LEN Europa Cup

Spain is in the final! Serbia and Croatia decide in the derby

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Spain national water polo team is the first finalist of the inaugural LEN Europa Cup Super Final tournament in Rijeka. The Spanish Armada won against Greece 7:6 in the match of Round two and secured the first place in the A group of the tournament.

Spaniards won yesterday against Italy, so now no one can take their place at the top. Today’s game was much tougher for Spain than against Italy. Two goals of Alberto Munárriz put Spain ahead at the finish of the first quarter (2-0).

Greece cut the lead, but the Roger Tahull led Spain to 3-1 at the end of the first eight minutes. In the second period, Fran Fernández and Álvaro Granados scored and Spain went to a huge 5-1 lead. Before the halftime, Gervisis found the net for Greece.

Only two goals were seen in the third quarter. First Mourikis scored, but then Marc Minguell quickly answered. At the start of the last quarter, Gounas cut the lead to 6-4, but all of Greece’s hopes were shattered by Mallarach who found the net for a 7-4 lead.

Italian water polo team quickly recovered from the defeat against Spain in the first round of the competition and managed to secure an important victory against Hungary – 10:5.

Even though Hungarians were without some big names in this tournament, they are still one of the best teams in the world. But, today it was Italy’s day. Campagna’s players dominated in the swimming pool and they managed to physically outpower Hungarians.

Di Fulvio scored a hattrick and Molina was also outstanding in this game. After three-quarters of control, Italy suffered only slightly at the start of the last fraction, but without ever questioning the final result.

Italy started the game much better than in the first round, especially in the defense. Also on the other side of the pool, the Settebello was very secure offensively with an extra man. So, it was not a surprise that Italy had a 5:1 lead at the halftime.

Halfway through the match, Hungarians had 1/6 with the extra man, also thanks to the Del Lungo parades. Hungary managed to cut the deficit to three goals, but Italy stayed strong in the finish.

As expected, the winner of the B group will be decided in the derby clash between Serbia and Croatia. Both teams recorded victories in the matches of the Round two.

Serbian water polo team beat France 13:2 in a match that at the moments looked like a training session. Gavril Subotic was the best scorer of the game with three goals, while Filip Filipovic and Nikola Jaksic added two each to boost Serbia’s confidence ahead of tomorrow’s decisive duel with the biggest rival.

Croatia also played some top quality water polo and won against Montenegro 10:5. Basically, the home team secured a victory already in the first half.

Croats opened the first period with three goals and in the first 16 minutes of the game, goalkeeper Bijac didn’t have a single save. But not because he was bad, but he didn’t need to make a save.

Maro Jokovic was a man of the match with four goals for Croatia, and Vukicevic added two more. Djurdjic scored twice for Montenegro.

Day 2

Group A

Hungary 5:10 Italy
(0:1, 1:4, 2:2, 2:3)

Hungary: Manhercz K. 2, Zalánki, Bedő, Jansik Sz.,
Italy: Di Fulvio 3, Bodegas 2, Velotto, Echenique, Damonte, Figlioli, Molina

Spain 7:6 Greece
(3:1, 2:1, 1:1, 1:3)

Spain: Tahull 2, Munarriz 2, Fernandez, Mallarch, Granados
Greece: Gounas 2, Mourikis, Fountoulis, Dervisis, Vlachopoulos

Standings

1. Spain 6 pts
2. Italy 3
3. Greece 1
4. Hungary 1

Group B

Croatia 10:5 Montenegro
(3:1, 2:1, 4:3, 1:0)

Croatia: Jokovic 4, Vukicevic 2, Fatovic, Buljubasic, Vrlic, Garcia
Montenegro: Djurdjic 2, Brguljan, Al. Radovic, Spaic

Serbia 13:2 France
(4:1, 1:1, 5:0, 3:0)

Serbia: Subotic 3, Filipovic 2, Jaksic 2, Cuk 2, Mandic, Drasovic, D. Pijetlovic, Lazic
France: Marzouki, Izdinsky

Standings

1. Croatia 6
2. Serbia 6
3. Montenegro 0
4. France 0

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