Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

Greece and Spain have won their groups and go to the quarter-finals with a fourth straight victory each on the fourth day of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships at the Al-Nasar Sport Club Kuwait.

In Group A, Japan closed its preliminary campaign with a third win from four matches, downing South Africa 26-11. Senior international Yusuke Inaba topped the scoring with eight goals. Serbia raced over Croatia 11-6 in a foul-ridden match — an incredible 33 major fouls — with Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Misovic the undoubted star with 14 saves and man-of-the-match honours. Serbia just needs to beat China on Monday for group honours.

In Group B, Spain gained a fourth victory to finish preliminary play on top by beating Canada 15-7 in a hard-fought contest. Spain led 8-4 at halftime and Bernat Sanahuja and Nikolas Paul scored four goals each. Hungary survived Russia's four-goal burst in the final quarter for a 12-9 margi and set up a clash with Canada on Monday for second ranking.

In Group C, United States of America finished its round matches with a 16-8 defeat of Kuwait. Garrett Zaan top-scored with four goals and Abdullah Jasem netted three for Kuwait. Montenegro and Italy battled to a 12-12 draw, thus not deciding the group this evening. The match was drawn at one, five, seven eight, nine, 10 and 11. Italy led six times and Montenegro twice. Italy needs a win over Kuwait on Monday to confirm direct access to the quarter-finals.

In Group D,  Greece made it no contest with a 27-4 workout against Uzbekistan, which has yet to post a win. By winning its fourth match in four days, it has already secured the group win and now has a preliminary-round lay day and then Tuesday off before going directly to the quarter-finals, like Spain. Earlier, Australia lifted to second spot with a last-quarter surge to beat Brazil 9-6. Aussie goalkeeper John Hedges was instrumental in the win and was named best in water.

Progress points:
Group A: Serbia 6, Croatia 4, Japan 4, China 2, South Africa 0.
Group B: Spain 8, Hungary 4, Canada 4, Russia 0, Egypt 0.
Group C: USA 6, Italy 5, Montenegro 3, Iran 2, Kuwait 0.
Group D: Greece 8, Australia 4, Brazil 2, New Zealand 2, Uzbekistan 0. 

Sunday Schedule:
Match 25, 09:30, Group D, BRAZIL 6 AUSTRALIA 9
Match 26, 10:50, Group D, UZBEKISTAN 4 GREECE 27
Match 30, 12:10, Group B, CANADA 7 SPAIN 15
Match 28, 13:30, Group A, JAPAN 26 SOUTH AFRICA 11
Match 32, 14:50, Group C, KUWAIT 8 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 16
Match 29, 16:10, Group B, RUSSIA 9 HUNGARY 12
Match 27, 17:30, Group A, SERBIA 11 CROATIA 6
Match 31, 18:50, Group C, MONTENEGRO 12 ITALY 12

Monday Schedule:
Match 33, 09:30, Group A, CROATIA JAPAN
Match 34, 10:50, Group A, SERBIA CHINA
Match 35, 12:10, Group B, HUNGARY CANADA
Match 36, 13:30, Group B, RUSSIA EGYPT
Match 37, 14:50, Group C, ITALY KUWAIT
Match 38, 16:10, Group C, MONTENEGRO IRAN
Match 39, 17:30, Group D, AUSTRALIA UZBEKISTAN
Match 40, 18:50, Group D, BRAZIL NEW ZEALAND