The outgoing continental champion Serbia won the 5th place at the 34th European Championships in Budapest.
Serbia recorded an 8:7 win over Italy in the 5th-place match.
The last competition day was opened by the game for the 7th place. Greece finished 7th, after defeating Russia 11:9.
Italy: Di Fulvio 3, Figlioli 2, Bodegas 1, Aicardi 1
Serbia: Aleksic 2, Filipovic 2, Mandic 1, Randjelovic 1, Cuk 1, Jaksic 1
All the match’s and the players’ statistics: ITA-SRB
Serbia, the current Olympic champions, and Italy, the gold medalist from the 2019 World Championships, arrived in Budapest to win a medal. Their medal hopes were ruined in the quarterfinals, but both teams had motives to complete the Championships with a win.
The encounter between two great teams was a big battle.
The first quarter belonged to the Serbs (3:2), but the Italians, led by Francesco di Fulvio and Pietro Figlioli, produced a 3:0 rush in the second period for a 5:3 advantage. Randjelovic found the net for 4:5, but Figlioli scored his 3rd goal today, by converting a man-up for 6:4 in the 14th minute. The world champions maintained a 2-goal advantage until halftime.
The Serbs regrouped themselves during the 3-minute break and tightened defense. Serbia shut out Italy in the third period and managed to level the score. Nikola Jaksic netted 6 on 5 and equalized (6:6) with 0:22 seconds remaining in the third period.
The Olympic champions went ahead – 7:6 thanks to Milan Aleksic’s power-play goal in the 2nd minute of the final quarter. Mateo Aicardi broke the Italians’ silence and ended the scoreless phase of his team that lasted 14 minutes and 25 seconds for 7:7.
Dusan Mandic decided everything 107 seconds before the final buzzer. He sent the ball into the net from 7 meters for the final score 8:7.
Italy had a good chance 24 seconds from the end, but Gojko Pijetlovic saved Mateo Aicardi from a few meters, and Serbia secured the win.
The fifth place isn’t a big success for the Olympic champions, after four straight European titles since 2012. For the first time since its independence (in 2006), Serbia didn’t reach the semifinals at the ECH. Still, the Serbs could be satisfied because they finished the tournament with no loss in regular time (Spain defeated them in the quarterfinals after the penalty shootout).
It should be mentioned that Serbia played with only one center-forward in the squad in the last two games, as Dusko Pijetlovic still hasn’t recovered from the illness.
Italy , which won 4th place in Barcelona, continued its medalless series at the Europeans, which has lasted since the bronze medal in Budapest 2014.
The “Settebello” still have to wait for the first win over Serbia at the continental championships. Italy has never recorded a victory over Serbia at the Europeans. Also, they never beat the former Yugoslavia at the continental championships.
Russia: Kharkov 4, Lisunov 2, Suchkov 1, Merkulov 1, Bychkov 1.
Greece: Argyropoulos 3, Mourikis 2, Gounas 2, Genidounias 2, Fountoulis 1, Vlachopoulos 1.
All the match’s and the players’ statistics: RUS-GRE
Greece defeated Russia in a very close contest.
The Russians started better and earned a 2:1 lead. Greece managed to equalize at the very end of the first quarter and added two goals in the opening minutes of the second period to go 4:2 up. Russia leveled the score (4:4), but Greece had a slim advantage at halftime (5:4). Before the last period, Greece also had the minimal lead (8:7). Russia opened the final quarter with a goal to equalize once more, while Lisunov put the Russian team ahead with a goal from the center – 9:8. However, Russia ran out of gas for the finish of the game. The Greeks netted the last three goals in the match and recorded an 11:9 win.
Both teams are ranked lower than in Barcelona 2018, when Greece finished in 5th and Russia in 7th place.
Croatia-Montenegro (17.30) – follow the live score and statistics
Hungary – Spain (19.00 CET) – follow the live score and statistics
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