Juniors

Spain is the new European champion!

PHOTO: www.rfen.es

What a summer for Spanish female water polo! After the senior team won a European bronze, and youth national team became a world champion in Belgrade, the golden period ended with a European title for the junior team. La Furia Roja defeated Russia 12:8 in the final match of LEN Euro Championship in the Portuguese city of Funchal.

Spanish national water polo team ended the competition with a perfect record of six wins! This was a step forward for Spain in this category because two years ago they were the second in Europe.

In the final game against Russians, Spanish water polo players one more time proved that they have no real rival at this moment in the Old Continent. Only in the first quarter, Zbornaya managed to put up some real resistance.

Spain opened the game with a goal from Montoya, while in the first period Polina Kempf was the player that kept Russian hopes alive. Halfway through the second period, Zbornaya managed to equalize (4:4) thanks to a goal from Elizaveta Zaplatina.

But, this was a kind od a “trigger” for Spain, as they pulled up some great defensive plays, while at the other side of the swimming pool, Dalmases, Morell, and Aznar gave the team a three-goal lead (7:4).

In the third quarter Spanish team managed to keep the distance, Russians got into a real problem when Tatiana Tolkunova was expulsed, and when Aznar scored two seconds before the end of the period for a 10:6 advantage, things were more or less clear.

Russian water polo team was the first to score in the final period of the game, it was Kempf who found the net to give some kind of hope (7:10). But, that hope vanished when Silvia Morell answered the same way and celebrations could begin for the Spanish team and their fans.

The bronze medal at this championship was won by a national team of the Netherlands as they beat Hungary 9:8 in a match for the third place.

Results

Quarterfinal
Italy – Russia 5:13
France – Hungary 0:20
Israel – Netherlands 2:16
Greece – Spain 4:9

Semifinal
Russia – Netherlands 10:8
Hungary – Spain 5:11

3rd place
Netherlands – Hungary 9:8

Final

Russia 8:12 Spain
(3:4, 1:3, 2:3, 2:2)

Russia: Kempf 4, Zaplatina 2, Popova, Tolkunova
Spain: Aznar 3, Morell 2, Leiton 2, Dalmases, Diaz, Montoya, Bonamusa, Guiral

Final standings

1. Spain
2. Russia
3. Netherlands
4. Hungary
5. Greece
6. Italy
7. Israel
8. France
9. Great Britain
10. Germany
11. Turkey
12. Czech Republic
13. Slovakia
14. Portugal
15. Romania
16. Bulgaria

List of winners

2018 – Spain
2016 – Netherlands
2014 – Greece
2012 – Russia
2010 – Russia
2008 – Italy
2006 – Russia
2004 – Netherlands
2002 – Greece
2000 – Russia
1998 – Hungary
1996 – Netherlands
1994 – Netherlands

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