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European juniors hunt medals in Tbilisi

The series of big summer water polo competitions has been continued in Georgia. The men’s European U17 Championships started in Tbilisi today.

Sixteen teams are split into 4 groups. Group winners will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while 2nd-placed and 3rd-placed teams will face off in the cross-over matches.

There were no surprises on Day 1, but some of the favorites overcame big troubles to win the points. Serbia was 5 goals behind the Netherlands, but it managed to defeat the rival (9:8). Croatia turned around a 2-goal deficit to a 9:7 victory over France.

Greece convincingly defeated Montenegro in the derby of Group B (9:4).

After a terrible start, host Georgia took all three points on Day 1, by defeating Romania 12:10.

Italy and Hungary opened the tournament with big wins.

2019 men’s European U17 Championships, Day 1

Group A

Russia – Turkey 13:7 (4:1, 2:2, 4:2, 3:2)

Russia: Rachtielev 3, Mirizev 2, Kabakov 2, Fedotov 2, Ivannikov 1, Frantcuzov 1, Shulev 1, Iarullin 1.
Turkey: Olcay 3, Aksoy 1, Mogultay 1, Kaner 1, Yutmaz 1.

Italy – Malta 20:4 (6:0, 6:0, 5:2, 3:2)

Italy:Gianazza 4, Iocchi Gratta 3, Ferrero 3, Occhione 2, Condemi 2, Caldieri 2, Silvestri 2,Parrella 1, Cassia 1.
Malta: Cachia 1, Busttuil 1,Bonavia 1, Muscat 1.

The Italians arrived in Baku with a sense of loss and sadness, as their head coach Ferdinando Pesci passed away from sudden cardiac arrest on Tuesday at the age of 62. The team, which is now guided by Pesci’s assistant Massimo Taffuro, easily beat Malta 20:4.

Russia grabbed a 5:1 lead in the game with Turkey, which determined the rest of the match.

1 Italy 1 – 3
2 Russia 1 – 3
3 Turkey 1 – 0
4 Malta 1 – 0

Group B

Greece – Montenegro 8:4 (0:2, 3:0,2:1, 3:1)

Greece: Kechalaris 3, Sgouridis 3, Chalyvopoulos 1, Mokkas 1.
Montenegro: Korac, Mrsic, Milic, Stanojevic.

Georgia – Romania 12:10 (3:3, 4:1, 2:3, 3:3)

Georgia: Giorgadze 4, Akhveldiani 3, Dadvani 2, Eristavi 1, Chekeidze 1, Chikovani 1.
Romania: Rath 4, Gorea 2, Lutescu 1, Pirianu 1, Neamtu 1, Gheorghe 1.

Montenegro took an opening 2:0 lead with two goals in the last two minutes of the 1st quarter. But, after that, Greece kept up the Montenegrins scoreless for almost two quarters. The Greek juniors gained a 5:2 advantage minute and a half before the last break, which was crucial for the win.

Photos: Georgian Aquatics Sports Federation/Facebook

Romania needed just 4 minutes to build a 3:0 advantage. Georgia responded strongly, with seven straight goals and went 7:3 up. Romania came close twice in the fourth period (9:10 and 10:11). Akveldiani hit the back of the net four seconds from the end for the hosts’ 12:10 win.

1 Greece 1 – 3
2 Georgia 1 – 3
3 Romania 1 – 0
4 Montenegro 1 – 0

Group C

Serbia – Netherlands 9:8 (2:3, 0:3, 3:2, 4:0)

Serbia: Martinovic 6, Gak 1, Janjic 1, Vasic 1.
Netherlands: Wouters 3, De Haan 1, Schouwerwou 1, Ten Broek 1, Te Riele 1, Van der Weijden 1.

Hungary – Slovakia 18:2 (1:0, 4:1, 7:0, 6:1)

Hungary: Szeghalmi 4, Peto 3, Vigvari 3, Nyiri 3, Molnar 1, Vismeg 1, Gabor 1, Yarkonyi 1.
Slovakia: Varga 1, Tisaj 1.

Serbia produced a magnificent comeback and beat the Netherlands. The Dutch controlled the match from the beginning. They earned an 8:3 lead 2 minutes and 44 seconds from the end of the third period. After that, the Dutch couldn’t find the net until the end, while the Serbs nailed 6 goals in a row. Ten seconds before the last buzzer, Vasilije Martinovic scored his 6th goal for Serbia’s 9:8 win.

After a slow start, the Hungarians cruised to a victory over Slovakia.

1 Hungary 1 – 3
2 Serbia 1 – 3
3 Netherlands 1 – 0
4 Slovakia 1 – 0

Group D

Croatia – France 9:7 (0:2, 2:2, 5:2, 2:1)

Croatia:Tomasovic 4, Stahor 3, Pozaric 1, Maric 1.
France: Vernoux 3, Debiais 1, Ait Dahmane 1, Vanhille 1, Carpentras 1.

Spain – Germany 11:9 (4:2, 1:2, 3:2, 3:3)

Spain: Valera 5, Casabella 2, Biel 1, Ponferrada 1, Andrade 1, Daura 1.
Germany: Shipper 3, Chiru 2, Arslan 2, Bozic 1, Sekulic 1.

France earned a 2:0 lead in the first quarter and it maintained the advantage until the halftime (4:2). The Croats turned around a deficit to a 6:5 lead in the 5th minute of the 3rd period. France equalized at 6:6, but Croatia entered the last period leading 7:6. The Croats earned a 3-goal advantage (9:6) midway through the last quarter, with two goals in a span of 37 seconds. France’s seventh goal came too late, 31 seconds from the end.

For two quarters and a half, the encounter between Spain and Germany was an even contest. In the 20th minute, the sides were tied (5:5). Spain scored three goals in three consecutive attacks for an 8:5 advantage. Germany wasn’t able to come back.

1 Spain 1 – 3
2 Croatia 1 – 3
3 Germany 1 – 0
4 France 1 – 0

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