The final day of the Women’s European U-19 Water Polo Championship had a sign of overtimes over it. In these crucial battles no one wanted to lose, so the regulation time was not enough to determine the winners.
France and Great Britain summed up four periods with an equal score of 4-4. Six minutes of extra time also failed to reveal any advantage for either team – 5-5. The French ruined their last attack not able to capitalize on a one hundred percent scoring chance. The British players, in their turn, did not manage to score either, and the game migrated into a penalty shoot-out. In this lottery, luck favoured Team Great Britain who won 8-7.
Despite the disappointment that Spain and the Netherlands suffered at this championship, today in the match for the 5th and 6th position both teams did their best to succeed. The close sports fight of the European north and south will be long-remembered by the fans. With three and a half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Spanish took the lead, and just 13 seconds before the buzzer, the Dutch scored on a power play - 6-6. Yet another overtime. The Spanish started it as if it were a bullfight, and this ultimate desire helped them first to score the game-winner, and then to sustain the Dutch pressure. A win for Team Spain 7-6 (2-1,3-3,0-1,1-1,1-0,0-0).
The bronze medal match at the Women’s European U-19 Water Polo Championship between Italy and Greece resembled the craziest roller coasters. The events changed with kaleidoscopic speed. In the fourth period, the water was bubbling so that it looked the players were going to bring it to the boiling point. The level of the nerve went even higher with Italy equalizing at 7-7. Upon the end of regulation, the crowd witnessed the third overtime of the day. The first three extra minutes brought success to the Italians. Squadra Azzurra scored the eights goal, and all they had to do is survive the Greek pressure. The Italians completed the task well, won the match 8-7(0-3,4-0,2-4,1-0,1-0,0-0), and the bronze of the championship.
Europe’s two best junior teams, Russia and Hungary, met in the final match of the continental championship today. Just one of the indicators showing the high class of both teams is that they did not concede any goals in the first seven minutes of play. And then the score started to change at a crazy pace with Russian and Hungary taking the lead alternately. The break in the match came in the third period when Natalia Perfilyeva scored an inspired hat-trick. It was then when the Russians managed to increase their advantage that helped them win a victory 11-10(1-2,2-2,5-3,3-3) and win the European U-19 title.