Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

It is the fifth day — and the final day of the group stage — of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships at the new Al-Nasar Sport Club Kuwait.

In Group A, Croatia came back from 12-9 down at three-quarter time to defeat Japan 14-12, built on six penalty goals and seven centre-forward strikes. Branimir Herceg was dominant in the hole with four goals, including the two demoralising goals at the end. Croatia claimed second spot in the group and Japan third. Serbia did enough to beat China 16-4 and grab top spot with Dorde Vucinic named player of the match. China claimed fourth spot ahead of South Africa.

In Group B, Hungary collected second spot with a stunning 17-7 victory over Canada. Hungary surged away from it 6-4 halftime lead and Botond Bobis top-scored with four goals. Russia opened its winning account in Kuwait and took out fourth place in the group in beating Egypt 17-9. Egypt scored seven of its goals on extra-man attack and Russia's Ivan Vasilev was awarded player of the match with his four goals and excellent all-round play.

In Group C, Italy won as expected over Kuwait — 18-7 — and leapfrogged United States of America for first place and direct entry to the quarter-finals. Kuwait put up stern opposition before Italy turned the 9-4 halftime advantage to a higher number. Montenegro held off a hard-working Iran 17-6 with Petar Mijuskovic and his four goals typifying the determination of the Balkan team. Montenegro's reward was third place in the group.

In Group D, Australia was too strong for Uzbekistan, winning 25-7 and now must play Japan in the second round. New Zealand claimed third over Brazil 8-6 in one of the most entertaining and riveting matches of the day and will now play Croatia in the second round. Brazil will go to a clash with South Africa in the lower crossovers.

Final points:
Group A: Serbia 8, Croatia 6, Japan 4, China 2, South Africa 0.
Group B: Spain 8, Hungary 6, Canada 4, Russia 2, Egypt 0.
Group C: Italy 7, USA 6, Montenegro 5, Iran 2, Kuwait 0.
Group D: Greece 8, Australia 6, New Zealand 4, Brazil 2, Uzbekistan 0.  

Monday Schedule:
Match 33, 09:30, Group A, CROATIA 14 JAPAN 12
Match 34, 10:50, Group A, SERBIA 16 CHINA 4
Match 35, 12:10, Group B, HUNGARY 17 CANADA 7
Match 36, 13:30, Group B, RUSSIA 17 EGYPT 9
Match 37, 14:50, Group C, ITALY 18 KUWAIT 7
Match 38, 16:10, Group C, MONTENEGRO 17 IRAN 6
Match 39, 17:30, Group D, AUSTRALIA 25 UZBEKISTAN 7
Match 40, 18:50, Group D, BRAZIL 6 NEW ZEALAND 8

Tuesday Schedule:

Match 41, 09:30, 4A CHINA v 5D UZBEKISTAN
Match 43, 10:50, 5A SOUTH AFRICA v 4D BRAZIL
Match 44, 12:10, 5B EGYPT v 4C IRAN
Match 45, 13:30, 2A CROATIA v 3D NEW ZEALAND
Match 42, 14:50, 4B RUSSIA v 5C KUWAIT
Match 46, 16:10, 2B HUNGARY v 3C MONTENEGRO
Match 47, 17:30, 3A JAPAN v 2D AUSTRALIA
Match 48, 18:50, 3B CANADA v 2C UNITED STATES OF AMERICA