World League Super Finals: Newcastle’s Richie Campbell strong in narrow quarter-final loss for Aussie Sharks

Richie Campbell in action for Australia in a pre-tournament friendly against Greece. Picture: Getty ImagesUPDATED:Newcastle water polo product Richie Campbell scored three goals then twice in a shoot-out as Australia lost 16-15 to USA in the quarter-finals of the World League Super Finals in China.
Shanghai night field

Campbell scored twice late, the second with 88 seconds left, to help Australia come back to tie 8-8 at the end of regulation time on Friday night (AEST).

He then converted both of his shots in the extra-time penalty shoot-out, which the USA secured in the second-round of chances.

EARLIER:On Thursday, Campbell scored two goals as Australia lost 10-5 to Greece.

It continued a strong tournament for two-time OlympianCampbell, who scored twice in the opening-game loss to Italy and three times in the win over Japan on day two. The tournament is the last before Australia’s Olympic team is announced. Fellow Novocastrian Nathan Power, who is aiming for his first Olympics,has scored three goals across the three preliminary games.

Campbell said defensive lapses hurt Australia in the loss to Greece, who scored four goals to one in the last quarter.

“It wasa better start from the Aussie Sharks today,” Campbell said.

“We ended up having a lapse just before half-time and again in the third which cost us a few goals the other way.

“Up next we’ve gotthe USA in the quarter-finals, so it’s a team we’re really familiar with and I’m looking forward to a good game.”

Australian coachElvis Fatovic said it was an improved effort from his side.

“Our first quarter was really good, especially in the defence and extra-man defence were excellent against Greece,” he said.

“But we struggled with our organisation of extra-man goals that we only scored one time which was not enough for the team.

“Generally,I thought we played a lot better than our first two games and hopefully tomorrow we will do better again.”

EARLIER: Richie Campbell scored three goals as Australia bounced back with a 13-7 win over Japan in game two of the WorldLeague Super Finals in Chinaon Thursday night (AEST).

Campbell and Aaron Younger led scorers with three goals, while Newcastle’s Nathan Power scored one.

In game one on Tuesday (AEST), Campbelland Power scoredtwo goals eachbut it wasnot enough to stop Australia going down 14-7 to Italy in their opening match.

Goalkeeper James Stanton-French said it was good to bounce back against Japan.

“We went to the video after game one, analysed what was going wrong and it was great to come out against Japan and make the changes we talked about.

“We hadareally good second half, our counter attack started rolling on which was really pleasing to see especially against a team like Japan who are known for their counter attack.

“Then also getting the defensive stops back the other way which is something we spoke about pre-game and hopefully it is something we can carry on for the rest of the tournament.”

Coach Elvis Fatovic was disappointed with the slow start in attack but pleased with the turnaround.

“We controlled our defence and then we created some opportunities of counter-attack.

“We played side defence much better, but we must play like this from the beginning.”