Today’s games determined the leaders of two groups that will advance straight to the semifinals. All other contenders of the medals will have to pass an additional quarterfinal test.
In Group A, the Hungarian national team retained their leading position beating the Netherlands 7-6 (1-1, 3-3, 3-2, 0-0).
A defensive game, lots of battling and extreme concentration near their own net was the tactics that both opponents stuck to. The scoreboard showed equal score for two periods. But after the long intermission the Hungarian players traditionally made an impressive offensive effort to succeed. The three-point advantage gained proved to be a serious advantage for Team Hungary. The Dutch athletes did their best to catch up but stopped just a single scoring shot short of success. A win for Team Hungary that has claimed a berth in the semifinals and an extra day off.
Group B leader was to be determined after the matchup between Italy and Greece. In case of Team Italy’s victory, Squadra Azzurra would get a ticket to the semifinals and some more time to recover. Success of the Greeks would bring Russia up front. However, Team Greece had their own tournament interest in the game, and the players were going to protect it with all their heart. The first period ended in the Greeks’ advantage, but after the break it was the Italians’ turn to come back. It was not an easy matter for Greece to reverse the game once more, as the Italians were very persistent on the defensive end. Nonetheless, the Greeks win 10-5(2-0,0-2,3-0,5-1) giving Team Russia more chances of advancing to the Women’s U-19 European Water Polo Championship semifinals.
As for Team Russia, today they won an easy victory over Great Britain 21-8(5-3,6-3,4-0,6-2). At first, the match was quite close – it went from a tie to a one or two-ball advantage of the hosts. But such uncertainty in the water lasted only for the first eight minutes of play. As soon as Mikhail Nakoryakov’s players imposed their own style on the opposition, the British squad turned out to have no arguments against the mobile Russians. By the middle of the third quarter the match transformed into Team Russia’s exhibition – they tried to increase both the score and the beauty of the game.
Team Spain claimed their first victory at the tournament beating France 14-5(2-2,5-0,4-0,3-3).
The French, though, fell just short of creating the first sensation at the Women’s U-19 European Water Polo Championship when they tied the starting period against Spain. But the energy to counter the Spanish players was enough only for the first period. After the intermission, the defense of the three-coloured fell apart like a house of cards – the Spaniards managed to score five goals without any serious opposition. France failed to regroup during the match allowing Spain to win.
The long-awaited celebration came to the Ukrainian side. The team got its first points in the tournament in the game against Team Turkey. Players of both countries tried to show their best. The first half did not determine an obvious leader, and the teams were abreast for two periods. As for the final part, the Turks simply ran out of energy. 12-9(3-3,4-4,2-0,3-2), the first victory for Team Ukraine.