Fourteen teams to book their spots for Barcelona
Though most of the duels seem to have been decided in the first leg, five of the return games might offer some gripping moments on Saturday when the qualification process for the 2018 European Water Polo Championships ends both in the men’s and the women’s fields. Barcelona is one step away for fourteen teams.
Six of the eight men’s play-off matches ended in a knockout last Saturday, making the return legs mere formality. Germany, the Netherlands, France, Romania, Georgia and Slovakia retained their respective berths among the sixteen teams playing at the European Championships in Barcelona this July.
The two bottom-ranked sides from the 2016 edition, Malta and Turkey will have to overcome really tough tests if they wish to appear once more in the elite circles. Their challengers came up with fine performances a week ago, the Turks managed to save their game to a draw in Ukraine while the Maltese climbed back somewhat but lost in Belarus by one goal. These battles are the ones to follow on Saturday among the men’s encounters.
At least half of the women’s matches also promise some fine excitements. While the two strongest teams, France and Germany have nothing to worry about and Croatia might also enjoy an evening without nerve-wrecking moments, the other three clashes can produce quite heated finishes. Ukraine also involved here as they could achieve a promising result in Serbia, losing only by two goals. Just as men’s team, the Turkish women also played a draw, now they play at home with Slovakia but it’s a hard call to name the favourite. Israel, winning by four at home, is definitely in a good position to write history and qualify for the Europeans for the first time but they need to be on the top of their game if they wish to prevail in Portugal.
European Water Polo Championships
Qualifications, Play-offs, 2nd leg
12.00 Israel v Georgia – 1st let: 1-12
13.00 Lithuania v Netherlands – 1st leg: 7-28
16.00 Malta v Belarus – 1st leg: 7-8
18.00 Turkey v Ukraine – 1st leg: 8-8
18.00 Switzerland v France – 1st leg: 1-18
18.30 Germany v Poland – 1st leg: 21-2
19.00 Czech Republic v Romania – 1st leg: 5-20
19.00 Slovakia v Portugal – 1st leg: 16-4
15.00 Portugal v Israel – 1st leg: 10-14
16.00 Switzerland v France – 1st leg: 1-19
17.30 Turkey v Slovakia – 1st leg: 11-11
18.00 Romania v Germany – 1st leg: 14-22
19.00 Croatia v Czech Republic – 1st leg: 9-6
20.00 Ukraine v Serbia – 1st leg: 8-10
STREAMING: All times are Local Times
LITHUANIA vs NETHERLANDS – 13h00
MALTA vs BELARUS – 16h00 – Click HERE
SWITZERLAND vs FRANCE – 18h00 – Click HERE
TURKEY vs UKRAINE – 18h00 – Click HERE
SWITZERLAND vs FRANCE – 16h00 – Click HERE
TURKEY vs SLOVAKIA – 20h30 – Click HERE