U.S., Yugoslavia Tie in Water Polo, 8-8
It is as likely that the U.S. and Yugoslav water polo teams will play a close, physical match as it is that visitors to San Diego will be taken to Sea World.
Well, the Yugoslav team visited Shamu Wednesday afternoon.
In the evening, the gold and silver medal teams from the 1984 Olympics played to an 8-8 tie in front of a sellout crowd of 1,300 fans at Canyonview pool at UC San Diego.
These clubs, which return many of the same players from their Olympic teams, are familiar with ties.
They tied, 5-5, in the championship game of the ’84 Olympics. Because overtime periods are not played in international water polo, Yugoslavia won the gold medal by having a better goal differential.
When the teams met earlier this month in a tournament in France, Yugoslavia won, 8-7, on a goal scored with three seconds to play.
It should come as no surprise that neither team led by more than one goal Wednesday.
“It was a pretty typical match between two even teams,” said Jodie Campbell of the U.S. team. “There was a lot of wrestling and a lot of swimming.”
The score was tied, 2-2, after a quarter and at 5-5 at halftime. Yugoslavia led, 7-6, after three quarters. It was 7-7, 8-7 Yugoslavia and 8-8 when Mike Evans scored with 1:46 to play.
Campbell scored three goals to lead the United States. Alan Mouchawar, a medical student at UC San Diego who did not play on the ’84 U.S. team, had two goals. Peter Campbell, Kevin Robertson and Evans each had a goal.
“This was not one of our better performances,” Jodie Campbell said. “But it was the first game a lot of this team has played together.”
U.S. Coach Bill Barnett said his team’s performance was “OK . . . not real hot. Our extra-man offense was terrible. And that’s a critical thing in international competitions.”
In a sport where elbows are as commonplace as splashes, the United States scored on one of five extra-man situations. Yugoslavia converted three of six extra-man opportunities.
Perica Bukic scored three goals, Egor Milanoric had two and Dragon Andric, Zoran Petrovic and Thomas Iav Paskvaline had one each for a Yugoslav team that can both “dunk” and “shoot from the outside.”
They have big hole men who tap in balls from the two-meter area and sharp ballhandlers who can whip shots into the goal from the wings.
“It was a very interesting match with good shots,” said Yugoslav Coach Ratki Rudic, who spoke English. “But the match was not played on a high level. There were many mistakes.”
Yugoslavia played without two key players. Deni Lusic and Milivog Bebic were out with injuries.
“We wanted some of the dolphins to play for us,” said Rudic, who was as taken with his visit to Sea World as he was impressed with the U.S. team.
“When quality teams play,” Rudic said, “the result is close.”