DAY 5: Spain, Hungary, Greece and Netherlands advance to semifinals
National teams of Spain, Hungary, Greece and the Netherlands will compete in the Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championship semifinals.
The most exciting and suspenseful was the first quarterfinal match in which Spain edged out Russia, 9:8. Both teams were successful in their first attacks, and then Russian girls started their shooting series and achieved a 5:1 lead in three and a half minutes. It was a long wait for the next goal, as both nets stayed empty until halftime. Russia went ahead 6:1 at the beginning of the third quarter, but afterward, Spain responded scoring a series of goals and tied the result (6:6). Spain managed to take over the lead at the beginning of the last period, and teams started scoring one after another. However, Alejandra Aznar scored the crucial goal for a 9:8 victory. Aznar and Gisella Farre were Spain’s top scorers with three goals, while Elizaveta Ivanova netted a pair for Russia.
Hungary easily reached the semifinals after defeating Great Britain, 13:7. Due to their patient play, Hungarian ladies were gradually increasing the advantage. After a 4:1 lead in the first period, they went ahead 6:1 in the middle of the second. British squad managed to stop their streak temporarily and were brought down the deficit to three (6:3), but Hungary was later on enlarging the difference in a routine manner. Ahead of the final period, the result was 12:3, and Great Britain was only able to soothe the loss. Fanni Muzsnay led her team with three goals, as many as Cecily Turner scored too.
Greece won its place in the semifinals by beating Italy, 10:6. Greek girls quickly achieved a 2:0 lead, but Italian squad managed to equalize a few minutes later after successful penalty shots. Nonetheless, this was followed by an impressive goal streak of Greece, which netted six goals by halftime, went ahead 8:2 and was one step away from winning. Italians were able to decrease the difference in the third period but were then scoreless for a long time in the final eight minutes of the game. Hence Greece triumphed led by Eleni Kanetidou and Maria Myriokefalitaki who each scored three goals. Italia’s Lucrezia Cergol also netted three.
The last quarterfinal duel saw the Netherlands overpower host Serbia, 13:6. The result was 2:0 already after 50 seconds of play, and the Dutch girls soon raised the lead to three. Andrea Gasic snapped their streak in the middle of the first quarter, but the Dutch kept their rhythm and had 5:1 at the beginning of the second quarter. Thanks to playing firmly, the Netherlands preserved and increased the advantage, and everything was clear in the middle of the third period when 10:3 was displayed on the scoreboard. Serbia managed to score a few more goals before the end, but the Netherlands eventually prevailed. The winning team was led by Simone Van De Kraats who netted three goals, while Nadja Novakovic scored a pair for Serbia.
Bulgaria – Slovakia 7:31 (4:8, 2:5, 1:9, 0:9)
France – Israel 2:8 (0:3, 1:2, 0:2, 1:1)
Russia – Spain 8:9 (5:1, 0:0, 1:5, 2:3)
Great Britain – Hungary 7:13 (1:4, 2:3, 0:5, 4:1)
Greece – Italy 10:6 (4:2, 4:0, 0:2, 2:2)
Serbia – Netherlands 6:13 (1:4, 1:3, 2:4, 2:2)
Nethelrands – Hungary
Spain – Greece