Spain, The Netherlands, Greece, and Hungary qualified for the semifinals at the LEN European Championship in Barcelona. Greece and Hungary both had to survive a real scare in the quarterfinals, while Netherlands and Spain had easy tasks tonight.
So, Greece will play against Spain in the semifinal and the Netherlands will face Hungary. Both matches are on Wednesday.
From paradise to hell and then again to paradise, that was the game for Greece against Russia and eventually, the won it 11:10. Prokofyeva gave Russia the first lead in the game, but Greece reacted furiously. Two goals from Pleuritis, and the one from Avramidou and Eleftheriadou and Greece was leading 4:1 after the first period.
In the second quarter, Russia showed why it is considered one of the best teams in the world. After some great counterattacks and goals from Ivanova, Russia overturned the score and took a 5:4 lead.
It was a goal for a goal game until the end of regular time, but even so, Greece could have won it, but Xenakis shot hit the bar in the last second.
In the penalty shootout, Cescatova also hit the bar, while all Greek players found the net to qualify for the semifinal.
Spain beat France – 14:5 and it was a relatively easy game for the host nation. After a tied first quarter Spain scored five goals and didn’t concede a single one, so it was 7:2 on the scoreboard.
Beatriz Munoz scored four goals and Maica Garcia netted a hattrick tonight to secure a big and important win for their team.
EDINA GENGL IS THE HUNGARIAN HERO
Hungary also qualified for the semifinals after real water polo drama – 10:9. It was a tied game in the first half, and then it started to change.
In the third quarter, Hungary managed to get a two-goal (6:4) advantage after a Dora Leimeter scored. But then Italy woke up and started to play some top quality water polo.
Italians scored four goals in a row in five minutes of the third quarter to get an 8:6 lead. And it seemed they opened the door for victory when Elisa Queirolo gave Italy a 9:7 advantage five minutes before the end of the match.
But then we got another twist in this drama. Dorottya Szilagyi cut the lead to 9:8 and two minutes before the last whistle she scored equalized. Italians couldn’t score in the last minute and a half.
Emmolo’s shot was blocked and then Garibotti hit the post. In the next attack, Rita Kesztheleyi gave Hungarians a long-awaited lead (10:9), but it was still not over. Italians got a penalty 18 second before the end, Roberta Bianconi took the shot, but Edina Gengl saved it to become a hero.
The Netherlands national team had the easiest job today and once more Oranje dominated in the swimming pool by beating Germany 22:2.
Maud Megens was the top scorer in the Netherlands team with six goals, while Rozanne Voorvelt found the net four times.
SERBIA WINS AFTER PENALTIES, CROATIA DEFEATS TURKEY
Serbia ended the competition at the ninth place after a penalties victory against Israel – 6:5. Israel started excellent, gaining 3:0 advantage and Serbia could not find a net. And it would have been even worse if there was not Vladana Klincov with more than 80 percent of saved shots.
As time passed by, Jelena Vukovic started to score in extra player situations and thanks to her, Serbia equalized. In the third quarter, the Klincov continued with great performance and he even saved a penalty in this period.
And in the last quarter, Israelis led 4:3 and it was clear that one goal will solve everything. Fortunately for Serbia, two seconds before the end Lara Luka scored a goal and took the game into penalties.
In the last series of penalties, Lara Luka equalized and then Jelena Vukovic scored the winning goal.
The national team of Croatia won the 11th place after beating Turkey 11:6. The Turks neither had the quality, nor the strength to put up some serious resistance.
Dina Lordan was the best player of the game with four goals for Croats, while the captain, Kubra Kus scored a hattrick for Turkey. With this win, Croatia repeated the result from the last European championship two years ago in Belgrade.
Croatia 11:6 Turkey
(2:0, 2:1, 3:1, 4:4)
Croatia: Lordan 4, I. Butic 2, D. Butic 2, Balic, Miljkovic, Saftic
Turkey: Kus 3, Elma, Colak, Burali
Israel 5:6 Serbia
(3:1, 0:2, 1:0, 0:1, 1:2)
Israel: Strugo 2, Noy, Barnea,
Serbia: Vukovic 3, Luka,
Greece 11:10 Russia
(0:1, 2:0, 2:2, 2:3, 5:4)
Greece: Eleftheriadou 3, Plevritou 2, Avramidou,
Russia: Prokofyeva 3, Ivanova, Simanovich, Gorbunova
Italy 9:10 Hungary
(3:1, 1:4, 4:1, 1:4)
Italy: Garibotti 4, Emmolo, Bianconi, Avegno, Tabani, Queirolo
Hungary: Keszthelyi, Parkes 2, Szilagyi 2, Leimeter 2, Gyongyossy
Netherlands 22:2 Germany
(6-0 8-0 3-1 5-1).
Netherlands: Megens 6, Voorvelt 4, Van der Sloot 3, Rogge 3, Stomphorts 2, Sleeking, Koolhaas, Joustra, Genee
Germany: Eggert 2
France 5:14 Spain
(2:2, 0:5, 2:3, 1:4)
France: Daule 2, Millot, Mahieu, Deschampt
Spain: B. Ortiz 4, M. Garcia 3, A. Espar, M. Ortiz, Leiton, Gual, C. Espar, Forca