Water Polo Euro Cup Men: Final three qualification places up for grabs

Credit to: Philippe Fretault

The three teams joining Barcelona, BVSC, Primorje, Savona and Panionios in the Euro Cup Eight Finals will be decided this week as the preliminary stage concludes. Reigning champions Vasas, Tourcoing and Primorac all sit second in their respective groups and just need one point each on day six to secure their places in the next round.

The final week of thrilling preliminary action begins on Wednesday in Palermo with a winner-takes-all clash between Tourcoing and Telimar.

The French side currently occupy the second qualification spot in Group A, just one point above Telimar, so both teams know a win in normal time will guide them safely through to the next round.

A draw will also be enough for Tourcoing – regardless of the shootout result – as they would have a superior head-to-head record against Telimar should they both finish on eight points.

Bottom side Solaris could also end up with eight points if they beat runaway leaders Barcelona in Sibenik on Saturday, but their dreams of reaching the next stage are already over.

If three teams do end up on eight points, Solaris would finish above Telimar, but behind Tourcoing due to the results between the trio.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Group B’s remaining qualification spot will be decided in Budapest, as leaders Savona arrive to take on Honved, and Vasas host fourth-placed Apollon.

After winning their first three games, title holders Vasas looked on course to qualify on day four, but back-to-back defeats (against Honved 16-19 and Savona 16-13) saw them drop to second.

Vasas sit two points ahead of local rivals Honved and have a far superior head-to-head record, so a draw or more against Apollon will be enough to book the last remaining ticket to the next round.

Last season’s runners-up Savona just need to avoid defeat against Honved in normal time to guarantee top spot.

In Group C, BVSC and Primorje have already secured their passage to the Eight Finals, and although the two sides go head-to-head on Saturday to decide who progresses as group winners, the Hungarians are firmly in the driving seat.

BVSC won the reverse fixture 22-13 on day three, so Primorje would have to deliver an outstanding performance and better that result to go top.

Elsewhere in the group, Sabac host Waspo 98, where a win for the visitors would see them move off the bottom and swap places with the Serbs in third. 

Finally, in Group D, Ortigia travel to Kotor needing to win by six goals or more as they aim to overtake Primorac in second.

The reverse fixture on day three saw the Italians lose 9-14 at home, so the hosts will be the favourites to qualify.

Primorac could also go through as group winners if they win and Panionios lose their final group fixture away to fourth-placed Trieste.

Euro Cup, Group Stage, Round 6
Saturday 9 December (unless stated)
Local times shown

Group A
7pm Telimar (ITA) v Tourcoing (FRA)
(Wednesday 6 December)
7pm Solaris (CRO) v Barcelona (ESP)
1. Barcelona 12, 2. Tourcoing 7, 3. Telimar 6, 4. Solaris 5

Group B

6pm Honved (HUN) v Savona (ITA)
6pm Vasas (HUN) v Apollon (GRE)
1. Savona 12, 2. Vasas 10, 3. Honved 8, 4. Apollon 0

Group C

7pm Sabac (SRB) v Waspo 98 (GER)
8pm Primorje (CRO) v BVSC (HUN)
1. BVSC 12, 2. Primorje 9, 3. Sabac 6, 4. Waspo 98 3

Group D

6.30pm Trieste (ITA) v Panionios (GRE)
5.45pm Primorac (MNE) v Ortigia (ITA)
1. Panionios 11, 2. Primorac 9, 3. Ortigia 6, 4. Trieste 4