LAUSANNE, Switzerland, April 20. THE team of Serbia was the last European qualifier for the Super Final of the FINA Men's Water Polo World League 2011, after having narrowly defeated Spain in Belgrade by 14-12 (on penalty shootout). At the end of the regular time, the two teams were tied at 10-10, and at 2:13 to the end of the match the Iberians were even leading by 10-9. A precious goal of Pijetlovic with 1:42 to go balanced the score and obliged to a decisive penalty shootout, in which the Balkan team was luckier.
In Group A, Serbia (the defending champion) finished with 14 points (five wins and one loss – defeat with Germany in the previous round), while Spain was second with 11 points (three wins and three losses). The other match of the group (MKD-GER) finished exactly on the same note, with the home team winning by 14-12, after a penalty shootout.
In Group B, Montenegro (already qualified after the previous round) got an easy victory at home against Russia (14-3), while Turkey lost in Istanbul against Romania (5-11).
In Group C, where things were previously decided, Croatia also needed a penalty shootout to overcome Italy in Rijeka (10-8), and Greece went to the Netherlands to beat the local team by 7-3.
The European squads qualified for the Super Final, to be held from June 21-26 in Florence (ITA) are: Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Italy (as organiser).
Final rankings (European groups):
GROUP A: 1. SRB, 14 pts (5 wins, 1 loss); 2. ESP, 11 (3W, 3L); 3. GER, 9 (3W, 3L); 4. MKD, 2 (1W, 5L)
GROUP B: 1. MNE, 17 pts (6W); 2. ROU, 13 (4W, 2L); 3. RUS, 6 (2W, 4L); 4. TUR, 0 (6L)
GROUP C: 1. CRO, 17 pts (6W); 2. ITA, 13 (4W, 2L); 3. GRE, 6 (2W, 4L); 4. NED, 0 (6L)
Remaining programme of the FINA Men's Water Polo World League 2011:
Americas Preliminaries: May 12-15 (Costa Mese, USA)
Asia/Oceania Preliminaries: May 9-13 (Auckland, NZL) & May 16-20 (Sydney, AUS)
SUPER FINAL: June 21-26 (Florence, ITA)
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