Don’t forget you can watch LIVE coverage of the LEN European Men U19 Water Polo Championships throughout the event on LEN TV.
After victories in the previous round, Spain, Croatia, Serbia and Hungary all added easy wins on the final day of the prelims to maintain their perfect records and secure berths in the Podgorica 2022 quarter-finals.
Prelims, Round 3. RESULTS:
Group A: Spain 23-5 Czech Republic, Netherlands 8-7 Malta
Ranking: 1. ESP 9, 2. NED 6, 3. MLT 3, 4. CZE 0.
Group B: Croatia 21-6 Slovakia, Italy 15-8 Georgia
Ranking: 1. CRO 9, 2. ITA 6, 3. GEO 3, 4. SVK 0.
Group C: Greece 13-4 Germany, Serbia 14-6 Romania.
Ranking: 1. SRB 9, 2. GRE 6, 3. GER 3, 4. ROU 0.
Group D: Hungary 13-6 France, Montenegro 16-5 Turkiye.
Ranking: 1. HUN 9, 2. MNE 6, 3. FRA 3, 4. TUR 0.
The last round in the prelims didn’t bring any surprise. Malta was on the verge to cause a minor sensation, but the Netherlands came back from 1-4 down and in a huge battle they could edge out their rivals by a single goal to finish second in Group A.
Malta, after pushing the Spaniards to their limits on the opening day, had another great game where they held on for a draw at the beginning of the last period once more, but the Dutch scored the winner.
This was the only close contest in this round, all other matches turned into lopsided encounters.
Spain thrashed the Czechs in Group A, the Croats did the same with the Slovaks while Italy downed Georgia, though they had some headaches in the first half (8-6), before a 6-1 rush in the second secured a fine win for them.
Serbia had no problems to sink Romania, and the Greeks beat the Germans with ease too, despite playing the earliest game.
Hungary also had to return in the morning, some 14hrs after beating the host Montenegrins soundly – but a 4-0 storm in less than five minutes against the French quickly put this game on the expected path. Montenegro bounced back with a clean win over Turkiye and face Georgia in the crossovers on Wednesday.
The four group-winners enjoy a rest day as they qualified directly to the quarters. Unlike at the ‘major’ Europeans, where the senior sides play every second day, here, in this eight-day tournament this is a real benefit for those finishing top in the preliminaries.
14.30 NED v GER,
16.00 GRE v MLT,
17.30 ITA v FRA,
19.00 MNE v GEO.
For places 13-16th:
10.00 CZE v ROU,
11.30 SVK v TUR
Quarter-finals (Thursday): HUN v NED/GER, SRB v ITA/FRA, CRO v GRE/MLT, ESP v MNE/GEO