The men’s teams taking part in the European preliminaries of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League 2019 played their last game last night, Tuesday, March 12, in various European cities as eight squads (Hungary, Russia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, and Serbia) qualified to take part in the first ever edition of the FINA/LEN Water Polo World League Europa Cup Final Men 2019 in Zagreb, Croatia, from April 5-7.
Group A’s Hungary beat Malta 24-8 (6-2, 7-1, 6-3, 5-2) in Gzira (MLT), while the Russians defeated the Germans 18-10 (4-3, 5-2, 3-3, 6-2) in Hamm (GER). Group A’s ranking order remains the same as Hungary lead with 17 points. Russia has 12 points and Germany 7.
Group B’s games were also contrasted. Spain defeated the Dutch 14-7 (3-2, 3-2, 5-1, 3-2) and Greece crushed Ukraine 24-5 (6-1, 8-1, 7-2, 3-1) in Kharkiv city (UKR). Spain jumps to the first place of the group with 15 points in front of the Greeks (also 15 points) due to the goals difference in the European qualification phase and the Netherlands have 6 points.
Only group C’s game, Montenegro against France, saw the Balkan team win 10-8 (3-2, 3-4, 2-1, 2-1). Italy still leads the group with 10 points.
Group D’s ranking was modified thanks to the victory of the Croatians against their Balkan rivals, Serbia. Croatia won the game 12-9 (1-0, 4-4, 5-2, 2-3) in Sisak (CRO) and took the group’s first position with 10 points, against 8 points for their neighbors.
The European prelims of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League 2019 are now over and the eight teams qualified will be battling it out in Zagreb for the first Europa Cup. The three best teams in this tournament will secure a berth to the Super Final.
The women’s World League will also resume with the Europa Cup in Turin (ITA) from March 29-31.
In parallel, both the men and women’s Intercontinental Cup are set to kick-off in Perth, Australia, from March 26-31.