The second day of the Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Rotterdam brought new exciting and interesting matches.
There was no suspense in Group A. Favorites Greece and Montenegro beat their respective rivals with ease.
But, two very thrilling games were played in Group B. Romania and Russia shared the points – 9:9. France edged out Germany (13:12) in the game in which both sides had ups and downs. The Germans suffered the second loss, and they have little chance of realizing the Olympic dream. Croatia stormed past the Netherlands in the last match of the day.
Day 2 – Group A: Greece – Brazil 15;8, Montenegro – Canada 21:7, Georgia bye. Group B: Romania – Russia 9:9, Germany – France 12:13, Croatia – Netherlands 25:8.
Men’s Olympic Qualifications, Rotterdam, Day 2
Greece – Brazil 15:8 (5:1, 5:2, 4:2, 1:3)
Greece: Genidounias 3, Vlachopoulos 3, Fountoulis 2, Mouikis 2, Kapotsis 2, Kolomvos 1, Gkiouvetsis 1, Dervisis 1.
Brazil: G. Gomes 3, B. Gomes 2, Real Vergara 2, Coutiho 1.
The Greeks didn’t let themselves enter another thrilling finish, like yesterday when they barely defeated Georgia. They dominated throughout the match and reached a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter (15:5). After that, Brazil scored three goals to reduce the deficit.
Montenegro – Canada 21:7 (7:1, 6:3, 4:1, 4:2)
Montenegro:Ivovic 5, Matkovic 5, Spaic 3, Brguljan 2, Petkovic 2, Vidovic 2, Petkovic 1, Ukropina 1.
Canada: Constantin-Bicari 2, Cote 2, S. Spooner 2, M. Spooner 1.
Montenegro had a day off yesterday because Turkey was disqualified. Today, the Montenegrins proved their high quality. Canada, which beat Brazil yesterday, was smashed by the Montenegrins today. Montenegro opened the match with a 6:0 lead and it was clear that Canada couldn’t make a surprise. Only the margin of Montenegro’s win was in question. In the end, the difference increased to 14. Three minutes before the end, Montenegro became the first team that scored 20 goals in a single match at the tournament in Rotterdam. Dusan Matkovic scored from a counter-attack for 20:5. After that, Canada answered with two consecutive goals, but Markovic closed the match with his 5th goal for 21:7. Matkovic and captain Aleksandar Ivovic were the best scorers.
1.Greece 2 – 4
2 Montenegro 1 – 2
3 Canada 2 – 2
4 Georgia 1 – 0
5 Brazil 2 – 0
Romania – Russia 9:9 (3:1, 1:2, 2:4, 3:2)
Romania: Radu 2, Fulea 2, Georgescu 2, Dragomirescu 1, Vatrai 1, Antipa 1.
Russia: Merkulov 4, Dereviankin 2, Kharkov 1, Kholod 1, Lisunov 1.
The Romanians recovered from a 6:16 loss to Croatia, and almost upset Russia. Still, they didn’t record a win, but they earned a point and kept their hopes of reaching the quarterfinals alive. Romania dictated the pace during the first half and had a 2-goal lead three times (2:0, 3:1, 4:2).
In the 17th minute, the Russians equalized for the first time, when Daniil Merkulov scored a nice action goal. But, Cosmin Radu replied with a man-up advantage for 5:4. Shortly after, Russia took control, scored three goals, and jumped to a 7:5 lead (23rd minute).
The Romanians managed to come back. In the middle of the fourth period, they went ahead again (9:8). In the following few minutes, Romania tightened its defense and denied several good shots. Romania’s goalie Marius-Florin Tic was excellent these minutes. However, 75 seconds before the end, Derviankin reacted excellently and scored a rebound goal after Tic’s save. After that, both teams had chances to score a winner, after that, but with no success.
Germany – France 12:13 (1:4, 3:2, 5:2, 3:5)
Germany: Strelezkij 6, Cuk 2, Bozic 1, Schulz 1, Jungling 1, Stamm 1.
France: Crousillat 3, Marzouki 3, Khasz 2, Vernoux 2, Canonne 2, Babic 1.
On Day 1, France and Germany suffered narrow losses (The Netherlands beat Germany 12:11, while Russia defeated France 13:12). After a lot of excitement, France achieved a slim, but valuable win. On the other side, the next two games – against Romania and Russia are the “must-win” games for the Germans, because they are now far from the quarterfinals. Still, everything is possible in this group. Croatia is a firm favorite here, while all other teams are balanced. But, Germany is the only team that has no points after two days.
The match was very similar to yesterday’s encounter between Germany and the Netherlands. Germany started slowly, and then tried to come back, but didn’t succeed to achieve a win. The Germans again needed some time to “wake up”. This may be a consequence of the fact that their league has not started yet, and they lack matches.
France opened the game with a 3:0 rush. They controlled the game and went up 8:4 early in the third period (18th minute). Then Germany produced a great comeback. They scored five unanswered goals and took a 9:8 lead 18 seconds before the last break.
France had a chance to equalize with 6 on 4 power-play advantage in the first possession in the final quarter, but the Germans defended their net. The hard battle with a lot of goals was fought until the end. In the middle of the fourth quarter, Mateo Cuk gave Germany a new lead (10:9). After that, France made a 3:1 series and went ahead again (12:11) with 02:48 to go. Denis Strelezkij converted a man-up in the 31st minute for 12:12. This was his 6th goal today. But, Ugo Crousillat responded immediately. He found the net from a nice lob shot and put the French in front – 13:12. Germany earned a man-up advantage 31 seconds before the end. The head coach Hagen Stamm called a time-out to prepare an action, but his team lost the ball in the last attack, and France recorded a win.
Croatia – Netherlands 25:8 (7:1, 7:4,5:1, 6:2)
Croatia: Bukic 6, Jokovic 4, Fatovic 3, Milos 3, Vukicevic 2, Vrlic 2, Buric 2, Loncar 1, Buslje 1, Garcia 1.
Netherlands: Van Ijperen 2, Lucas 2, Lindhout 1, Gbadamassi 1, Janssen 1, Koopman 1
After yesterday’s 16:6 win over Romania, Croatia recorded another comfortable victory. The Dutch and the Croats aren’t in the same weight category, and it was evident already after the first quarter. Croatia earned a 7:1 lead in the first eight minutes. At halftime, the score was 14:5.
The Croats had almost a perfect percentage of the shot in the first half (14/18). Interestingly, the difference in the number of fouls committed was nearly the same as the score. The Croats made 14, while the Dutch committed only four fouls in the first half (after the 4th period, the Croats had a total of 19, and the hosts 12 personal fouls). But, a lot of man-up chances in the first two periods didn’t help the hosts. The Croats managed to defend the goal even when they were two men down in the second quarter. Besides, Marko Bijac blocked a penalty shot from Lindhout, also in the 2nd quarter. After the middle break, Croatia slowed down. Nevertheless, the Croats achieved the most convincing win of the first two tournament days. Luka Bukic topped the scorers’ list with 6 goals.
1 Croatia 2 – 4
2 Russia 2 – 3
3 France 2 – 2
4 Netherlands 2 – 2
5 Romania 2 – 1
6 Germany 2 – 0
Day 3 (February 16)
Brazil – Montenegro (13:00)
Canada – Georgia (16:00)
Russia – Germany (17:30)
Netherlands – Romania (19:00)
France – Croatia (20:30)