BCN2018 WP Europeans – Summary, Day 8 – Men’s Eight-finals

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The best eight are the same eight from 2016

The same eight made the quarters as in Belgrade 2016: today Hungary, Montenegro, Greece and Russia joined Serbia, Croatia, Spain and Italy, as expected. The Hungarians had to fight hard to oust the Netherlands, Greece and Montenegro offered convincing performances while beating Germany and Romania respectively, and Russia brought down the French.

Hungary overcame some difficulties before downing the Netherlands with an 8-minute rush in the middle two periods. With 5:54 to go in the second, the Dutch were 5-6 up as they scored some amazing and some lucky goals – then the Magyars showed something from their real skills at both ends of the pool and with 5:23 to go in the third they led 11-6. Their lefties, who had struggled in the prelims, Marton Vamos (4 goals) and Gergo Zalanki (3) led the charge and the 6-0 rolling did the damage to their rivals. The Dutch fought on, though, and after a scoreless period of 12:13 minutes could find the back of the net again, came back to three goals at 12-9, had two more man-ups in the last two minutes but missed both and had to bow to the favourite side. The next one is going to be another classic, a quarter-final showdown with Serbia.

Germany also had a flying start, scored from its first two possessions only to see the Greeks striking back firmly, with three goals in 96 seconds. Two more came still in the first period in 1:59 minutes but for the Germans it was an even bigger blow that they lost their key player, the team’s top scorer Julian Real with the third major leading to a penalty. Though Georgios Dervisis missed it but it didn’t matter that much in view of the second period which saw three Greek goals and none from the Germans. This 1-8 rush after 2-0 was enough to settle the match by halftime, the Greeks kept their rivals in safe distance and comfortably marched to the quarters where they’ll meet host Spain for a late night show in two days time.

Montenegro also did a clean job against Romania. They staged a strong start and even though the Romanians climbed back to 3-2 after 3-0, soon they were left behind. The World League winners netted five unanswered goals to lead 8-2 while did some tremendous defending and shut out their opponents for 9:09 minutes. That killed the excitements for the rest of the game and it ended in a 10-goal triumph for the Montenegrins who now face arch-rival Croatia.

Russia had a dream start netting three in 114 seconds which floored the French. They could never recover from this, while the Russians were recalling their heydays as they offered some sparkling display in offence. They led 8-2 by halftime and even though they didn’t push so hard in the following periods and the French showed some signs of life – scored four in the third – but couldn’t get inside three goals as the Russians always had the answers.

Thus an interesting scenario has been set up: in the upper half of the draw there are the three former Yugoslavian countries, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro plus the Hungarians, while in the lower half is the Mediterranean area with Italy, Spain and Greece, with Russia as a special guest.

In the games for the bottom places the favoured sides claimed easy wins, Georgia beat Turkey, while Slovakia pushed aside Malta.

European Championships, Day 9

Men’s quarter-finals
Hungary v Netherlands 12-9
Germany v Greece 5-13
Montenegro v Romania 15-5
France v Russia 9-12

For places 13-16th
Georgia v Turkey 15-10
Malta v Slovakia 6-12

Schedule for quarter-finals, 24 July (Revised)
17.00 Serbia v Hungary
18.30 Croatia v Montenegro
20.30 Italy v Russia
22.00 Spain v Greece

Fixtures, Day 10

Women’s quarter-finals
17.00 Greece v Russia
18.30 Italy v Hungary
20.30 Netherlands v Germany
22.00 France v Spain

For places 9-10th
15.00 Israel v Serbia

For places 11-12th
13.30 Croatia v Turkey

Press release from LEN, photos courtesy of Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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