LONDON– Events in the 2012 London Olympic Games men’s water polo are bound to get more exciting as the semi-finals round comes next, following the announcement of the final four teams.
Serbia, the team most favoured to win gold, advanced over Australia in a tense 11-8 match. The Australian team initially posed as frontrunners in the first two quarters, scoring 7-5 against the Serbian squad. Double scorers of the team include Jamie Beadsworth and Richie Campbell.
Things turned around during the last two rounds, as Serbia tallied six goals to secure victory over Australia. Scoring a hat-trick was Filip Filipovic, followed by two points each from Zivko Gocic and Andrija Prlainovic.
Italy will contend against Serbia in the semi-finals. The Italian world champions crushed Hungary in an 11-9 showdown.
Nine-time Olympic gold medallists Hungary struggled against their opponents during the first two quarters and eventually lost the lead 5-4. Italy went farther from the Hungarians’ score during the third quarter to win with a two-point advantage.
Hungary would have gotten the chance to win another gold medal in their fourth straight Olympics had they capitalized on numerous chances to score against Italy. Losing in three out of six games in the tournament showed cracks in their team.
Montenegro went on to qualify for the semi-finals after overpowering Spain 11-9.
Ruling in the second and third quarters, the Montenegrin team pushed Spain to a laborious fourth quarter. Boris Zlokovic was the scoring force of the Balkan squad, with four under his name.
Seeking to attempt recovery from their fourth-place result back in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Montenegro faces another possibility of facing its neighbour Serbia in the final round. In the previous Olympics, they lost to Hungary in the semi-finals and failed to win bronze against neighbours Serbia in the final.
The Montenegrins will have Croatia as their semi-finals opponent. The Croatian team progressed easily over USA via an 8-2 demolition. They are the only team that has not yet lost in the tournament.
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(as of 8/10/2012)
Serbian Water Polo Team [Photograph]. (2012). Retrieved 10 August 2012, from <http://au.eurosport.com/water-polo/olympic-games-london/2012/serbia-defeat-hungary_sto3366366/story-london.shtml>