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2012 FINA World League: United States Defeats Australia 7-5, Advances To Semifinals

The United States are moving onto the semifinal round of the 2012 FINA World League finals after they defeated Australia 7-5. This win puts Team USA in a semifinal match against Group A winner Croatia.

For the second straight game the United States struggled on their power play chances as they went only 5-of-12, but luckily the United States defense is one of the best in the world and they held Australia to 2-of-8 on power play chances.

Despite the close outcome this game was never in doubt at the United States led 5-1 at the half, and they just cruised in the second half which allowed Australia to get back in this game. This letdown by the United States allowed Australia to make it 6-5 during the fourth quarter. The United States can not have this type of letdown when they face better teams or they will end the game with a loss.

Peter Valleras led Team USA in scoring with three goals, and for the first time in a long time team captain Tony Azevedo was held scoreless.

United States head coach Terry Schroeder discussed how they had a bad day with their 6-on-5 offense and 5-on-6 defense:

"Australia gave us a tough game, they are great athletes who fight until the end. We have a really good start and we managed to hold the off. The key of the game was obviously being able to score from the 6 on 5s and stopping the 5 on 6s, and we were struggling a bit with out 6 on 5, but our defence was good so we could win the game."

The United States next takes on Croatia in the semifinals on Saturday at 4:10 a.m. ET.

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