Juniors

Greece and Spain in battle for gold in Szombathely

Photo: Waterpolo.hu/Facebook

Question: Who will be a new world champion for players born in 2000 and later?
Answer: Greece or Spain.

These two teams defeated their respective rivals in today’s thrilling semifinals and advanced to the final game at the 4th World Men’s Youth Water Polo Championships 2018 in Szombathely (Hungary).

Semifinals

Spain reached the final by winning a thriller against Hungary. The hosts had a 4:1 lead after the 1st quarter. In the following minutes, Spain was reducing its deficit step-by-step and went ahead in the third quarter – 8:7. There were no goals by the end of the period, while the Hungarians equalized early in the fourth quarter (8:8). After that, the Spaniards built a 2-goal advantage (10:8 and 11:9). The home side managed to level the score once more – 11:11 with 02:08 remaining on the clock. The Hungarians didn’t go further, while. Oscar Asensio scored a winner (12:11) 66 seconds from the end..

According to the statistics, an extra player efficiency was crucial for the outcome. Hungary converted 3 of 10 possessions with a man-up, while Spain netted 5 goals from 9 attacks with an extra player. Hungary scored from 3 of 4 penalties, while Spain didn’t convert its only penalty shot.

An encounter between Greece and Serbia in the second semifinal also offered twists and a lot of excitements. It was a tough battle from the beginning. The Serbs were ahead for most of the time. Early in the second quarter they had a 3:1 lead. They were 5:3 up deep into the quarter. However, the Greeks caught the rival in their first possession in the third period (5:5). The Serbs replied with two goals (7:5). Greece managed to equalize once more (7:7).

The last minute in the 3rd quarter proved vital in Greece’s win. Serbia missed a great opportunity for a new lead 35 seconds from the last break, because Greece’s goalkeeper Ugo Allesandro Piovan, a hero of the match (13 saves), saved Brankovic’s shot and boosted his team again. In the last second of the period, Dionusios Braime scored from an extra and Greece took the lead for the first time (8:7). His team-mate Ippokratis Chalyvopoulos added a goal early in the fourth for 9:7 and Serbia didn’t come back in the finish of the thrilling game. Mitrovic converted a man-up in the middle of the last period (9:8). Serbia had a chance to secure a penalty-shootout. It earned a man-up in the last attack, but Piovan posted his 13th save with 27 seconds on the clock and Greece kept the ball until the last buzzer.

Games for places 5th – 20th

Croatia and Italy will play in the game for the 5th place.

The Italians easily beat Australia today. They killed the excitements in the first quarter. Italy led 6:0 at the first break. Australia came back early in the third period (3:6), but the Italians responded with four consecutive goals (10:3) and won by a 6-goal margin (12:6).

Croatia didn’t leave the decision for the end, too. The Croats faced Montenegro. The “Barracudas” were 7:2 up by the end of the second quarter. The Montenegrins couldn’t recover from the early shock, despite they scored 8 goals in the 3rd and the 4th period. Croatia won 15:10.

The United States beat Russia in the match for the 9th place. The Russians flew to a 3:0 lead in the first four minutes. The USA bounced back soon with an 11:3 rush by the end of the 3rd quarter. The Americans celebrated a 14:8 victory.

Brazil trashed Colombia in the game for the 11th position (16:5). Egypt blew away New Zealand (14:4) and took the 13th place…

Results and schedule

Semifinals

Hungary 11:12 Spain
(4:1, 3:5, 0:2, 4:4)

Hungary: Bobis 4, Baksa 3, Fekete 2, Csorba, Ekler.
Spain: Bertan 5, Sanahuja 3, Prieto 2, Asensio, Alcon.

Greece 9:8 Serbia
(1:2, 3:3, 4:2, 1:1)

Greece: Papanikolaou 2, Dimou 2, Kalogeropoulos 2, A. Chalyvopoulos, I. Chalyvopoulos, Braime.
Serbia: P. Mitrovic 2, Radovic 2, Sulc 2, Stanojevic, A. Mitrovic.

For places 5 – 8

Australia 6:12 Italy
(0:6, 1:0, 2:4, 3:2)

Australia: Taylor 2, Gillfeather, Molnar, Kyriakou, Townsend.
Italy: Mezzaroba 5, Faraglia 2, Antonucci, Guuabzza, De Robertis, Narciso, Ferrero.

Montenegro 10:15 Croatia
(1:2, 1:5, 4:3, 4:5)

Montenegro: Mitrovic 3, Vucurvic, Macic, Radovic, Vujovic, Gardasevic, Murisic.
Croatia: Radulovic 3, Herceg 3, Krzic 2, Culina 2, Zuvela 2, Bajic, Markic, Penava.

For places 9th – 10th
USA – Russia 14:8 (3:4, 4:1, 4:1, 3:2)

For places 11th – 12th
Colombia – Brazil 5:16 (1:3, 1:3, 2:7, 1:3)

For places 13th – 14th
Egypt – New Zealand 14:4 (3:0, 2:1, 5:1, 4:2)

For places 15th – 16th
Argentina – South Africa 8:9 (2:1, 3:3, 2:3, 1:2)

For places 17th – 18th
Saudi Arabia – Canada 5:20 (2:4, 2:4, 0:5, 1:7)

For places 19th – 20th
Uzbekistan – China 13:14 (3:1, 2:4, 2:2, 4:4, pso 2:3)

Sunday, August 19th

For 7th place: Montenegro – Australia (12:15)
For 5th place: Italy – Croatia (13:45)
For 3rd place: Serbia – Hungary (15:15)
Final: Greece – Spain (16:45)

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