The fifth day of the Women’s European U-19 Water Polo Championship proved to be the most predictable one in terms of results, as in each pair the leaders of Groups A and B took on the “second line” teams.
The day started with Greece facing Turkey. Yesterday, the Greek team fulfilled their maximum task for the group stage by beating Italy, and today they could afford a relaxing match without any extra nerve. The Turkish players, obviously, tried to make life hard for the Greeks, but the difference in the class of the two teams’ players is too big at the moment. The final buzzer announced a secure win for Greece - 23-4 (6-1,4-2,5-1,8-0).
The result of the match between Hungary and France was also predetermined. However, credit should be given to the French athletes – no matter how tough the opposition is, the girls fight until the very last seconds. Today was not an exception – the French players were extremely persistent in their attacks and dedicated in defense. As a result, well into the third period, Team Hungary’s advantage was just one goal. Of course, Group A leaders had the situation under their control, and it was improbable that they would allow the events to turn critical. Even despite Hungary’s victory 10-6 (3-2,3-1,2-2,2-1), the French can be proud of this match.
Team Spain also left no doubt about its advantage over Team Germany with seven goals scored in the first period, and another ten in the second and third. The dominance of the Spanish players was so impressive that the German athletes managed to yield first results on the offensive side no sooner than in the fourth quarter. The Spanish, in their turn, felt absolutely confident about bringing the match to a 23-2 (7-0,5-0,5-0,6-2) victory.
Neither did Team Italy experience any problems on their way to victory over Team Great Britain. Loading the opponents’ net with goals in the debut, the Italians felt rather comfortable throughout the entire match. Considering tomorrow’s quarterfinal, the representatives of the Apennine Peninsula chose not to spend the maximum of their energy and efforts. Even with this in mind, the defeat of the British team turned out to be a crushing one - 17-3 (4-0,5-1,3-0,5-2).
Number thirteen, in contrast to a Russian superstition about it, failed to bring Team Russia any trouble at the Women’s European U-19 Water Polo Championship. Mikhail Nakoryakov’s players turned their match against the Ukrainian team into a real celebration for the fans making them happy with a new goal every thirty seconds. The opponents allowed the hosts to try all offensive options, so eventually all field players on the Russian roster had their names in the scorers’ list. A smooth victory for Team Russia - 35-1 (8-0,12-0,6-0,9-1).