Serbian national water polo started the journey towards the defending the title in FINA World League with a dominant win at home against Romania, world champion Croatia also scored big in a clash with visiting Croatia, while Spain at home didn’t have any problem with the Netherlands.
In Zrenjanin Serbia hosted Romania, and Dejan Savic did not include Branislav Mitrovic and Dusko Pijetlovic – they both became fathers, as their wives gave birth to baby boys. Also, Stefan Mitrovic, Milan Aleksic, and Dusan Mandic couldn’t play because of injuries.
But, none of the above stopped Serbian dolphins to put a good performance in Zrenjanin. Already after the first quarter, the home team had a three-goal advantage (4:1) as Viktor Rasovic scored twice in that period.
In the second quarter, Serbia played some tough defense, while in the third period once more showed some offensive potential. Nemanja Ubovic scored in this quarter to give the Serbs a 7:1 lead.
Also, Filip Filipovic got hit so he went out of the pool and did not return until the end of the game.
In the next game of Group A Serbia will host Montenegro in December.
“We had a good rhythm from the beginning of the game and showed that we are a better team. The most important thing is that we gathered and played as we wanted. We started the season in a good fashion”, said Viktor Rasovic who scored three goals against Romania.
World water polo champion Croatia easily beat Russia in Zadar – 14:4. This was the first official math od Barracudas since they have won the title in Budapest in August.
Although without Sukno, Setka, Krapic, Joković and Buslje, Ivica Tuck’s men, provided some quality water polo at Visnjik swimming pool and gave no hope to the Russian team.
Already after the first two-quarters, Croatia had a five-goal advantage (6-1) and there were no doubts about the final winner.
Loren Fatovic led Croatia with five goals, Ante Vukicević scored three, Jerko Marinic Kragić added two more for the home team. Axel, Lisunov, Nagayev, and Lazarev scored for Russia. In the next game of
Group B German national team will host Croatia.
“This was a perfect game for us. We played some textbook defense and pressed the opponent. Russia is not a bad team at all”, said Croatia NT coach Ivica Tucak.
In the Group C Spain won in Malaga against The Netherlands – 9:5. The local aquatic center was packed and Spanish water polo players gave their fans something to be happy about.
Spain was a better team, but the guests scored a first goal of the game. But, by the end of the first period, Furia Roja gained the lead thanks to Espanol and Cabanas. Espanol scored one more, Tahull and Granados also found the net and Spain had a 5:2 lead at the halftime.
The Netherlands managed to cut the deficit to 6:4, but then Granados and Munarriz answered in style and Spain defended the lead for the first victory in the new edition of World league. Next match Spain will play in January in Hungary.
World League Preliminaries – Europe
Tuesday, November 14
Serbia 12:3 Romania
(4:1, 2:0, 4:1, 2:1)
Serbia: V. Rasovic 3, Vucinic 2, Randjelovic, Cuk, Lazic, Ubovic, Jaksic, Filipovic, Prlainovic, S. Rasovic
Romania: Radu, Priotesa, Ciovaeanu
Croatia 14:4 Rusia
(3:0, 3:1, 4:1, 4:2)
Croatia: Fatovic 5, Vukicevic 3, Marinic-Kragic 2, Loncar, Buljubasic, Vrlic, Garcia
Russia: Lazarev, Nagaev, Lisunov, Shepelev
Spain 9:5 Netherlands
(2:1, 3:1, 1:2, 3:1)
Spain: Espanol 2, Granados 2, Mallarch 2, Cabanas, Tahull, Munarriz
Netherlands: Koopman 2, Gottemaker, Winkelhorst,
1. Serbia 1game – 3pts
2. Romania 1 – 0
3. Montenegro 0 – 0
1. Croatia 1 – 3
2. Russia 1 – 0
3. Germany 0 – 0
1. Spain 1 – 3
2. Netherlands 1 – 0
3. Hungary 0 – 0