Montenegro and Egypt will play in the men’s final at the water polo qualification tournament for the World Beach Games, which will finish in Soma Bay tomorrow.
Greece and the Czech Republic qualified for the gold-medal match in the women’s competition as the first two teams in the group phase.
Today, Egypt beat Georgia in an exhilarating semifinal match. The hosts recorded a 10:9 win. Two European powerhouses met in the second semifinal. Montenegro beat Hungary by three goals (10:7).
Since the top three teams will qualify for the World Beach Games, the male teams of Egypt and Montenegro and the female squads of Greece and the Czech Republic secured tickets for the Games that will take place in Bali in August.
They will be joined by the bronze medalists. Hungary and Georgia will play for the bronze in the men’s competition. Zimbabwe and South Africa will battle for bronze in the tournament for ladies.
Qualifications for World Beach Games (Soma Bay, May 12 – 15), Day 3
Egypt – Georgia 10:9 (3:3, 2:3, 1:1, 4:2)
Egypt: Reda, Abdalarahman 1, Salah Farag 3, Elsapagh 1, Atef 3, Seif , Ghounim 2. Head coach: Mansour.
Georgia: Gvetadze, Kikaleishvili, Bazhinov 1, Magrakvelidze 3, Baraldi 2, Rusishvili 1, Jakhaia 2. Head coach: Tukvadze.
Egypt edged out Georgia in a very close contest. There were a few twists and turns during the match. However, the hosts had an excellent finish. After the final whistle, an eruption of joy in the stands and the field started.
Egypt was the team that controlled the result and was gaining a one-goal lead until 4:3. Then, Georgia netted two back-to-back goals. Jakhaia put the European team in front in the 8th minute – 5:4. After that, the new exchange of goals started, but Egypt became the team that chased the rival.
Georgia entered the final quarter leading 7:6. Jakhaia doubled the Europeans’ advantage to 8:6 at the beginning of the fourth. Egypt leveled at 8:8 shortly after. Two and a half minutes before the end, Magrakvelidze gave Georgia a 9:8 lead. However, the Egyptians took control in the final minutes. Atef leveled at 9:9. In the last minute, Georgia failed to convert a man-up, Egypt started the counter-attack. Salah made no mistake and scored for 10:9. The hosts managed to keep a slim lead in the remaining 33 seconds and achieved a big success by reaching the final.
Montenegro – Hungary 10:7 (2:2, 2:2, 3:1, 3:2)
Montenegro: D.Cetkovic, P.Cetkovic 1, Markovic 2, Brkic 4, Korac 1, Porobic 2, Adzic. Head coach: Maslovar.
Hungary: Kardos, Kolozsi 3, Bencz 1, Kereszturi, Pellei 1, N.Nagy 1, Boros 1. Head coach: Petrovai.
Hungary got off to a better start in the European derby. It led 2:1 and 4:2, but the Montenegrins leveled before the middle break, so the sides were at a new beginning before the third period – 4:4.
In the second minute of the second half, Nikola Markovic scored from a 3 on 2, and Montenegro took the lead for the first time – 5:4. The Hungarians leveled at 5:5 in their next possession. Montenegro responded with two goals for a 7:5 advantage before the final period.
Marcel Koloszi opened the fourth quarter with two goals within 40 seconds to equalize at 7:7 with 03:15 minutes left on the clock. However, the Hungarians couldn’t go further.
Only one player found the net in the last three minutes, but he did it three times. Nikola Brkic scored three unanswered goals and Montenegro went to the final with a 10:7 win.
SEMIFINALS, 5th – 8th place
South Africa – Kazakhstan 14:15 (2:3, 4:4, 3:4, 5:4)
South Africa:Hashatse, Stewart, Rademeyer 4, Coryndon-Baker 3, MacDonald, Neser 3, Margro 4. Head coach: Mantle.
Kazakhstan: Makhmetov, Tsoy 4, Akhmetov 4, Yeremin 2, Shonzhigitov 2, Pustovalov 1, Temyrkhanov 2. Head coach: Ukumanov.
Romania – Ukraine 17:14 (3:0, 5:6, 7:5, 2:3)
Romania: Stoenescu, Amarie, Costa 3, A.Gheorghe 8, Insinna 4, Zamfir, Radoi 2. Head coach: E. Georgescu.
Ukraine: Babskyi, Osyka 5, Mametyev 2, Diadiura 3, Kechedzhyi 2, Babaienko 2. Head coach: Dobush.
Kazakhstan and Romania advanced to the 5th-place match beating South Africa and Ukraine respectively in the high-scoring semifinals.
Even though Kazakhstan led for most of the time and had a 3-goal lead several times, the game was open until the end. The first quarter belonged to the Asians (3:2), who earned a 3-goal in the next three quarters (7:4, 9:6, 14:11). But, the persistent Africans was coming back and were in the game until the very end. A minute and 14 seconds before the end, Coryndon Baker converted a penalty for 13:14. Kazakhstan got a penalty shot with 40 seconds left on the clock. Akhmetov made it 15:13. Margro Jansen replied 13 seconds after (14:15). In the remaining time, both coaches called time-outs, but there were no goals.
Romania scored three and didn’t concede a single goal in the first five minutes. That was vital for their win. Ukraine put much effort into a comeback, but it never equalized. Late into the third quarter, the team of Ukraine cut the deficit to one for the last time (11:12). Romania scored three power-play goals in the 15th minute, earned a 15:11 advantage. It opened the fourth period with an action goal for 16:11, and the match ended peacefully. Alexandru Gheorghe was the man who made the difference, scoring eight goals.
SEMIFINALS, 9th – 11th place
Kuwait – Serbia 7:12 (1:2, 2:3, 2:3, 2:4)
Kuwait: Mulla 1, Yousef Bossakhar 1, Hasan 2, Alboloushi 1, Younis Bossakhar, Ali, Alrumaidhin 2. Head coach: Markoglou
Serbia: Risticevic, Andrin 3, Sulc 3, Rogac , N.Radulovic 2, Stojanovic 2, Jankovic 2. Head coach: Maljkovic.
Serbia recorded its first win in the tournament after suffering narrow losses to Egypt and Romania in the group stage. Serbia dictated the pace. Kuwait leveled just twice (1:1 and 2:2), but Serbia didn’t secure a comfortable lead before the fourth quarter. The Serbs built a 3-goal lead in the third period. Kuwait reduced the gap to two late into this quarter (5:7). Kristian Sulc replied immediately and made it 8:5. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Serbs netted two goals within 13 seconds, went to 10:5, and maintained the difference until the end.
Kuwait finished the tournament in 11th place. Serbia will play against Saudi Arabia for 9th place.
9th-place match: Serbia – Saudi Arabia (09:00)
7th-place match: South Africa – Ukraine (09:50)
5th-place match: Kazakhstan – Romania (10:40)
Bronze-medal match: Georgia – Hungary (16:40)
FINAL: Egypt – Montenegro (17:30)
GROUP STAGE, Round 3
Czech Republic – Zimbabwe 13:3 (2:1, 5:1, 3:1, 3:0)
Czech Republic: Remisova, Busauerova 4, Fugnerova, Kilianova, Javurkova 4, Hola 2, Hlavata 3. Head coach: Fugner.
Zimbabwe: Meyer, Bond 2, Harris, Wood, Chitsurura, Ashwin, Gentlemen 1. Head coach: Manthe.
South Africa – Greece 10:14 (1:4, 3:3, 3:3, 3:4)
South Africa: Laguma, Tancrel 1, Caswell, Hannan 1, Van den Bosch , Vd loosdrecht 4, De Beer 4. Head coach: Meecham.
Greece: Mavrota, Chaldaiou 3, Koureta 1, Berikou, Galanopoulou 3, Tsimara 6, Kalaitzi 1. Head coach Karagianni.
The European teams, Greece and the Czech Republic, will play in the final.
The Czech Republic dominated the match against Zimbabwe. The encounter ended in the 18th minute.Karolina Hlavata found the net for 13:3. The Czech Republic reached the double-digit margin. If one of the teams earns a 10-goal lead in the second half, the game finishes.
Greece built a three-goal lead (5:2) early in the second quarter. The Greeks didn’t let South Africa come close in the rest of the match. In the third period, the Greeks stretched the margin to five (9:4) and everything was decided.
Standings: 1. Greece 9 pts, 2. Czech Republic 6, 3. South Africa 3, 4. Zimbabwe 0.
Bronze medal match: South Africa – Zimbabwe (15:00)
Final: Greece – Czech Republic (15:50)