The second day of the Women’s European U-19 Water Polo Championship was marked with the first serious “battles of titans”. Team Spain challenged Team Hungary in a Round Robin match. This game might be a highlight of the final day of the Championship – so good are both teams. The opponents are similar in style of play, and they kept the fans awake turning this group stage match into a heart-pounding thriller with an outcome unpredictable until the very last seconds. For all that, the Hungarians turned out to be hungrier for a win. In the final minutes of play they came out so strong that Spain could not sustain this pressure. 10-6(2-1,4-3,1-1,3-1) - the victory goes to Team Hungary.
Russia and Italy faced each other in another close match. Both teams are potential contenders for medals, so their matchup today can be viewed as a rehearsal of elimination stage that will be played in just a few days. The Russian team started the first period hard and nervously allowing two goals in their net. However, Mikhail Nakoryakov’s players succeeded in the role of those chasing. The final period was to dot all i’s in the game. With 46 seconds remaining before the final whistle, the scoreboard showed 9-9, and with 19 seconds remaining, another major penalty for Russia let the Italians go up front 10-9(2-3, 2-2, 4-2, 2-2). This score, however sad for the Russians, has not changed.
As for the other three matches, they did not bring about any sensations. Team Turkey was defeated by Great Britain 3-18(1-5,1-5,1-3,0-5).
The game was equal only during the first minutes of play. Then, the British athletes took a strong hold of the initiative leaving their rivals no chance of a positive outcome. Representatives of the Albion increased their advantage with stability and confidence grasping their first victory at the European Championship.
The same level of confidence was shown by Team Greece who beat Team Ukraine 17-4. Though in the debut of the game, Greek water polo players “overslept” two Ukrainian one-on-ones against their goalie, but these chances did not change the content of the game. As soon at Team Greece began to ensure a closer marking of their opponents, the Ukrainians’ attacking moves lost their menace. Battling against the Greeks, the Ukrainians lacked movement around the field of play, and often under their rivals’ fore-check, the CIS country’s representatives could not even make it to the offensive side. Greece’s victory was a legitimate ending to this game.
Group A’s match between Germany and the Netherlands failed to bring any surprised. As an old sports saying goes, the strongest team won, and these were players from Holland. The goal-scoring “Dutch machine” operated in a fail-safe mode all four periods; Team Netherlands scored as many goals as they wanted and the way they wanted, as though the other team did not come to play altogether. The impressive advantage of the Netherlands did not change until the final whistle - 27-1(7-0,7-0,8-1,5-0) in favour of the “country of tulips”.