukno, immediately answered by Cupido, USA’s number 6, both on extra man (3-3).

Setka put Croatia up one goal also on extra player. So far 3/5 for Croatia, 2/4 for the USA on extra player. USA’s captain Tony Azevedo scored his customary, crucial, goal to tie 4-4.

Petkovic sent Croatia’s up one goal with five seconds to half time. 5-4 for Croatia.
In the 3rd quarter Croatia scored two action goals, the first with Jokovic, the second with Obradovic.
In the last quarter, after 16 minutes without netting the ball, the USA scored again with Azevedo, on man up.
Croatia’s reaction was implacable, with two goals scored respectively from Sukno on man up and Buric on action. Then a goal from Petkovic from 5 meters was answered immediately by Bowen, also from 5 meters (10-6). The last goal came from Jokovic, on action. Croatia won by a wide edge, 11-6.

Ivica Tucak (Croatia’s coach): "We have arrived in final with merit. We had controlled the match totaly. In the first two periods we wrong some shot, then we had played fluently".

Luca Cupido (USA)
"They didn't win the match. We have lost. We had failed a lot of extra player, while in man down we wrong often. We made mistakes in defense".