The European U15 Championships in Podgorica will see Montenegro, Greece, Serbia, and Hungary competing in the semifinals.
The quarterfinal games lacked excitement. The only balanced match was an encounter between Hungary and Croatia. Despite not winning a single point in the group stage, Hungary managed to edge out Croatia 8:7. Croatia had a perfect record in Group B of Division 1.
Serbia demonstrated excellent defensive play and defeated Italy 8:3, while the Greeks’ attack was unstoppable and they outplayed Spain 15:6.
Montenegro, the only unbeaten team in the tournament, had an easy victory over Turkey – 17:3.
So, two teams from each group of Division 1 will play in the semifinals. Montenegro finished 1st in Group A, where Hungary was 4th. Greece took 2nd and Serbia 3rd place in Group B.
Montenegro will play against Greece and Serbia against Hungary in tomorrow’s semifinals.
In the semifinals, Montenegro will face Greece, while Serbia will play against Hungary.
2023 Men’s European U15 Championships, Podgorica, Day 7
Italy – Serbia 3:8 (1:1, 1:3, 0:3, 1:1)
Serbia played its best game in the tournament. Despite scoring the first goal in the fourth minute, the Italians struggled to find the net for the following 11 minutes. Serbia scored its first goal just 13 seconds before the first break and continued to dominate, adding two more by the middle of the second period. The Serbs maintained the lead until halftime with a score of 4:2.
The Serbs further extended their lead in the third period, effectively shutting down Italy’s three 6 on 5s. In the 24th minute, Neskovic converted a penalty for a score of 7:2, sealing the victory for Serbia.
Spain – Greece 6:15 (0:3, 3:2, 1:6, 2:4)
Greece had ups and downs, like in the group matches against Serbia and Croatia. This time, they were able to maintain their excellent performance for a significant period, resulting in a convincing victory. They began the game strongly, quickly establishing a 5:1 lead.
Although the Spaniards mounted a comeback and came within one point (4:5) early in the third quarter, the Greeks, led by Angelopoulos (who scored 5 goals), responded with an impressive 7:0 run for a safe 12:4 advantage and secured their spot in the semifinals.
Croatia – Hungary 7:8 (0:2, 2:1, 3:2, 2:3)
Croatia dominated Group B, while Hungary won no points in Group A. However, today’s game proved that 1st place in the group in this competition formula isn’t a big advantage.
Hungary kept the momentum gained in yesterday’s convincing win over the Netherlands and opened the match with a 3:0 lead. Still, Croatia’s response was a 4:0 run. Midway through the third period, the Croats went in front – 4:3 and had 5:4 lead shortly after. Croatia’s goalkeeper Batos made it 5:4. He noticed that his Hungarian colleague was 6-7 meters from the goal and scored from almost a 20-meter distance.
However, Hungary regained an advantage in the fourth quarter (6:5). The Croats leveled at 6:6. Hungary went to 8:6 with two quick goals in the middle of the quarter. Croatia just cut the deficit to one in the dying seconds.
Montenegro – Turkey 17:3 (4:1, 2:1, 5:1, 6:0)
Everything but Montenegro’s convincing victory in the last game of the day would be a surprise. The hosts opened the match as expected – with a 4:0 lead.
The Montenegrins slowed after that and Turkey halved the difference (2:4). At the finish of the first half, Montenegro took control again. The home side scored five straight goals for 9:2. The Turks’ third goal came in the 23rd minute. In the remaining nine minutes, Montenegro scored eight and cruised to the semifinals.
9th – 12th place classification, semifinals
Germany – Netherlands 4:3 (2:0, 0:2, 1:1, 1:0)
Malta – Romania 11:9 (2:2, 3:4, 2:1, 4:2)
The game Germany – Netherlands produced only seven goals. Such a low-scoring encounter isn’t usual, but it should be considered that these 15-year-old boys played several demanding matches in the previous days, so tiredness came to the fore. Germany beat the Dutch despite their very poor percentage of extra player attacks – 1/13 (the Dutch didn’t convert any of their four man-ups). The Germans scored a winner five minutes before the end.
Romania opened the match against Malta quite well, but the teams were mostly in a neck-and-neck race. Before the final quarter, the score was 7:7. The Maltese earned a slim lead twice in the fourth period (8:7 and 9:8). The Romanians leveled on both occasions. However, Malta secured an 11:9 win with two unanswered goals in the last 99 seconds.
13th – 16th place classification, semifinals
Poland – Georgia 6:10 (3:1,0:4, 3:3, 0:2)
Israel – Moldova 14:10 (3:1, 6:4, 2:2, 3:3)
Georgia took revenge for a 6:10 loss to Poland in the crossover matches and will battlle for 13th place against Israel, which defeated Moldova for the second time in three days.
Day 8 (July 15)
For 23th place: Lithuania – Ireland (09:00)
For 21st place: Slovenia – Czech Republic (10:30)
For 19th place: Switzerland – Ukraine (12:00)
For 17th place: France – Bulgaria (13:30)
5th-8th place classification, semifinals: Turkey – Spain (16:00), Italy – Croatia (17:30)
SEMIFINALS: Serbia – Hungary (19:00), Montenegro – Greece (20:30).