European Water Polo Championships

Serbia and Croatia meet again, Italy’s mighty defense (VIDEO)

Pieto Figlioli, captain, Italy Photo:

The quarterfinals at the 33rd European Championships for men offered a few one-sided matches but also a lot of thrills. Serbia and Croatia advanced to the semifinals, as they celebrated wins in two water polo classics. Italy, with its mighty defense, and Spain also secured their spots among top 4 European squads.

The first semifinal will see a replay of the 2016 Olympic Games final Serbia – Croatia. In the other match, Italy will face the Spanish national team.  Title holder Serbia is the only of the four teams which played in the semifinals at the 2016 Europeans in Belgrade.

The Serbian “Dolphins” reached the semifinals at the European Championships for the ninth time in a row (2001 and 2003 as a part of Serbia and Montenegro, from 2006 as an independent state). The title holder and the Olympic champion showed an outstanding performance in the first half of the today’s match against Hungary. The Serbs dominated from the beginning. They were 5:0 up early in the second period. Dejan Savic’s team played excellently in defense, a goalkeeper Branislav Mitrovic did a great job. The Hungarians their first goal scored 24 seconds from halftime (1:5).

Hungary, the bronze medalist at the 2016 Euro, woke up from a nightmare in the second half, but the gap between the two sides was too big. Serbia controlled the game. Hungary trailed 2:5 in the 18th minute and 4:7 in the middle of the fourth period, but Serbia’s win wasn’t in danger. Viktor Rasovic scored from a penalty for 8:4 with 32 seconds remaining on the clock. Batori set the final score two seconds before the end. Serbia beat the big rival 8:5. Top scorer, with three goals, was 21-years-old Nikola Jaksic.

Dejan Savic, head coach, Serbia:

“We played very well in the first two quarters, but after that our performance wasn’t the best. I believe that we made too many mistakes in one man-up situations. Hungary were a tough team to beat today. We are very happy to have reached the semifinals. I don’t have starting players or substitutes. For me all of my players are equally important for the team.”

This championship is Hungary’s lowest placement at water polo Europeans in the 21st century. The most decorated national team in the history played in all semifinals at the European Championships from 1993 until 2016 (12 in a row). The Hungarians took the 5th place in Athens in 1991.

Tamas Märcz, head coach, Hungary:

“Serbia started the match by putting a lot of pressure on us. We have to study how to start matches in a better way since we have struggled at the beggining of matches lately. We don’t have the youngest of teams, but it is still a group that lacks in experience. After the first quarter we played better, but I think that this match could have gone on for 100 years and we still wouldn’t have been able to catch up to Serbia. This would have been a different type fo match if we wouldn’t have made several little mistakes that were costly for us.” (quotes source


SRB 8 – 5 HUN

#WP2018BCN #waterpolo24/07 #Highlights – Day 11 🤽♂️Quarter-finals 🇷🇸️SRB 8 – 5 HUN 🇭🇺Serbian waterpolo team

Posted by LEN on Tuesday, July 24, 2018

World champion Croatia produced a big comeback while beating Montenegro, which won the gold medal in the 2018 World League and silver at the 2016 European Championships. The Montenegrins started very well and earned an early 2:0 lead. They managed to maintain an advantage until the 21st minute when Fatovic hit the back of the net from a counter attack for 5:5. Marko Petkovic pulled Montenegro in front again in the next attack. Croatia responded with four straight goals in a row and earned a big 9:6 advantage (4:41 before the end). After that, Montenegro couldn’t find a way back, the Croats won by two goals (9:7).

Croatia hadn’t big successes at the previous three European Championships. It won gold in their home ground, in Zagreb in 2010, but it missed the semifinals in 2012, 2014 and 2016. On the other side, the Montenegrins won’t play in the semifinals for the first time since 2010. They won silver medals in 2012 and 2016, while they took the 4th place in Budapest 2014.

Ivica Tucak, head coach, Croatia:

“It was a fantastic match. We showed heart, character, strength. It didn’t go easy but it just shows why we are the world champions, why we won the Europa Cup recently. We are The Team, we stick together and pull each other through good and difficult moments.”

Vladimir Gojkovic, head coach, Montenegro:

“Croatia is a very strong team, they are strong in defense and play very well in general. We made some mistakes which in the end cost us the match.”


CRO 9 – 7 MNE

#WP2018BCN #waterpolo24/07 #Highlights – Day 11 🤽♂️Quarter-finals 🇭🇷️CRO 9 – 7 MNE 🇲🇪#CroatiaWaterpolo Vaterpolo i plivački savez Crne Gore – WPOLO Montenegro

Posted by LEN on Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Italy, which conceded just nine goals in the preliminaries, proved again that it has the mighty defense, the best in the tournament so far. The “Sette Bello” demolished Russia 11:1. The Russians needed 20:32 minutes to score the first and the only goal (7:1). Italy killed the excitements already in the first two quarters. It had a 6:0 advantage at the end of the second period. They didn’t slow down after a big break. Alessandro Campagna’s squad and led by its captain Pietro Figlioli (4 goals), Valentino Gallo (3) and a goalkeeper Marco Del Luongo, cruised to a convincing win.

Pietro Figlioli, captain, Italy:

“Our coach told us to do was to make it diffcult for Russia by defending strongly, which in theory sounds easy, but it is not. We defended almost perfectly. Now we are keeping concentration level high because in this moment of the tournament we cannot afford to lose, and I believe it can been seen from the results. We worked a lot on mental concentration and we will continue to do so to be able to make it as far as possible in this competition.”

Sergey Evstigneev, head coach, Russia:

“We didn’t play well today. We didn’t score goals, but we had many opportunities in attack. In my opinion it was a psychological issue that didn’t allow us to perform well. Italy are a very strong team and they deserved to go through to the semifinals. Now we will work hard to correct our mistakes to be stronger in the future.” (quotes source

ITA 11 – 1 RUS

#WP2018BCN #waterpolo24/07 #Highlights – Day 11 🤽♂️Quarter-finals 🇮🇹️ ITA 11 – 1 RUS 🇷🇺

Posted by LEN on Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Spain faced Greece this evening. The home team led throughout the match, but the first half of the game saw a hard battle. The Spaniards had a 4:3 lead at halftime. In the third period, they blew away the rival. The crucial moments came in the middle of the 3rd quarter. Spain scored four goals in a span of 2:17 minutes to built a very nice 4-goal lead (8:3). Greece couldn’t catch the hosts anymore.  Spain won 10:6. This result was a nice revenge for a 2:6 loss to Greece in the quarterfinals at the 2016 European Championships.

The Spaniards will play in the semifinals for the first time since the Championships in 2006 (bronze medal). Italy didn’t reach the semifinals in Belgrade two years ago, as well as Spain. The Italians’ last medal so far is bronze in Budapest 2014.

ESP 10 – 6 GRE

#WP2018BCN #waterpolo24/07 #Highlights – Day 11 🤽♂️Quarter-finals 🇪🇸 ESP 10 – 6 GRE 🇬🇷

Posted by LEN on Tuesday, July 24, 2018




Serbia 8:5 Hungary
(4:0, 1:1, 2:2, 1:2)

Serbia: Jaksic 3, Filipovic 2, Prlainovic, Vico, Rasovic.
Hungary: Bedo 2, Manhercz, Zalnaki, Batori.

Croatia 9:7 Montenegro
(1:2, 1:2, 4:2, 3:1)

Croatia: Buljubasic 2, Macan, Fatovic, Loncar, Jokovic, Vukicevic, Buslje, Setka.
Montenegro: Petkovic 2, Janovic 2, Ivovic 2, Spaic.

Italy 11:1 Russia
(2:0, 4:0, 1:1, 4:0)

Italy:Figlioli 4, Gallo 3, Di Fulvio, Molina, Renzuto, Echenique.
Russia: Andryukov.

Spain 10:6 Greece
(2:1, 2:2, 4:0, 2:3)

Spain: Granados 2, Tahull 2, Mallarach 2, Munnariz, Del Toro Dominguez, Fernandet, Bustos.
Greece: Genidounias 2, Nikolaidis , Fountoulis, Argyropoulos, Kolomvos.

Semifinals for places 9 – 12

Netherlands 12:7 Romania
(2:2, 4:1, 3:3, 3:1)

Netherlands: Winkelhorst 3, Koopman 3, Lindhout 2, Van den Burg, Van der Horst, Filipovic, Lucas.
Romania: Ghiban 2, Radu, Gheorghe, Fulea, Georgescu, Gergelyfi, Antipa.

Germany 12:5 France
(4:2, 3:1, 1:1, 4:1)

Germany: Van der Bosch 3, Juengling 2, Schulz 2, Restovic 2, Reibel, Strelezkij, Eidner.
France: Vanpeperstraete 2, Saudadier, Crousillat, Canonne.

For 13th place

Georgia 8:6 Slovakia
(1:1, 3:3, 3:2, 1:0)

Georgia: Rurua 3, Crepulja 2, Jelaca, Baghaturia, Magrakvelidze.
Slovakia: Kolarik 2, Zatovic, Uradniuk, Durik, Balaz.

For 15th place

Turkey 13:12 Malta
(3:1, 2:1, 0:2, 2:3, 6:5 – pso)

Turkey: Ozbek 3, Sonmez 2, Yilmaz, Biyik. Penalties: Biyik 2, Duzenli, Sonmez, Ozbek, Yilmaz.
Malta: Zammit 2, Bugelli 2, Cousin , Galea,S. Camilleri. Penalties: S. Camilleri, J. Camilleri, Spiteri, Abela, Cousin.


Semifinals 1 – 4 (July 26)

Serbia – Croatia
Italy – Spain

Semifinals 5 – 8 (July 26)
Hungary – Montenegro
Russia – Greece

For 9th place (July 26)
Netherlands – Germany

For 11th place (July 26)
Romania – France

Final day (July 28)
For 3rd place
For 5th place
For 7th place

Like or Comment

To Top