Both Montenegro and Spain came into Sunday’s final pool play game needing a win – and neither team got it.
Battling for positioning in the quarterfinals, neither team was able to come away with the upper hand, coming away with a 9-9 tie.
Coming in to the game, Spain was tied for first with Croatia and Italy in Group A, while Montenegro was just below them in fourth. Spain was already guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals and could have moved up for better positioning with a win.
The game was tied at 2-2 after the first quarter, and Spain grabbed a one goal lead in the second, and held that lead through three quarters.
Down a goal to start the fourth, Montenegro tied it early on a goal from long range by Darko Brguljan. The scoring stopped for both teams until just two minutes remained. Spain went back up a goal when Francisco Miranda found the net from the left side, but Montenegro answered when Aleksandar Radovic scored from just in front of the goal with 1:30 remaining to tie the game at 9-9.
Both teams missed on their final attempts as the clock ran out.
Brguljan, Radovic and Mladan Janovic led Montenegro with two goals each. Goalkeeper Zdravko Radic saved just four of 13 shots attempts.
Guillermo Rios led Spain with two goals. Spain had eight different players get on the score sheet. Daniel Pinedo had 14 saves in the match, seven saves on nine shots from beyond five meters.
Spain finishes group play 3-1-1. Montenegro is now 2-2-1.
Ten goals in the first half Sunday helped Australia get a much needed 12-7 win over Greece.
Australia (2-1-2) needed to win to have any hope of moving on to the quarterfinals. They did their own job, now they must wait for tonight’s game between Serbia and Japan to see if they've done enough to move on. A win by Japan would eliminate Serbia and help the Australian team move on.
Scoring nearly a goal a minute, Australia jumped out to a 10-4 lead at halftime. Rhys Howden and John Cotterill led with three goals each in the match and Aaron Younger added two goals for the Australians.
Greek goalkeepers Stefanos Galanopoulos and Konstantinos Flegkas had a tough day in the net, combining for just two saves on 14 shot attempts.
Defensively, Australia had five blocked shots and four steals. They won three of the four sprints. James Stanton-French had 10 saves in the match, stopping seven of eight shots from beyond five meters.
Greece was paced by Ioannis Fountoulis who had three goals in the match.
The loss doesn’t affect Greece’s (2-2-1) spot in the quarterfinals, a berth they earned Friday with a win over Brazil. They currently sit tied with Brazil for the top spot in Group A.
France came into Sunday’s final group play game without a win, but they were still able to go out of the Rio Games on top, getting their first victory against Croatia 9-8.
The French squad (1-4) was going up against a Croatian team (3-2) that had already clinched a berth in the quarterfinals, but was looking for a win to clinch the top seed in Group B. The loss instead puts Croatia second in Group B just behind Spain.
France grabbed a one goal lead in the first quarter, and maintained that lead throughout the game.
Down two heading into the fourth quarter, Croatia’s Sandro Sukno scored from long range to get within a goal, 8-7. France responded with an extra player goal by Mathieu Piesson to go back up two.
Sukno struck again with 1:13 remaining. Down one with the clock winding down, Croatia had time for one last shot on an extra player opportunity. From the right side, Javier Gadea fired a shot that landed right in the stomach of French goalkeeper Remi Garsau to help France secure the one-goal victory.
Garsau finished with 12 saves, five from beyond five meters. Mehdi Marzouki had three goals to lead France.
Sukno finished with a team-high three goals, and leads Croatia with 12 goals in the tournament.
Serbia’s Filip Filipovic is widely considered the best water polo player in the world. Some even refer to him as Michael Jordan in the pool.
Players don’t get that sort of distinction without coming through for their teams when it is needed most, and that’s exactly what Filipovic did Sunday night.
Serbia came into Sunday’s final group stage game against Japan needing a win to move on to the quarterfinals. Even though Japan came into the game having lost all four of their previous games in Rio, the young team got off to a 5-2 start through the first quarter.
That’s when Filipovic stepped in and started scoring, and seemingly never stopped, scoring six goals for Serbia on the way to a 12-8 win.
Filipovic’s six goals came on just seven shots on the night. Four of the goals came in the second half.
Serbian goalkeeper Gojko Pijetlovic saved seven shots in goal.
After Japan got the early lead, Serbia scored three unanswered goals in the second quarter to go into half tied 5-5. They went on to outscore Japan 4-2 in the third and 3-1 in the fourth.
As big as Filipovic was for Serbia, Koji Takei came up just as big for Japan. Takei had five of his team’s eight goals, two of which came on penalty shots. Katsuyuki Tanamura had 11 saves in goal for Japan.
The win not only advances Serbia (2-1-2) to the quarterfinals, but also eliminates Australia, who, despite defeating Greece earlier in the day, needed Serbia to lose to take the fourth spot in Group A.
Japan finishes the Rio games 0-5 and in last place in Group A.
It didn’t take long for Hungary to jump out to a big lead Sunday against Brazil, and they never relented, taking down the host country 10-6 in the final game of group play in Rio.
Brazil didn’t score a goal until the final two minutes of the first half on a penalty shot by Gustavo Guimaraes. By that point Hungary had scored five goals of their own to take a 5-1 lead into the half.
Viktor Nagy was a stalwart in goal for Hungary, picking up seven saves in the first half on the way to 12 total in the game. Hungary had nine steals and five blocked shots as a team on defense.
Brazil cut the lead to three and had a chance to make it to two midway through the fourth quarter, but Nagy again made a save on an extra player shot, and Hungary’s Balazs Harai answered with a goal to go back up four.
Marton Vamos, Norbert Hosnyanszky and Balazs Harai had two goals each for Hungary. The Hungarians were 4-6 on extra play opportunities.
Felipe Perrone and Bernardo Gomes led Brazil with two goals each. Slobodan Soro had two saves on 20 shots that came his way in goal.
Both teams will still move on to the quarterfinals, though the loss drops Brazil (3-2) down to the No. 3 seed in Group A. The win gives undefeated Hungary (2-0-3) the top seed in the group.