Belgrade, Jun 22 : Serbia, Spain, Croatia and Australia qualified for the semifinals of the FINA Water Polo World League Super Finals in Belgrade after defeating their opponents in Friday's quarterfinals.
Serbia dominated over Canada by 20-5 in tonight's match between the leader of Group B and the last ranked in Group A. (5-2, 6-2, 4-0, 5-1) Currently the Olympic title holder, Serbia is the only team that marked maximum points in every match at this competition.
Leader of Group A, Spain also marked an easy victory today against Kazakhstan. Spanish players scored 19 goals and received 10. (4-1, 4-2, 6-4, 5-3) Hungary, the runners-up of Group A only settled for a draw with Australia, which was third in Group B, with each team scoring 10 points. (1-2, 0-3, 4-2, 5-3). However, Australia surprised them in the penalty shootout and qualified for the semifinals. The final scores were 16-15.
Croatia, the runners-up of Group B, and the current world title holder routinely overcame Japan by 20-14 (4-3, 6-3, 5-2, 5-6).Losers of quarterfinal matches will tomorrow face each other - Hungary will try to improve their score at this competition in their match against Canada, while Japan will compete with Kazakhstan.
Winners of today's matches will clash in tomorrow's semifinals. Serbia once again meets Australia, while Spain will measure the strength of their team against Croatia.In stake at the finals that will take place on Sunday is - one early qualification to Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics for the winning national team.
The competition so far was marked by frequent rain showers over the open-air pool at Tasmajdan in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, as well as the first use of VAR (video assistant referees) in water polo, as a test ahead of the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Kwangju, South Korea this July. (XINHUA)