Water polo players of Croatia won the inaugural LEN Europa Cup, having won Spain in the finals of the final tournament in Rijeka with 12:9 (2:1, 4:4, 3:1, 3:3). It is a newly formed competition under the auspices of the European Swimming Federation (LEN).
The Croats dictated the rhythm and the result tonight from the beginning of the finals, while goals from Andre Buslje and Loren Fatovic led with 2: 0 and made it clear to the Spaniards what they were waiting for.
ButFuria Roja had no intention to surrender. In the finals of the second quarter, the scores of Spain, Munariz, and Larumbea Spain for the first time did not equalize the match (4:4).
But the Croats saw that they have to push up and they strengthened the rhythm in the third section. Such an approach brought them two more advantage points (7: 5), and Spain’s team hit Fatovic and Vukicevic.
When, in the middle of the last quarter, Vuković was elevated to 11: 7, it was clear that the winner’s issue was resolved. Fatovic played a great match and ended up as the best scorer with six goals. In Spain, three goals were scored by Alberto Munarriz.
As against Croatia on Saturday, Serbian water polo players opened the match in the right way and relatively easily took a 3:1 lead. At that moment, Dusan Mandic was brilliant and found the net twice.
Dolphins continued at the same rhythm and at the beginning of the second quarter. They played furiously and with the goals of Nikola Jaksic and again Mandic, reached a big 5:1 advantage. But then Italy woke up.
In a way, it was expected, because until that moment they were really bad. Di Fulvio, Figlioli and Bodegas scored three times in a row and Italy was back on the track. to completely return to life and reduce the gap to just one goal.
And again, as in a match with the Dolphins fell in the third quarter. Molina, Presciutti, and Bodegas were calm enough in the attack to make a series of 4: 0 and give Italy the first lead in the match (8:6). Dejan Savic managed to shake the team a little bit with a timeout so Djordje Lazic and captain Filip Filipovic equalized.
But in the last eight minutes, Italians were all over the swimming pool, while Serbia had serious problems in the extra men situations.
Again, Bodegas was unstoppable and Figlioli gave Italy a 10:8 advantage three minutes before the end. A quick reply followed by Strahinja Rasovic and Serbia had another two and a half minutes to come to an equalization. But the Italian defense did a good job and even with two players less saved the net and won.
The Montenegrin water polo players finished the European Cup in the fifth place with a convincing victory against Hungary – it was 15: 7.
In this duel, Sharks did not give Hungarians any chance for a win, and Bogdan Djurdjic played the best match in the national team in a career.
The young man who wears the cap of Marseille this season scored six goals from eight attempts, five in the first three quarters in which Montenegro literally did everything that she wanted.
Montenegro played without Aleksandar Ivovic and Filip Klikovac and started the game with a 2:0 lead. Hungary kept up to 4:3, but then Vladimir Gojkovic’s team started a 6:0 which resulted in 9:3 advantage by the middle of the third quarter.
Besides brilliant Djurdjic, Drasko Brguljan, Aleksandar Radovic, and Sasa Misic were also very good with two goals each.
Greece 12:4 France
(4:2, 2:1, 3:1, 3:0)
Greece: Gounas 3, Vlachopoulos 2, Kapotsis 2, Argyropoulos 2, Kolomvos, Pontikeas, Dervisis
France: Vanpeperstraete 3, Dino
Hungary 7:15 Montenegro
(2:4, 1:2, 2:6, 2:3)
Hungary: K. Manhercz 2, Vamos, Mezei, Batori, Bedo, Vadovics
Montenegro: Djurdjic 6, A. Radovic 2, Brguljan 2, Misic 2, Cuckovic, Dj. Radovic, Draskovic
Italy 10:9 Serbia
(1:3, 3:3, 4:2, 2:1)
Italy: Figlioli 3, Bodegas 3, Di Fulvio, Molina, Presciutti, Echenique
Serbia: Mandic 3, Cuk, Pijetlovic, Lazic, Jaksic, Filipovic, S. Rasovic
Spain 9:12 Croatia
(1:2, 4:4, 1:3, 3:3)
Spain: Munarriz 3, Mallarch 2, Espanol, Cabanas, Larumbe, Granados
Croatia: Fatovic 6, Vukicevic 2, Jokovic, Vrlic, Buslje, Garcia