LAUSANNE, Switzerland, February 24. ITALY, Croatia and Serbia reinforced their lead in the European groups of the 2010 FINA Men's Water Polo World League, by winning their respective games in the fourth round of the competition, held on February 23.
In Group A, Italy did not find special problems to overcome, in Berlin, the local team by 11-4 – fourth consecutive victory in this edition of the World League, which gives the Italians a privileged position to win the group and to secure a spot in the Super Final of the competition. Behind Italy, Montenegro also had an easy triumph, at home, against France (11-3). If Germany and France are now out of the contention for the Super Final, the last game between Italy and Montenegro (on April 20, 2010) will definitively decide the winner of the group.
In Group B, Croatia – the leaders – have also won this fourth game, imposing a 12-9 victory over the team of FYR Macedonia (four games, four losses). Croatia's main opponents – Greece – managed a tiny triumph of 10-9 over Russia and is second of the group, with eight points (10 for Croatia). Like in Group A, the last game between Croatia and Greece should also decide the team participating in the Super Final.
In Group C, Serbia (organiser of the Super Final, from July 13-18) is automatically qualified for the decisive stage of the competition, but continues to add victories in the preliminaries – the fourth in four games, this time against Turkey (16-3, in Istanbul). More interesting will be the fight for the second place (this group qualifies two teams), which now has Spain and Romania with the same number of points (6) – the Iberians, at home, beat the Romanians 9-7 in this round, after losing by the same score in Oradea (ROU) in round one.
Provisional rankings (after 4 rounds):
GROUP A: 1. ITA, 12 pts (4 wins); 2. MNE, 9 (3W, 1 loss); 3. GER, 3 (1W, 3L); 4. FRA, 0 (4L)
GROUP B: 1. CRO, 10 pts (3W, 1L); 2. GRE, 8 (3W, 1L); 3. RUS, 6 (2W, 2L); 4. MKD, 0 (4L)
GROUP C: 1. SRB, 12 pts (4W); 2. ESP, 6 (2W, 2L); 3. ROU, 6 (2W, 2L); 4. TUR, 0 (4L)
Next round (March 16, 2010):
Group A: ITA-FRA & MNE-GER
Group B: MKD-GRE & RUS-CRO
Group C: ESP-TUR & SRB-ROU
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