2013worldsspeedo Alex Bowen
Courtesy of: Joan Marc Bosch
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BARCELONA, Spain, July 26. IT was a hard-fought back-and-forth contest, but Team USA managed to finish second in group play of the FINA World Championships men's water polo tournament after an 8-7 victory over its northern neighbors, Canada.

With Team USA pushing ahead by 7-4, Canada made it a game as the Canadian came up just short of a tremendous rally even though Canada had the ball and a player advantage in the final seconds. The win provided Team USA with a 2-1 preliminary record with Alex Bowen turning in a hat trick. Goalie Merrill Moses collected 11 saves as the netminder.

"I?m happy with the victory; we made a few small mistakes that we will review with the video to learn what things to change to get ready for Sunday's match," Moses said after the win. "Canada played very strongly; it is a World Championship and everybody plays their best. Barcelona is great and we hope to stay in the championship as long as possible."

In other action, Serbia stomped China (16-9); Australia tied Hungary (9-9); Italy doubled up Kazakhstan (12-6); Germany clipped Romania (9-8); Montenegro shellacked New Zealand (23-1); Croatia whitewashed South Africa (19-0) and the hosts suffered another close loss as Greece edged Spain (8-7).

Elimination rounds begin on Sunday with Team USA looking to be the rude guests by ousting the host nation:
South Africa v. Greece
Canada v. Montenegro
Croatia v. New Zealand
USA v. Spain
Serbia v. Romania
Hungary v. Kazakhstan
Italy v. China
Germany v. Australia

Results: FINA World Championships, Water Polo: Day Six