There will be a lot of exciting games on the last day of men’s water polo preliminary rounds, some teams fight for survival, others for a rest day and the automatic qualification to quarterfinals. Group A is the promising to be the most extraordinary and exciting, but everyone will bite their nails at late night’s game, the question is not the winner but the score margin of Italy against Australia.
9:30 – Spain – South Africa (Group C)
10:50 – Serbia – Greece (Group C)
The first game on the last day of prelims is going to determine who goes on to the playoffs and who doesn’t. In the second, two unbeaten teams face off when Greece tries to beat the European-, World – and Olympic champion Serbia to claim the first place in the group. On paper, these matchups should be really exciting, but it is anticipated that Spain and Serbia are going to win in the morning.
1. Serbia 4 p
2. Greece 4 p
3. Spain 0 p
4. South Africa 0 p
12:10 – USA – Russia (Group D)
13:30 – Japan – Croatia (Group D)
After last game’s surprising loss to Japan team USA might be somewhat discouraged, in addition, Russia is better and stronger overall, so team USA – who finished seventh at the last World Championships – will probably finish with 0 point and fourth in Group D. In the last game of the morning programme, Japan – whose playing style is different from everyone else’s in this tournament – aims at surprising Olympic silver medallist Croatia, but Croatia is experienced enough to take control of this game and go on to the quarterfinals after finishing first place in this group.
1. Croatia 4 p
2. Russia 2 p
3. Japan 2 p
4. USA 0 p
17:30 – Brazil – Canada (Group A)
18:50 – Montenegro – Kazakhstan (Group A)
Group A is really interesting, Brazil beat Kazakhstan easily, Kazakhstan won against Canada, Canada was able to draw with Montenegro, who beat Brazil easily hence we can expect the unexpected in the final round.
Yet Montenegro is likely to win against Kazakhstan and to take the first place. This would mean that the winner of the Brazil-Canada game would finish second in this group and would be in a better position for the playoffs.
1. Montenegro 3 p
2. Kazakhstan 2 p
3. Brazil 2 p
4. Canada 1 p
20:10 – France – Hungary (Group B)
21:30 – Australia – Italy (Group B)
In Group B, everything depends on the last game of the day. If Hungary wins against France by one goal at least - which is highly likely -, the Australia-Italy match decides who wins this group, differently from the usual pattern.
If Italy wins by more than ten against the „kangaroos”, they take the first place and the well-deserved rest day, but if they win by nine or less, host team Hungary advances to the quarterfinals. The late night game is anticipated to be thrilling: for Italy in the pool as well as on the deck for Hungary.
1. Hungary 3 p
2. Italy 3 p
3. Australia 2 p
4. France 0 p