Hungary and Turkey kept their spots in Division 1 of the Men’s Europen U15 Championships.
On Day 6 of the 3rd edition of the Europeans for cadets in Podgorica, Hungary and Turkey beat the Netherlands and Romania, respectively, in the playoffs and qualified for the quarterfinals. This means that the upcoming generation of water polo players from these nations will compete in Division 1 in the next edition of the U15 championships.
Hungary easily defeated the Netherlands 11:5, while Turkey’s 11:8 victory over Romania was mainly due to their strong start.
Pairs of the quarterfinals (Friday): Croatia – Hungary, Spain – Serbia, Greece – Italy, Montenegro – Turkey (the full schedule is at the end of the article).
2023 Men’s European U15 Championships, Podgorica, Day 6
Turkey – Romania 11:8 (3:1, 2:1, 5:1, 1:5)
Hungary – Netherlands 11:5 (4:1, 3:0, 3:1, 1:3)
After three convincing losses in the group phase and only six goals scored in the matches against Greece, Serbia and Croatia, Turkey proved it belonged to Division 1. Romania, obviously, ran out of energy after a thrilling playoff match against Germany yesterday. Turkey made the most of it and imposed its rhythm from the beginning. Late into the third period, Turkey earned a 7-goal lead (9:2). Romania played better in the final eight minutes. However, a 7-goal distance at the last break was enough for Turkey to book a ticket to the quarterfinals.
Even though Hungary finished the group stage with no points (defeats to Montenegro, Spain and Italy), it was a heavy favorite in the clash with the Dutch. The Hungarians were eager to take their first win in the tournament and showed no mercy to the Netherlands. After earning a 10:1 lead, Hungary slowed the rhythm.
9th-16th place classification, quarterfinals
Israel – Germany 7:12 (1:5, 0:2, 2:2, 4:3)
Poland – Malta 6:7 (3:1, 1:3, 1:1, 1:2)
Germany bounced back after yesterday’s loss to Romania in a penalty shootout in the playoffs and defeated Israel. Everything was decided after a 7:1 first half.
Malta had a more challenging task than the Germans. Poland proved a good rival and took a 3:1 lead. The Maltese managed to level the score, and the sides were tied at 5:5 at the last break. The rivals quickly exchanged goals at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Maltese scored a winning goal (7:6) three and a half minutes from the end. Poland’s comeback attempts ended with no desired result.
Tomorrow, Germany will play against the Netherlands and Malta against Romania in the 9th-12th place semifinals. The losers, Poland and Israel, will face Georgia and Moldova, respectively (13th-16th place semifinals), the teams they beat yesterday in the crossover matches.
17th – 20th place classification, semifinals
France – Switzerland 16:5 (5:1, 4:1, 6:1, 1:2)
Bulgaria – Ukraine 13:8 (3:3, 3:2, 2:1, 5:2)
As expected, France easily downed Switzerland. Bulgaria needed some time to break Ukraine’s resistance. The Ukrainians didn’t have enough energy for the second half.
21st – 24th place classification, semifinals
Lithuania – Slovenia 8:13 (0:3, 0:1, 2:4, 6:5)
Ireland – Czech Republic 9:11 (0:1, 2:0, 3:1, 1:4, PSO 3:5)
Slovenia built a 7:1 lead by the middle of the third period, which put it on the right track in the match against Lithuania.
The Czech Republic claimed its maiden victory in Podgorica, defeating Ireland after a penalty shootout. The Irish had a 3-goal advantage before the final quarter (5:2). The Czech started coming back, leveled the score and, eventually, were better in a shootout thriller.
Day 7 (July 14)
13th – 16th place classification, semifinals: Poland – Georgia (09:00), Israel – Moldova (10:30)
9th – 12th place classification, semifinals: Germany – Netherlands (12:00), Malta – Romania (13:30)
Quarterfinals: Italy – Serbia (16:00), Spain – Greece (17:30), Croatia – Hungary (19:00), Montenegro – Turkey (20:30).