The Netherlands is the new European champion! Dutch ladies beat Greece 6:4 in the big final of the LEN European championship in Barcelona. This is a fifth continental title for the Netherlands team in history and the first one since 1993.
The Dutch controlled the game right from the start. Rixt Genee opened the scoring sheet for Oranje after a minute and a half, and Lisa Stomphorst doubled the lead. Greece managed to score in the first quarter thanks to Nikoleta Eleftheriadou.
In the second quarter, the Netherlands managed to keep the lead, but Greek players pushed them to the limit. Megens and Van der Sloot scored on one side, while Christina Tsoukala found the net twice at the other end of the swimming pool.
Both teams played some very solid defense in the third quarter. Only one goal was scored in that period and it was Megens who gave her team a 5:3 lead.
Halfway through the last quarter Greece finally managed to come again to a one-goal deficit – when Eleftheriadou made it 5:4. But the
Netherlands answered straight away after the next attack in which they got a penalty shot and Van der Sloot scored to give her team a what turned out to be a decisive 6:4 lead and a big win.
Spanish national team won the bronze medal, after a victory against Hungary 12:6. La Furia Roja reacted very well after a semifinal defeat and took a big 4:0 lead already in the first quarter. Pili Peña, Anni Espar, Mati Ortiz and Anna Gual all found the net.
The pace was slowed down in the second period, but it suited more for the Spanish because they just had to keep the advantage. Everything was a lot easier when Maica Garcia took it to 6:1, while the Hungarians just managed to cut the deficit to three goals (6:3).
After the break, Spain came, even more, tougher, while Hungarian players looked tired especially in the defense. In this period Gual found the net two times, Leiton and Clara Espar also scored so Spain took a 10:3 lead to close the game.
Russia finished the championship at the fifth place after a win against Italy – 14:8. It was more or less, a tied game in the first half, but then Russia turned a gear up in the third quarter.
With three quick goals from Simanovich, Prokofyeva, and Churzina, Russian water polo team got to a huge 11:6 advantage and it was more than obvious that Italians are going to be defeated.
France national team also had a relatively easy job against France in the match for the seventh-place 13:5. Les Bleus started very well and at the halftime, they had a 4:2 lead.
Estelle Millot played a brilliant match, France got to an 8:4 advantage in the third quarter and she ended this duel as the best scorer with five goals.
Germany 5:13 France
(1:3, 1:1, 2:4, 1:5)
Germany: Vosseberg 3, G. Deike, Stiefel
France: Millot 5, Guillet 2, Mahieu 2, Valverde 2, Paillat, Daule
Italy 8:14 Russia
(3:3, 3:5, 1:5, 1:1)
Italy: Emmolo 2, Bianconi 2, Queirolo 2, Garibotti, Aiello
Russia: Simanovich 4, Prokofyeva 2, Gorbunova 2, Serzhantova, Churzina, Ivanova, Ryzhkova
Hungary 6:12 Spain
(1:5, 2:1, 0:4, 3:2)
Hungary: Szilagyi 2, Keszthelyi 2, Illes, Garda,
Spain: Gual 3, A. Espar 2, Leiton, Garcia, Pena, C. Espar, M. Ortiz, B. Ortiz, Bach
Netherlands 6:4 Greece
(2:1, 2:2, 1:0, 1:1)
Netherlands: Megens 2, Van der Sloot 2, Stomphorst, Genee
Greece: Eleftheriadou 2, Tsoukala 2
2018 – Netherlands
2016 – Hungary
2014 – Spain
2012 – Italy
2010 – Russia
2008 – Russia
2006 – Russia
2003 – Italy
2001 – Hungary
1999 – Italy
1997 – Italy
1995 – Italy
1993 – Netherlands
1991 – Hungary
1989 – Netherlands
1987 – Netherlands
1985 – Netherlands