The real excitements at the men’s tournament at the 33rd European Championships started today. The knock-out stage began with qualifications for the quarterfinals.
Hungary, Montenegro, Greece and Russia defeated their respective rivals and joined Serbia, Croatia, Italy and Spain, which secured their spots in the quarterfinals as group winners.
The Hungarians had some difficulties in a match against a team which isn’t in the same weight category as them. Hungary was 5:6 down in the 11th minute of the match against the Netherlands. A few minutes later, Tamas Marcz’s squad finally found a good rhythm. Hungary scored six goals in a row to earn an 11:6 lead early in the third period. The Dutch came close in the 27th minute (11:8), but they weren’t able to go further. The Hungarians maintained a 3-goal advantage until the end (12:9) . Hungary will face Serbia in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. But, if the Hungarians don’t improve their performance, the Serbs won’t have a hard task. A winner of the encounter Serbia – Hungary will meet Croatia or Montenegro.
Tamas Marcz, head coach, Hungary:
“It was a fine win and I was happy to see good reactions from my players after the slightly disappointing preliminaries. I think they calmed down a bit once the first couple of goals arrived and even if we conceded a series of unlucky goals at the beginning, they kept on fighting and did what needed to build the necessary margin. In fact, how they game went on, we should have extended our lead to 7-8 goals and win with a bigger margin. But this comes with experience, this is a young team, went through some ups and downs here so I won’t criticise my players for not turning it a bigger win. It was a win in the eight-finals and we had to appreciate it. Next is Serbia, a team full of Olympic and world champions but perhaps playing a bit more straight-forward game than Italy which might suit us a bit better. And we know them well as 80 percent of the team are playing in Hungary… No doubt, they are the outstanding favourites against our young side, we respect their fantastic players so we’ll go to this game with nothing to lose, and without any fears.”
Robin van Galen, head coach, Netherlands:
“We are disappointed. We started off well, had a good fighting spirit. Unfortunately, we lost control of the game in the third quarter. They showed why they are still among the top teams in water polo. We had a few chances but our man-up was bad. In order to win you have to have the man-up efficiency at 50-60%. In the end they deserved to win and we have to reset our goals.” (quotes source LEN press release)
▶️ Highlights 🇭🇺🆚🇳🇱
Posted by 33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships – Barcelona 2018 on Sunday, July 22, 2018
Video source: 33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships/Facebook
Germany strongly entered the game against Greece. They led 2:0 after just 75 seconds of the match. But, the Greeks took control, they produced an 8:1 rush and they were 8:3 up at halftime.
The Germans’ big lack was that they played without their central defender Julian Real from the start of the 2nd quarter. Real, one of the best German players, ended the game in the finish of the 1st period because of three exclusions. Eight seconds before the end of the first period, he was excluded for the 2nd time (the Greeks led 5:3). He didn’t leave the pool immediately, so the judge punished him with another exclusion. Greece got a chance to go to 6:3 from a penalty, but Dervisis hit the post.
Greece dominated in the second half, as well as in the 2nd quarter, for a 13:5 victory. The Greeks’ rival in the quarterfinals will be host Spain.
Hagen Stamm, head coach, Germany:
“We had to play at 100% in order to win, unfortunately today we couldn’t do it because we didn’t have our complete squad. We missed our central defender, as he got ejected after committing three fouls, who is a very important part of the team. We also had some injuries, so we couldn’t play well without so many important players. Now we will try to perform well to leave a good impression in our last two matches at this competition.”
Konstantinos Genidounias, player, Greece:
“The entire time we had our minds set on making it to the quarter finals, so we are happy to have achieved our first goal. We played very well for half of the match. It’s going to be helpful to look back at video and look at what we did well so we can do it in our next game. Now we have a very important and exciting match against Spain in their own pool and in front of their fans.” (quotes source wp2018.bcn.com)
video source: LEN/Facebook
The Montenegrins didn’t leave a decision too late, too. They blew away Romania. Montenegro grabbed an early 3:0 lead, but Romania reduced the gap in the 11th minute (3:2). From the middle of the 2nd quarter, the Montenegrins ruled the field. They netted five straight goals for 8:2. By the end of the third period, Montenegro built a 6-goal lead (10:4) and cruised to a 15:5 win. In the semifinals, Montenegro will meet Croatia.
Vladimir Gojkovic, head coach, Montenegro:
“Our next rival is Croatia, the world champions. We must prepare well so we can be at 100 percent for that game. They’re a fantastic team, but we believe that we have the quality to play against them. We are going into that match with the goal of qualifying to the semifinals. We will try to do everything to beat them in that game.”
Dejan Stanojevic, head coach, Romania:
“First of all I have to congratulate Montenegro for their perfomance. They are a great team and I am sure that they will be fighting for the medals in this tournament. We have tried to defend ourselves, but they are superior in all aspects of the game, both physical and tactically. We have tried to continue playing 100% until the end and that’s my main takeaway because we did our best.” (quotes source wp2018bcn.com)
The day was completed by an encounter between Russia and France. It had been supposed that this match would bring a lot of thrills. But Russia didn’t leave a chance to France. The Russians were 3:0 up after first three attacks in the match. They led 8:2 at halftime. France recovered from the early shock in the second half. The French trailed by three goals (7:10) in the 26th minute. It was too late. Russia kept the advantage and celebrate a 12:9 victory.
The Russians have played very well since the beginning of the Championships. They might make a lot of troubles to Italy in the quarterfinals.
Nenad Vukanic, head coach, France:
“The better team won. We gave what we had, though we could have played better, smarter… But as far as the desire, determination and energy is concerned I know my players gave their best.”
Sergey Evstigneev, head coach, Russia:
“We started well, built a great advantage. Then in the third quarter we started ‘wasting’ the balls. It might have been due to the excitement over the imminent victory. Italy is next. They are a very strong team but we’ll put up a fight. We have a chance.” (quotes source: LEN press release)
33rd European Championships, men, qualifications for quarterfinals
Germany 5:13 Greece
(3:5, 0:3, 1:2, 1:3)
Germany: Stamm 3, Real, Strelezkij.
Greece: Genidounias 2, Skoumpakis 2, Argyropoulos 2, Kolomvos 2, Vlachopoulos, Mourikis, Nikolaidis, Fountoulis, Kapotsis.
Hungary 12:9 Netherlands
(5:4, 4:2, 2:1, 1:2)
Hungary: Vamos 4, Zalnaki 3, Pohl 2, Erdelyi, Batori.
Netherlands: Koopman 2, M. Filipovic 2, Van den Burg, Winkelhorst, Van Ijperen, Gottemaker, Lucas.
Montenegro 15:5 Romania
(3:1, 3:1, 4:2, 5:1)
Montenegro: Petkovic 3, A. Radovic 3, Draskovic 2, Dj. Radovic 2, Spaic 2, Brguljan, Ivovic, Misic.
Romania: Negrean 2, Georgescu, Oanta, Ghiban.
France 9:12 Russia
(1:4, 1:4, 4:2, 3:2)
France:Khasz 2, Crousillat 2, Saudadier, Bachelier, Vernoux, Guillame, Canonne.
Russia: Lisunov 3, Suchkov 2, Derviankin 2, Nagaev 2, Koptsev, Merkulov, Shepelev.
Rankings 13 – 16
Georgia 15:10 Turkey
(6:3, 1:1, 3:3, 5:3)
Georgia: Bitadze 4, Jelaca 3, Baghaturia 3, Crepulja 2, Imnaishvili 2, Rurua.
Turkey: Biyik 4, Ergin 4, Sonmez, Yilmaz
Malta 6:11 Slovakia
(2:3, 1:4, 3:2, 0:2)
Malta: Zammit 2, Abela, S. Camilleri, Plumpton, Cousin.
Slovakia: Kolarik 3, Durik 3, Zatovic 2, Maros Tkac , Bielik, Balaz.
KNOCK OUT STAGE, RESULTS AND SCHEDULE
Qualifications for quarterfinals (July 22)
Hungary- Netherlands 12:9
Germany- Greece 5:13
Montenegro – Romania 15:5
Quarterfinals (July 24)
Serbia – Hungary (game A)
Spain – Greece (B)
Croatia – Montenegro (C)
Italy – Russia (D)
Semifinals, ranking 9th – 12th (July 24)
Netherlands – Romania
Germany – France
Semifinals (July 26)
Winners games A – C
winners games B – D
Final day (July 28)
For 3rd place
For 5th place
For 7th place
Ranking 13th – 16th
Semifinals (July 22): Georgia – Turkey 15:10, Malta – Slovakia 6:11
Games for the 9th place, for the 11th place, for 13th place (Georgia – Slovakia) and for the 15th place (Turkey – Malta) will be played on July 24.