DAY 8: Spain is the European champion, Serbia finishes 8th
Spain won the gold medal at the Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championship in Novi Sad. In the final match, they triumphed over the Netherlands, 11:10. Hungary finished 3rd, Italy 5th, and Russia 7th.
Spanish girls were leading during the entire first half. After 80 seconds of play, Alejandra Aznar scored for 1:0. In the middle of the first quarter, the Dutch squad equalized, but Spain quickly added a pair and went ahead 3:1. Spanish team was able to preserve the two-goal advantage in the second quarter, and the Netherlands was down by one on three occasions. The result was tied (6:6) at the beginning of the third quarter and the Netherlands continued its shooting streak gaining an 8:6 lead. However, Spain managed to tie the result in the final minutes of that period. The teams were taking turns in leading during the last eight minutes, and the final score 11:10 was made with three and a half minutes left on the clock. Spain was led by Aznar and Ruth Arino who each netted three goals, as much as Lieke Rogge and Maxine Schaap did for the Netherlands.
Hungary won the 3rd place after making a comeback in the second half and defeating Greece, 9:8. Greece immediately took the lead, and Hungary managed to equalize a few minutes later. However, Greece was leading again without delay, and added two more in the first 60 seconds of the second quarter for a 4:1 lead. Hungarian ladies had three attacks with an extra player, but the result remained unchanged. The second part of the third quarter saw a series of Hungary’s goals which led them to a tie (6:6). They kept that rhythm in the final period and went ahead 8:6 with four minutes left on the clock. There was no suspense as Greek squad netted its eighth goal only six seconds before the end of the game. Hungary’s Janka Kata Utassy and Fanni Muzsnay each scored three goals, while Greece’s Eleni Kanetidou and Vasiliki Douli each added a pair.
Clash for the 5th spot saw Italy beat Great Britain, 16:5. Italian girls took a 4:1 lead in three minutes. Just like in the face-off between Serbia and Russia, the result was 6:1 in the middle of the second period and Italy, later on, kept the advantage in a routine manner. With 12:5 displayed on the scoreboard after the third period, everything was already clear, and Italy furthermore increased the difference in the last quarter. The game’s top scorer was Lucrezia Cergol with five goals, while Katy Cutler and Cecily Turner each netted a pair for Great Britain.
Serbian women’s junior national water polo team finished 8th after suffering a forceful loss to Russia, 17:6, in the match for the 7th place.
Russian ladies got off to an excellent start, took a 4:0 lead, and missed one penalty shot too. In the middle of the second period, the result was 6:0, and 8:1 a few minutes later, so it became obvious who would be the winner. The Championship host was able to score one more goal until the halftime, and afterward decreased the difference to six (9:3), but Russian squad preserved the big advantage without problems and additionally increased it during the last eight minutes of the game. Anastasiia Shiryaeva was the top scorer with five goals, whereas Nina Josifovic netted three for Serbia.
Serbia – Russia 6:17 (0:4, 2:5, 3:4, 1:4)
Great Britain – Italy 5:16 (1:4, 2:4, 2:3, 0:4)
Hungary – Greece 9:8 (1:2, 0:2, 5:2, 3:2)
Netherlands – Spain 10:11 (2:3, 3:3, 3:2, 2:3)
Final ranking: Spain, Netherlands, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Great Britain, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Israel, Bulgaria, France, Turkey, Czech Republic, Romania, Portugal.