Italy Beats Team USA in World League Group Stage Finale

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The group stage is complete at the 2015 FINA Men’s World League Super Final in Bergamo, Italy, with Team USA yet to win a match after three tries. The Americans next play Hungary on Friday after falling to hosts Italy on Thursday, 13-10.

In the final match of the day the Italians were up facing United States to claim their 2nd place in group B. However it turned out to be a tough evening for the ‘Settebello’ who weren’t up to their best performance so far and in the opening phase saw usual reliable goalkeeper Stefano Tempesti struggling as he got substituted for back-up Marco del Lungo already at the halfway point in the opening period. Things got better though in the second half as Italy tightened their defence which virtually shut down the US team who until that point were able to keep up. On the other end, it didn’t look like a domination by Italy but they did score on four ocassions in the quarter to complete a 0-4 run and started walking away. The Sandro Campanga coached side however could not keep up that defensive intensity or rather saw USA finding answers as the game got more levelled in the final two quarters. However Team USA never could turn around the score or appear doing so as Italy remained seemingly in control and found the answers to the USA goals despite the Americans hanging on for quite some time. They got until three goals from the Italians but never came closer in the second half as Italy remained in the lead towards their second win and 2nd-place finish in group B as they will now face group A’s 3rd seed Croatia in a tough crossover round match-up on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

World League champions Serbia confirmed their top position in group B by remaining unbeaten in three preliminary round matches, as they defeated Australia 12-8 to kick off action on Thursday in Bergamo. The Aussie Sharks once again proved a worthy opponent but saw the Serbs, where Milan Aleksic returned to action while Nikola Jaksic was benched with a broken nose from yesterday’s match against Italy, being just a bit more effective in attack. Australia did not lacked the scoring but struggled to prevent Serbia from doing the same on the other end. Filip Filipovic led all scorers with 4 goals including two straight for the important 6-5 and 7-6 scores in the second and third period. However the 2014 World Player of the Year delivered the dagger netting his 4th of the game from distance with 5 minutes remaining as Serbia gained a 10-7 lead which proved decisive. Serbia now faces group A’s number 4 in the crossover round on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

Hungary made a strong case for the top spot in group A in the following match as they crushed Brazil 16-3 in a one-sided encounter. After a slow start the Hungarians took charge in the second half of the opening period and did not look back. The Brazilians, who had surprised friend and foe by deservedly beating Croatia on day 1 this time could not keep up with last year’s runners-up. Norbert Hosnyanszky and Ferenc Salamon led the offence scoring 3 goals each for the Magyars. Felipe Perrone netted 2 of Brazil’s 3 goals.

A more or less same scenario unfolded in Thursday’s 3rd match-up as Croatia was not to be surprised by China who were outplayed in three of the four quarters in a Croatia 4-14 blowout victory. The score, important in the race for the rankings in group A as three teams finished with 6 points, was boosted in dominant second and fourth-quarter runs where Croatia walked away from the Paolo Malara coached Chinese side who did score 4 goals but had to allow 10 more. Paulo Obradovic led the Croats scoring 3 goals.

2015 FINA Men’s World League Super Final

Bergamo, Italy

Schedule and results

Thursday, 25 June

Serbia vs. Australia 12-8 (2-2, 4-3, 3-1, 3-2)
Serbia scorers: Filip Filipovic 4, Dusan Mandic 2, Slobodan Nikic 2, Stefan Mitrovic 2, Milos Cuk, Andrija Prlainovic.

Australia scorers: Rhys Howden 3, Richie Campbell, Johnno Cotterill, Jarrod Gilchrist, Aaron Younger, Billy Miller.

Hungary vs. Brazil 16-3 (3-1, 6-1, 4-1, 3-0)
Hungary scorers: Norbert Hosnyanszky 3, Ferenc Salamon 3, Balazs Erdelyi 2, Marton Vamos 2, Denes Varga 2, Balazs Harai 2, Norbert Madaras, Daniel Varga.

Brazil scorers: Felipe Perrone 2, Felipe Santos.

China vs. Croatia 4-14 (1-3, 0-4, 2-3, 1-4)
China scorers: Feihu Tan 2, Tao Dong, Nianxiang Liang.

Croatia scorers: Paulo Obradovic 3, Antonio Petkovic 2, Ante Vukicevic 2, Sandro Sukno 2, Luka Loncar, Maro Jokovic, Luka Bukic, Andro Buslje, Andelo Setka.

USA vs. Italy 10-13 (3-3, 0-4, 3-2, 4-4)
USA scorers: Bret Bonanni 3, Tony Azevedo 2, Connor Virjee, Alex Roelse, Luca Cupido, Josh Samuels, Alex Bowen.

Italy scorers: Francesco di Fulvio 3, Pietro Figlioli 3, Valentino Gallo 3, Stefano Luongo 2, Niccolo’ Gitto, Matteo Aicardi.

Final standings

Group A
Hungary 6 pts, Brazil 6, Croatia 6, China 0.

Group B
Serbia 9 pts, Italy 6, Australia 3, United States 0.

Friday, 26 June

16.00: Brazil (2A) vs. Australia (3B) – game 13
17.20: Croatia (3A) vs. Italy (2B) – game 14
18.40: Hungary (1A) vs. United States (4B) – game 15
20.00: China (4A) vs. Serbia (1B) – game 16

Saturday, 27 June

16.00: L13 vs. L16 – game 17
17.20: L14 vs. L15 – game 18
18.40: W13 vs. W16 – game 19
20.00: W14 vs. W15 – game 20

Sunday, 28 June

16.00: L17 vs. L18
17.20: W17 vs. W18
18.40: L19 vs. L20 (bronze medal)
20.00: W19 vs. W20 (final)

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.

* In relation to the host broadcaster indications the matches of the Italian team we’ll always be played at 20.00
** Following the indication of RAI TV on June 26 the Italian team will play the 3rd match scheduled for 18.40.