Greece, Hungary, Spain, and Serbia are the first four participants in the quarterfinals at the European Men’s U17 Championships in Manisa, Turkey.
Hungary defeated Croatia 13:9 and finished atop Group A, ahead of Spain, which beat Montenegro 13:7 today. The Hungarians and the Spaniards are tied in the points, but Hungary has a better goal difference.
Greece won a point in the match against Italy – 12:12. This draw was enough for Greece to maintain its position at the top of Group B. Serbia recorded a convincing victory over the Netherlands (15:6) and advanced to the quarterfinals as the second-placed team in Group B.
Montenegro, Croatia, Italy and the Netherlands will try to reach the quarterfinals through the crossover round.
Besides these four teams, Germany, Malta, Turkey and France will have a chance to qualify for the quarterfinals. They advanced to the crossovers as the winners of 1st and 2nd places in the groups in Division 2.
Crossover round (August 11): Montenegro – France, Croatia – Turkey, Netherlands – Germany, Italy – Malta.
Quarterfinals (August 12): Hungary – Netherlands/Germany, Spain – Italy/Malta, Greece – Croatia/Turkey, Serbia – Montenegro/France.
2023 European U17 Men’s Championships, Day 3
Hungary – Croatia 13:9 (2:0, 5:3, 4:3, 2:3)
Spain – Montenegro 13:7 (1:0, 5:3, 3:2, 4:2)
The Hungarians opened the match with Croatia with a 2:0 first quarter. The Croats didn’t need much time after the first break to level the score. Already in the 10th minute, it stood 2:2. But, Hungary responded with three goals in a row and went to 5:2. In the 21st minute, six goals separated the rivals (10:4). Only the margin of the Hungarians’ win was in question. They maintained a 6-goal difference for a while, but Croatia reduced the gap with two goals from Gabrijel Burburan (the best scorer with five goals) in the last three minutes.
Andras Toth was the best scorer in the winning team with four goals.
After Hungary’s 13:9 win, Spain needed a nine-goal victory over Montenegro to finish atop the group. Montenegro had to win to climb to 2nd place. Both teams struggled in the attack in the opening minutes. Granados broke the deadlock to give Spain a 1:0 lead from a penalty shot only eight seconds before the first break. Montenegrins caught up with the rival early in the second, but Spain dictated the pace in the following minutes. It scored three goals in a row for a 4:1 advantage. In the middle of the third period, Spain was five steps ahead of Montenegro (8:3), but it was never close to reaching a 9-goal margin. Montenegro narrowed the distance to three (6:9), but they couldn’t come closer.
Unai Lema and Saul Granados led the Spaniards’ attack (four goals each).
1.Hungary 3 – 7 (+9)
2.Spain 3 – 7 (+7)
3.Montenegro 3 – 3
4. Croatia 3 – 0
Serbia – Netherlands 15:6 (3:3, 2:2, 6:0, 4:1)
Greece – Italy 12:12 (3:3, 3:4, 4:1, 2:4)
The Netherlands was never ahead in today’s first game in Group B, but it kept up with Serbia for 16 minutes. The Serbs had a 2:0, 3:1 and 5:3 lead. But, the teams were tied before the third period, as the Dutch leveled at 5:5 in the dying seconds of the 2nd period. The game turned into a lopsided contest in the second half. Serbia ruled the field. It produced a 9:0 run and built a huge 14:5 lead in the middle of the final quarter. Luka Boskovic scored five goals for Serbia, Marko Icitovic added four.
Serbia secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a convincing win over the Netherlands, but the final standings in the group depended on the match Italy- Greece. Italy would have qualified for the quarterfinals only if it had beaten Greece by three goals and more.
Italy wasn’t far from reaching the goal. The lead was constantly exchanging the side in the first half. Deep into the second quarter, Italy became the first team to earn a 2-goal advantage (7:5). Greece halved the deficit shortly before halftime. Early in the third, Italy restored a 2-goal lead (8:6). The interval between the 20th and the 23rd minute was crucial for Greece’s win. The Greeks scored four unanswered goals in these three minutes and came from behind to 10:8.
Three minutes before the end, Greece was still two goals up – 12:10. Italy caught up with the rival, but an equalizer came too late – with 17 seconds left on the clock. Greece kept 1st place, and Italy will play in the crossover round. Spyridon Lykoudis (Greece) and Simone De Vecchis (Italy) were the highest scorers, with four goals each.
1.Greece 3 – 7
2.Serbia 3 – 6
3.Italy 3 – 4
4. Netherlands 3 – 0
France – Turkey 6:9 (1:3, 2:3, 1:3, 2:0)
Romania – Poland 9:8 (3:1, 1:2, 1:2, 4:3)
Turkey is the only of the 16 participants in the tournament that had a perfect record in the group stage. The hosts beat the French in the duel that decided the group winner. A 3:0 start put Turkey on the right track. They widened the difference to four in the second period (5:1, 6:2). France reduced the gap with two back-to-back goals (4:6). By the end of the third period, Turkey netted three straight goals (two from penalty shots), went to 9:4 and everything was decided. Efe Naipoglu was the hero of Turkey’s victory with five goals.
Romania took 3rd place in the group thanks to a narrow win over Poland. At the beginning of the second quarter, Romania led 4:1, but Poland didn’t give in and equalized at 4:4 and again at 5:5, 6:6, 7:7 and 8:8. Burda scored a winner for Romania with seven seconds to go.
1. Turkey 3 – 9
2. France 3 – 6
3. Romania 3 – 3
4. Poland 3 – 0
Malta – Turkey 12:8 (2:0, 2:3, 5:1, 3:4)
Georgia – Germany 12:19 (2:7, 2:5, 3:5, 5:2)
Everything was open before the last round in Group D since all four teams had three points. But today’s games didn’t produce excitement.
Germany demolished Georgia in the first quarter and a half. In the 12th minute, Germany had a 11:2 advantage and killed all the excitement.
Malta controlled the match in the first quarter of the game against Ukraine, which managed to level the score once (2:2) and trailed by a goal before the second half. But, Malta built a safe 9:5 advantage in the third period.
Germany and Malta have six points each, but 1st place belonged to Germany, which beat the Maltese on Day 1.
1. Germany 3 – 6
2. Malta 3 – 6
3. Georgia 3 – 3
4. Ukraine 3 – 3
Head to head: Germany – Malta 9:7, Georgia – Ukraine 13:10.
Classification 13th – 16th place: Georgia – Poland (10:00), Ukraine – Romania (11:30)
Crossover matches: Montenegro – France (13:00), Netherlands – Germany (16:30), Italy – Malta (18:00), Croatia – Turkey (19:30).
All times are local