The group stage of the men’s tournament at the 33rd European Championships in Barcelona completed with the third round today. Croatia and Spain were successful in two big derbies of the day and they joined Italy and Serbia in the quarterfinals. The Serbs and the Italians secured top spots in their respective groups and booked their tickets for the quarterfinals two days ago, after the second round.
The four group winners directly advance to the quarterfinals. Teams that took 2nd and 3rd places in their groups will compete in the qualifications for the quarterfinals on Sunday (full schedule at the end of the article)
Hungary clinched the 2nd place in Group A. The silver medalists at 2017 World Championships showed another poor performance (after 5:12 loss to Italy). They played against Germany. Only two goals were seen in the first two quarters. Germany took a 1:0 lead in the middle of the first period, while the Hungarians their first goal scored in the 11th minute for 1:1.
In the third period, Hungary took a lead two times (2:1 and 3:2), but the rivals were tied before the last period (3:3). Julian Real scored all three goals for Germany before the last break. Mark Stamm netted early in the 4th quarter and Germany was in front again (4:3). Zoltan Pohl set the final score (4:4) with 03:11 remaining on the clock. Viktor Nagy, the first goalkeeper of the national team of Hungary didn’t play today. Soma Vogel was in front of the goal during all 32 minutes.
Both sides ended the competition in the group with 4 points, so the goal difference determined the ranking. Hungary remained in the 2nd place with a neutral goal difference (21:21), while Germany finished as 3rd (15:27).
The encounter between Hungary and Germany was the first game at the 33rd European Championships with less than 10 goals.
In the last match in this group, Italy easily defeated last-placed Georgia 14:3.
The most important game in Group B offered a big thrilling battle between Montenegro and Spain.
Montenegro managed to control the game against Spain during the first half. The 2018 World League winner jumped to a 2:0 lead. The Montenegrins, pulled by Aleksandar Ivovic (4 goals in the first two quarters), were 5:3 up at halftime.
Spain came back in the third period. In the middle of the quarter, they scored twice in a span of 45 seconds to level the score (5:5). They added one more goal soon. Before the 4th quarter, the hosts had a 6:5 lead. Than came Montenegro, by scoring two straight goals, they went in front again 7:6 with 03:37 remaining on the clock. Bustos converted a man-up to level the score 7:7 (88 seconds from the end). There were no goals until the end, the Spaniards managed to keep the result and the first place. Both teams won 7 points, but Spain remained on the top spot because of better goal difference.
Montenegro, as 2nd-placed, must go to the qualifications where they will clash with Romania.
#WP2018BCN #waterpoloHighlights 🤽♂️🇲🇪 MNE 7 – 7 ESP 🇪🇸
Posted by LEN on Friday, July 20, 2018
World champion Croatia dominated the derby of Group C. The Croats convincingly defeated Greece to earn the 1st place in the group and a spot in the quarterfinals too.
Croatia controlled the game from the beginning and gained an early 2:0 lead. The World champions were 4:1 up in the 11th minute and they maintained the lead until halftime (7:4). The third quarter (3:1) proved vital in Croatia’s win. Ivica Tucak’s team led 8:4, Greece came to 8:5 in the 26th minute. From that point, Croatia held Greece scoreless for more than 9 minutes. Genidounias netted for 11:6 when it was too late (30th minute) for a comeback. Croatia won 11:7. The World champions and the 2018 Europa Cup winners played very well in attack as well as in defense. They halted two best Greece’s scorers Fountoulis and Vlachopoulos. None of the two couldn’t find the net this evening.
Greece will play against Germany in the qualifications for the quarterfinals.
Ivica Tucak, head coach, Croatia:
“I’m satisfied, we played a good game but it’s not important for us. We had powerful, concentrated defence, attack too, the centre-forwards were excellent. We wanted this game and prepared for it well. For us, the Championships’ real start is the quarter-finals. Greece is a strong team, but I repeat, we must forget this match immediately, by tomorrow’s training as latest. We’ll see who we will play against next.”
Theodoros Vlachos, head coach, Greece:
“Croatia was the better team today. We had a problem with our man-up in the whole game and just couldn’t follow their rhythm. We were successful in only a few out of the 15 man-ups we had. For us, the Championships start now. Every game ahead is like a final for us. (quotes source wp2018bcn.com)
The Netherlands took the third place in the group, as they beat Turkey in the 3rd round (22:5). The Dutch will face Hungary.
The match which determined the 2nd and the 3rd place in the group was an encounter between Russia and Romania. The Russians recorded a win with a 5-goal margin, despite the Romanians nicely entered the game. Romania led 4:1 early in the 2nd quarter. The Russians tightened their defense and made a 4:0 series for a 5:4 advantage (37 before the end of the period). Ghiban converted extra man for 5:5 two seconds from halftime, but there were no thrills in the second half of the game. The Russians killed the excitements with new four goals in a row to jump from 6:6 to 10:6 in the 27th minute. They widened the gap in the finish of the game (12:7).
Title holder Serbia played far from its best against Slovakia but it achieved a convincing win. This match didn‘t affect the rankings, because the Serbs secured the 1st place after the 2nd round, while Slovakia couldn‘t move from the last place. The reigning European champions rushed to a 5:0 lead in the first 6 minutes, but Slovakia narrowed the difference (8:5) in the middle of the third quarter. The Serbs responded with five goals in a row by the end of the match for a 13:5 victory.
Dejan Savic, Serbian head coach, said:
“We’ve fulfilled our first goal coming to the championships: to win our group. Now we have to think about quarter-finals. The result doesn’t truly show the difference in quality. We had too many missed and precipitated shots. We also weren’t responding to their zone play the right way. I’m satisfied with the first half of the Europeans but if we don’t pass into the semis all this won’t matter much.” (quote source LEN press release)
33rd European Championships, men’s competition, 3rd round
Germany 4:4 Hungary
(1:0, 0:1, 2:2, 1:1)
Germany: Real 3, Stamm.
Hungary: Zalnaki, Batori, Bedo, Pohl.
Georgia 3:14 Italy
(0:3, 1:3, 1:5, 1:3)
Georgia: Rurua 2, Magrakvelidze.
Italy: Di Fulvio 2, Molina 2, Figlioli 2, Velotto 2, Presciutti 2, Bodgeas 2, Renzuto, Bertoli.
1. Italy 3 – 9 (40:9)
2. Hungary 3 – 4 (21:21)
3. Germany 3 – 4 (15:27)
4. Georgia 3 – 0 (17:36)
Montenegro 7:7 Spain
(3:2, 2:1, 0:3, 2:1)
Montenegro: Ivovic 4, Janovic 2, Dj. Radovic.
Spain: Tahull 2, Perrone 2, Granados, Mallarach, Bustos.
Malta 6:12 France
(0:3. 1:2, 3:3, 2:4)
Malta: Plumpton 2, Cousin, S. Camilleri, Zammit, Gabarretta.
France: Crousillat 4, Vanpeperstraete 2, Lepoint, Saudadier, Olivon, Khasz, Guillaume, Marion-Vernoux.
1. Spain 3 – 7 (49:17)
2. Montenegro 3 – 7 (32:18)
3. France 3 – 3 (22:21)
4. Malta 3 – 0 (15:50)
Croatia 11:7 Greece
(2:0, 5:4, 3:1, 1:2)
Croatia: Garcia 4, Vukcevic 3, Macan, Loncar, Jokovic, Setka.
Greece: Genidounias 2, Gounas 2, Dervisis 2, Kapotsis,,
Turkey 5:22 Netherlands
(1:6, 1:5, 1:7, 2:4)
Turkey: Yilmaz 2, Sonmez, Ozbek, Biyik.
Netherlands: Janssen 4, Lindhout 3, Gottemaker 3, Filipovic 2, Muller 2, Koopman 2, Lucas 2, Van der Horst 2, Winkelhorst, Van Ijperen.
1. Croatia 3 – 9 (49:17)
2. Greece 3 – 6 (46:19)
3. Netherlands 3 – 3 (37:32)
4. Turkey 3 – 0 (8:72)
Serbia 13:5 Slovakia
(5:1, 3:3, 2:1, 3:0)
Serbia: Mandic 2,Randjelovic 2, Cuk 2, Aleksic 2, Jaksic 2, Filipovic 2, Vico.
Slovakia: Durik 2, Maros Tkac, Marek Tkac, Uradnik.
Russia 12:7 Romania
(1:3, 4:2, 3:1, 4:1)
Russia: Merkulov 5, Lisunov 3, Kholod 2, Andrykov, Nagaev.
Romania: Ghiban 2, Radu, Negrean, Gheorghe, Gergelyfi, Oanta.
1. Serbia 3 – 9 (35:19)
2, Russia 3 – 6 (33:24)
3. Romania 3 – 3 (21:28)
4. Slovaka 3 – 0 (16:34)
Knock out stage
Qualifications for quarterfinals (July 22):
Montenegro – Romania,
Quarterfinals (July 24)
Serbia – Hungary or Netherlands (game A)
Spain-Germany or Greece (B)
Croatia-Montenegro or Romania (C)
Italy-France or Russia (D),
Semifinals (July 26)
Winners games A – C
winners games B – D
Final day (July 28)
Ranking 13th – 16th
Semifinals (July 22): Georgia – Turkey, Malta Slovakia
Games for 13th place and for the 15th place will be played on July 24.