The final match of the Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championship in Novi Sad will see the Netherlands and Spain battle for gold, while Hungary and Greece will play for bronze. In classification matches, Great Britain will play for the 5th place against Italy, whereas host Serbia will try to win the 7th spot against Russia.
Netherlands defeated Hungary, 8:3, with no trouble and became the first finalist. The Dutch squad controlled the game from the very beginning, and at no moment did it allow Hungary to jeopardize its lead. Already in the first period, the Netherlands went ahead 4:1 and later increased it going on a break with a four-goal lead (6:2). The rest of the game saw only three more goals, and the Netherlands confidently kept Hungary powerless until the end.
Spain will be the Netherlands’ rival in the final, as it came away with a nice 10:7 victory over Greece. Maria Myriokefalitaki netted an opener for Greece, but Alejandra Aznar immediately scored a penalty and quickly added one more goal, so Spain took over the lead and kept the one-goal difference until the end of the first quarter (3:2). It was an equal duel in the second quarter when Evdokia Maria Tsimara tied the result in the third minute, and Aznar again put Spain into the lead 18 seconds before the break (4:3). Spain scored five goals in the third period and practically made it obvious who would win (9:4). Greek ladies refused to surrender and managed to bring down the deficit to two (9:7) with two minutes left on the clock. They lost all their hopes after Olga Descalzi’s successful penalty shot (10:7) and will play against Hungary for the bronze medal.
Host Serbia suffered a tough loss to Great Britain after a penalty shootout, 8:10, and will have to recover until tomorrow when it will face Russia in a battle for the 7th place. Great Britain scored two unanswered goals in the first quarter and achieved a 4:0 lead in the second. However, Serbia woke up after Lara Luka’s penalty shot 98 seconds before the break. Nadja Novakovic quickly brought down the deficit to two (4:2) leaving her team’s hopes high. Serbia was down by one in the third period (4:5) and then Nina Josifovic equalized at the start of the last quarter. The match ended in a draw (6:6) and penalties determined the winner. Apart from Anya Clapperton, whose shot was saved by Serbia’s goalie, all other British shooters were successful, while only Novakovic and Andrea Gasic scored for Serbia. Great Britain will tomorrow play for the 5th spot against Italy which held off Russia.
Despite having an advantage most of the match, Italy was struggling in a suspenseful finish of the clash with Russia. In the first quarter, Italy dominantly went ahead 4:1 and even reached a five-goal lead in the second period, but Russia responded and brought down the deficit to two (7:5) before halftime. The third quarter saw Italy achieve a four-goal advantage, which was then again decreased to two by Russia (10:8). In the middle of the final period, Italy yet again had a five-goal advantage (14:9), and Russia once more stroke back, but failed to tied the result (14:13). Russia’s opponent in the 7th place game will be Serbia.
Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championship (Novi Sad, Serbia)
Day 5 – August 24, 2017
Netherlands 8:3 Hungary
(4:1, 2:1, 1:0, 1:1)
Spain 10:7 Greece
(3:2, 1:1, 5:1, 1:3)