FINA World League

Greece stayin’ alive on Valentine’s Day, Serbia’s young guns make no mistake in Bucharest


Greek national team got a very important victory over silver medalist in Rio de Janeiro, Croatia, 10-8 in Round 4 of FINA World League. It means that Greece still has a chance to qualify for Superfinal tournament.

With this win, Greeks are now tied with Croats at the top of the table, both teams having won nine points each.

Nevertheless, Croats still remain favorites, thanks to the better goal-difference. They won the first match in Rijeka by five goals (11-6).

Greece made a spectacular appearance in the second half of the match, conceding just three goals thanks to defense.

The game started with the Croats taking a 2-0 lead, and goalkeeper Marko Bijac made some spectacular saves. But, Greece managed to score a goal in the first quarter.

The game continued in the same way in the second quarter, but at the start of the third period, Angelos Vlachopoulos equalized (5-5) and then Kostas Mourikis gave the Greeks a lead for the first time in the match.

In the last and decisive quarter, Greece came out determined to win and took a three goals lead (9-6 and 10-7). By then, it was already a matter of routine for the home team.

There was no love in Bucharest between Serbia nad Romania on Saint Valentine’s day. The defending champion won easily 9-4 and made a giant step towards a place in the Superfinal.

The most efficient in the rejuvenated team of Olympic champions were Gavril Subotic and Nebojsa Toholj with two goals. Sava Randjelovic Milos Cuk, Nemanja Ubović, Nikola Jaksic and Viktor Rašović all scored a goal apiece.

Serbian coach Dejan Savic tonight took just three players from the golden Rio team – Gojko Pijetlović, Sava Randjelovic and Milos Cuk. But that was never a problem in Bucharest against his former colleague in Serbian team, Dejan Stanojevic who is now coaching Romania.

“Young guns” from Serbia played very seriously tonight, took the lead in the first quarter and saved it until the end of the game. They looked like a team who is playing together for ages.

Serbia leads in Group A with three wins and one triumph on penalties, ahead of Slovakia, Romania, and Germany. Serbia will play next match against Germany on March 14 on home court.

And German team tonight defeated Slovakia in Stuttgart 9-8 after a penalty shootout. It means that Slovaks are all but eliminated from the fight for the first place with Serbia.

Russia “destroyed” Georgia in Kazan – 19:8 and kept alive hopes of qualifying for Superfinal tournament. It was Russians second win in this competition, while Georgians suffered a third straight defeat.

In the last game of the night, Netherlands defeated France in Strasbourg 7-6 in Group B. It was the second win for Oranje this season in the World League, while France still doesn’t know the taste of victory.

FINA Men’s World League 2016-2017
Europe prelims

Round 4
Tuesday, February 14:

Romania – Serbia 4-9 (2-3, 0-2, 2-2, 0-2)
Romania: Radu, Fulea
Serbia: Toholj 2, Subotic 2, Ubovic, Jaksic, Cuk, Randjelovic, Rasovic

Greece – Croatia 10-8 (1-2, 3-3, 3-1, 3-2)
Greece: Kapotsis 2, Mourikis 2, Vlachopoulos 2, Gounas, Kolomvos, Fountoulis, Genidounias.
Croatia: Sukno 4, Buslje, Krapic, Jokovic, Loncar.

Russia – Georgia 19-8 (4-2, 6-3, 3-1, 6-2)
Germany – Slovakia 9-8 pso
France – Netherlands 6-7

Current standings
Group A

1. Serbia 4 – 11 pts
2. Slovakia 4 – 5
3. Germany 4 – 4
4. Romania 4 – 4

Group B
1.Croatia 4 – 9 pts
2. Greece 4 – 9
3. Netherlands 4 – 6
4. France 4 – 0

Group C
1. Italia 2 – 6 pts
2. Russia 3 – 6
3. Georgia 3 – 0

The fifth round of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League 2017 will take place on March 14.

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