The national teams from the Netherlands, Russia, Greece, and Spain have sealed their ticket to the quarterfinals of the European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018 with two matches to spare in the group stage. Other than the Netherlands, who tied 6-6 against Italy in what represented the first draw of the competition (which leaves the “orange” team with seven points), the other three teams have claimed all nine possible points after winning their first three games in a row.
The teams that qualify to the next round as leaders of their group will face the fourth-seeded in the other group, the second will play the third one of the other group, and so on. The teams that are fifth and sixth in their groups, however, will only play to determine the spots 9-12 of the competition.
Adding on, as was expected in the third matchday of the women’s tournament Russia, Greece, and Spain cruised to victories against Germany, Serbia, and Turkey. On the other hand, the Netherlands had a tougher match than predicted and they tied against Italy, who couldn’t afford to lose today’s match.
The “orange”, who were finalists about a month ago at the Superfinal of the World League, qualified to the next stage largely due to the talent of their best player, Sabrina Van der Sloot, who managed to make a comeback for the team when they were two goals down against the Italians.
Italy v the Netherlands has become a traditional matchup at the European Championships. In the history of the competition, they have faced each other on 12 occasions, with the record favoring the Netherlands who have won 4 times. Meanwhile, Italy has beaten the “orange” squad three times and they have tied five times.
Moving on, even though they have tied and lost once while winning their other game at Barcelona 2018, the team coached by Fabio Conti shouldn’t be worried about not making it through to the next round. In their final two matches of the group stage, Italy faces Croatia and France, which shouldn´t cause the “Setterosa” too much trouble.
Finally, Spain has broken their record for most goals scored in a single match at the European. Their previous record was 27, which was set in the previous match against Germany (27-2). Their new record sits at 32 after their win tonight against Turkey with a final score of 32-2.
You can watch all the matches live!