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Men’s water polo: Serbia is the bronze medallist

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At the bronze match of the 17th FINA World Championship the title holder Serbia beat the bronze medallist of the Kazan World Championship with the score of 11-8.

For the 3rd place:

Greece-Serbia 8-11 (3-5, 1-2, 3-3, 1-1)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Naumov (RUS), Mercier (FRA)
Greece: Flegkas – Genodounias 1, Delakas 1, Fountoulis 3, Mourikis, Gounas, Vlachopoulos 2. Subs: Dervisis, Kapotsis, Pontikeas 1, Argyropoulos. Head Coach : Theodoros Vlachos
Serbia: G. Pijetlovic – Mandic 1, Randelovic 2, D. Pijetlovic 2, Filipovic 1, Prlainovic 1, S. Mitrovic. Subs: V. Rasovic 1, Cuk 1, Ubovic 1, Aleksic 1, Jaksic. Head Coach: Dejan Savic

Photo: Máté Balogh/Bp2017

The bronze match started with a fascinating goal duel. The biggest question of the match was: how motivated the Serbians would be, as the team didn’t get to the final.

Of course, a World Championships medal is still a World championships medal. Serbia started strongly: the Kazan world champion, Budapest and Belgrade European Champion and olympic champion team got away with a three goal advance. Ioannis Fountoulis tried to keep up the pace with Serbia, he scored two goals, but he couldn’t turn the quarter around as Serbia won it 5-3.

There were „only” three goals in the second quarter, Serbia dominated this one, as well. They dominated the match that led to a three goal Serbian advance by the middle break.

The game didn’t change much, although it became a bit closer at the score of 8-6. Filip Filipovic got back the three goal lead right after. Soon Pontiekas scored for the Greeks, followed by the strong shot of Gounas that slightly missed the goal. 

Afterwards Sava Randelovic scored in an extramen situation, settling the comfortable three goal lead till the third break.

In the fourth quarter the Greek team couldn’t fight back, therefore Serbia got the bronze medal of the tournament.

Theodoros Vlachos, head coach (GRE):

„My emotions are mixed. I am happy that we are in the four best teams in the world, but I am not so satisfied with our performance in the last two matches. Due to some mistakes, we were not able to get any Qualification or medal but I hope that we will learn from our mistakes and we will be better in the future.”

Ioannis Fountoulis (GRE):

“We came here with a goal, to get in the four best teams of the championship. We achieved that goal, but when someone achieves it, he can't stop expecting more and more. So, we are a bit unsatisfied with our last appearances because I think that this team has a great potential. This championship was a great experience for all the players and it really helped us become better.”

Dusan Mandic (SRB):

„I’m really satisfied with the medal, we corrected our mistakes from the past. With today’s victory we achieved our personal goals, we couldn’t suffer defeat on two occasions following each other. This is a great team, the same we had in the past years, nothing changed. There is no tragedy, we made a mistake in the semi-final but we are really happy about the final result.”

Nikola Jaksic (SRB):

„We deserved today’s victory and the bronze medal. We played as well as during the group stages. What could I say, I’m really proud of my team. We gave our maximum from the beginning, defeat was no option.”

Previous games:

For the 7th place:

Russia-Australia 7-10 (3-4, 2-2, 1-3, 1-1)

For the 5th place

Montenegro-Italy 5-4 (1-1, 1-1, 3-2, 0-0)

More details here.