Greece Wins Big On Day Two Of European Water Polo Championships

Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala

Greece won the big game of Day 2, edging out Italy and gaining advantage in the race for the top spot in Group A. The other matches saw the favourites doing their jobs, this time it was Hungary’s turn to score more than 30 goals and set a new national record.

The Mediterranean derby brought a fierce battle as expected, with some great defending especially in the second half. The first two periods produced nine goals, the remaining 16 minutes saw only four. Greece had the better start, held on for a 4-5 lead till halftime but Italy managed to freeze them for almost the entire third quarter while netting two to go in front (6-5).

The Greek seemed to have lost their rhythm in attack, while the Setterosa had a 6 on 5 to widen the gap but hit the post. And their rivals went even as Vasiliki Diamantopoulou netted a fine action goal with just one second to go in the third. Italy could have regain the lead but missed another extra and with some luck – from a rebound in a dying a man-up – Alkistis Avramidou put the Greeks ahead again with 3:26 to go. Two more wasted 6 on 5s within a minute cost Italy the game, indeed they missed their last four man-ups and remained scoreless in the final 11:12 minutes.

The other matches lacked the same excitements. The favourites didn’t stop rolling, Hungary netted 32 against Turkey, the highest ever single-game score for any Magyar senior team in the major events (something exceptional for a nation with such rich traditions). Russia downed the Serbs, Spain did that with Germany – in Group B the three giants netted a total of 86 goals just this day. The Netherlands thrashed Israel, whole the game of Croatia and France only mirrored the football World Cup final through the French win, but it was never in doubt here, in the Picornell pool.

European Water Polo Championships, Day 2

Women, Round 2

Group A

Israel v Netherlands 2-20
Croatia v France 6-17
Italy v Greece 6-7

Standings

  1. Netherlands 6, 2. Greece 6, 3. Italy 3, 4. France, 5. Croatia 0, 6. Israel 0

Group B

Turkey v Hungary 5-32
Serbia v Russia 2-27
Germany v Spain 2-27

Standings

  1. Russia 6, 2. Spain 6, 3. Hungary 3, 4. Germany 3, 5. Serbia 0, 6. Turkey 0

Fixtures, Day 3 – Men, Round 1

11.00 Montenegro v France (B)
12.30 Russia v Slovakia (D)
14.00 Turkey v Greece (C)
15.30 Georgia v Hungary (A)
17.00 Croatia v Netherlands (C)
18.30 Germany v Italy (A)
20.30 Serbia v Romania (D)
22.00 Malta v Spain (B)

Follow all games live and look for the detailed stats and play-by-play descriptions on www.len.eu

Flash Quotes, Day 2

Women, Round 2 – Group B: Turkey v Hungary 5-32

Attila Biro, head coach, Hungary:

“We could evaluate this match only together with the training we’ll have afterwards – the will give a full picture from the team. Regarding the game itself, there was no precise plan, we just played our game, we knew goals would come anyway. Our focus is on our match due against the Russians, we’ll have a joint practice with the Netherlands tomorrow and we’ll use our game against Serbia to be ready for that challenge.”

Greta Gurisatti, player, Hungary

“This was a game which we knew we would win with a load of goals so our task was to gain some self-confidence, do every part well, launch counters, finish them with safe hands. Perhaps the five goals we conceded is a bit too much, there were a couple of unlucky shots but at the end of the day it doesn’t count that much.”

Ipek Altan, player, Turkey

“It’s a very difficult tournament for us. The team is young, we only have four players above 18. We are pioneers in trying to promote the women’s water polo in Turkey. We need time to grow and just have to learn from every game and to keep on trying…”

Women, Round 2 – Group B: Serbia v Russia 2-27

Andrei Belofastov, assistant coach, Russia:

“Today we played against a very young team with little experience, that’s why the result was how it was. Now we will prepare for the game against Germany. Also, it is hot in Barcelona and the first two quarters were really hard for our team, so we are happy that the following matches will be held in the evening.”

Dejan Jovovic, head coach, Serbia

“The difference in quality was evident from the very beginning of the match. We are amateurs training 4-5 times a week for an hour and a half, facing professionals. The start of the game was good but as the time went by their quality and strength prevailed.”

Vladana Klincov, goalkeeper, Serbia

“These kinds of matches are always hard, especially after yesterday’s game. We managed to put our heads together and give our best without any pressure. We need to practise as we rarely have a chance to play against such strong teams. It’s not easy to take a look at the final score but we have to take one game at a time and continue to learn and grow.”

Women, Round 2 – Group A: Israel v Netherlands 2-20

Dimitrios Mavrotas, head coach, Israel:

“For the first part of the match we stayed in the hotel but for the second part we improved and was somewhat competitive. This is a new experience for us and we are here for learning.”

Debby Willemsz, player, Netherlands

“Starting with games like these is good for us, we have good feelings at the beginning of the tournament. It was a fine practice before our big match against Italy.”

Women, Round 2 – Group A: Croatia v France 6-17

Dragan Matutinovic, head coach, Croatia

“They are better than us. We don’t have the strength and the resistance to arriving with a positive result at the end of the game. We have a very young team but in two years we can be fighting among the best ones.”

Florian Bruzzo, head coach, France:

“I’m very happy with the game, we won 4-2! I was joking. Apart from the football final, this game was perfect for evaluating our young players and giving a rest to the veterans and getting ready for the quarter-finals.”

Women, Round 2 – Group A: Italy v Greece 6-7

Fabio Conti, head coach, Italy:

“My players didn’t find the goal today, we need more energy and concentration during this kind of matches. Every game in this group will be like a battle so you need to be focused until the last second. In the last quarter my players played more individually and not as a team. We had two 6 on 5 chances to close the game and we took some bad shots. We didn’t set up the extraman as a team, the player having the ball just shot it. This is not Italy’s style.”

Georgis Morfesis, head coach, Greece:

“We were focused, played well with strong defence. We didn’t lose concentration at 5-6. We managed to do some great defence in man-down on several important occasions. All in all, I think we deserved to win. It was a tough physical game but we were ready for it.”

Vasiliki Diamantopoulou, player, Greece:

“We were well-prepared, we practised a lot and did everything we said we would. It was a very physical, balanced game till the end.”

Women, Round 2 – Group B: Germany v Spain 2-27

Anja Skibb, head coach, Germany:

“What can I say about a game like this… It’s very hard to play against a strong, quick team like Spain. I’ve told my girls to enjoy the time here at the Europeans and to look to the future, to the next two to three years. We must change the philosophy of the water polo in Germany. We are here to grow and learn from every match.”

Belen Vosseberg, player, Germany:

“We tried to do something, to attack and swim a lot. It’s very hard to play against a team like Spain. We let them have too many counterattacks despite we tried our best and swam as a team.”

Miki Oca, head coach, Spain:

“It’s been a relatively comfortable match for us in which we scored many goals and most of our players got on the scoreboard, so everything went well. We keep moving forward in these Championships, although we know that there’s lots of work to do and this is only the beginning. I believe that scoring many goals today was very important since it can be vital later on since goal difference is taken into consideration if there is a tie and teams have the same number of points.”

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with LEN European Aquatics. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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