LEN Europa Cup

Spanish Armada stuns Italy, Greece surprised Hungary

Spain vs Italy
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What a day at Kantrida swimming pool in Rijeka! Spain national water polo team was the winner of the day one at the inaugural Europa Cup Superfinal after it defeated Italy – 11:4. Greece surprised Hungary and took a 9:9 draw, Serbia beat Montenegro 9:5 and Croatia trashed France – 20:5.

It was a great performance from the Spanish water polo team. David Martin’s pupils played top-class defense, especially in the first quarter and in the first eight minutes they didn’t concede a goal.

Espanol opened the game with two consecutive goals and Munarriz added one more to give Furia Roja a convincing 3:0 lead. At the start of the second quarter Bodegas scored the first goal for Italy, but then Mallarch and Granados answered to give Spain even greater advantage.

In the third quarter, Spaniards continued to play defense with the same intensity. Granados, Munárriz, and Barroso scored three goals in a row and their team was up by seven (9:2). In a final eight minutes, Italians managed to draw (2:2) and Spain got a really big, well deserved important victory.

Another surprise came in the second game of A group as Greece national water polo team drew 9:9 with Hungary. Greece was the team which controlled the game up until the last five minutes.

It was a big fight between two excellent teams in the swimming pool. Greece opened the game with Vlachopoulos goal, but Bence Batori quickly equalized.

In the second quarter, Greece showed a great performance. Kapotsis scored once, then Dervisis found the net two times in a row and their team had a 4:1 lead. Everything was going in for them in those moments and by the end of the first half Greeks had a 6:3 advantage.

Hungary had to change something at the start of the third quarter and it was their defense. They started to play much tougher, used their extra men and organized some good counter attacks. Vamos, David Jansik, and Batori scored three goals in a row and it was 6:6.

After three minutes in the last quarter, it seemed that Greece opened the door of victory because Genidounias and Vlachopoulos scored for a 9:7 lead. But, Hungary refused to die. Mezei scored an eight goal and 47 seconds before the end Krisztian Manhercz equalized (9:9).

Hungarians even had the last shot for victory six seconds before the end, but Vamos failed to find the net.

The home team, Croatia recorded the biggest win of the day as they thrashed France 20:5 at Kantrida swimming pool.

It was an easy job for Ivica Tucak’s men as the got to a five-goal lead already in the first quarter (6:1). They continued to play at the same level in the second period so it was 12:3 score at the halftime. And as time passed by the advantage of Croatian team only increased.

It was the 13th match between the Croatian and French water polo players and the 12th win. Josip Vrljić and Andro Bušlje scored four goals each, while Ante Vukicevic added a hattrick.

Serbia won a derby of the Round 1 in B group against Montenegro – 9:5. Montenegrins opened the game with a goal from Spaic, but Serbia quickly regained control when Strahinja Rasovic and Milos Cuk found the net.

During the second quarter Serbian water polo team played even better especially in the defense, and this kind of performance was rewarded with a last-second goal from Gavril Subotic, so Dolphins got a 6:3 lead.

Filip Filipovic and Dusan Mandic kept Serbia ahead of Montenegro in the third quarter and easily put their team on the winning path.

Round 1

Group A

Hungary 9:9 Greece
(1:1, 2:5, 3:1, 3:2)

Hungary: Batori 3, K. Manhercz, Zalanki, M. Vamos, Mezei, D. Jansik, Sz. Jansik
Greece: Vlachopoulos 2, Kapotsis 2, Dervisis 2, Genidounias, Skoumpakis, Gounas

Italy 4:11 Spain
(0:3, 1:2, 1:4, 2:2)

Italy: Molina, Velotto, Bodegas, Bertoli
Spain: Munarriz 2, Granados 2, Barroso 2, Espanol 2, Mallarch 2, Tahull

Standings

1. Spain 3 pts
2. Hungary 1
3. Greece 1
4. Italy 0

Group B

France 5:20 Croatia
(1:6, 2:6, 1:5, 1:3)

France: Saudadier, Canonne, Izdinsky, Dino, Lepoint
Croatia: Buslje 4, Vrlic 4, Vukicevic 3, Setka 2, Garcia 2, Jokovic 2, Marinic – Kragic, Fatovic, Loncar

Serbia 9:5 Montenegro
(3:2, 3:1, 2:1, 1:1)

Serbia: Filipovic 2, Pijetlovic 2, Mandic, Drasovic, Cuk, Subotic, S. Rasovic
Montenegro: Petkovic, Dj. Radovic, Draskovic, Misic, Spaic

Standings

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

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