Slovakian champion KVP Nováky crowned the season with the gold medal in the Nordic League.
The Nordic League Final Eight was held this weekend in Lodz (Poland). Nováky beat Lithuanian Žaibas Elektrenai 16:13 in the final and clinched the title.
Nováky, which arrived at the Final Eight as the winner of Group A in the preliminary title, won the gold, recording six wins in as many games (three in the group stage and three at the F8). The Slovaks were one of the favorites and proved their quality.
The bronze medal went to Finland. Turun Uimarit defeated Järfälla Vattenpolo(Sweden) 11:8 in the third-place game.
Final standings: 1. KVP Nováky(Slovakia), 2. VK Žaibas Elektrenai (Lithuania), 3. Turun Uimarit (Finland), 4. Järfälla Vattenpolo (Sweden), 5. Kometa Brno vodni polo (Czech Republic), 6.KVIK Kastrup (Denmark), 7.ŁSTW OCMER Łódź (Poland), 8. SPIF Vattenpolo Stockholm (Sweden).
Already after the first competition day, it was clear that the Nordic League would get a new champion. Host ŁSTW OCMER, the winner in the previous season, didn’t pass its hurdle in the quarterfinals. The Poles lost to Järfälla Vattenpolo (Sweden) in a very exciting match. LSTW had a 4-goal lead at halftime (8:4), but the second half of the game belonged to the Swedish team, which equalized – 12:12, so the battle continued in a penalty shootout. After 11 rounds of shots, Järfälla celebrated a 21:20 victory.
Novaky secured its spot in the semifinals with an 11:8 victory over SPIF Stockholm (Sweden).
Turun Ulmarit Turku (Finland) beat Danish KVIK Kastrup 11:6, while Žaibas Elektranai (Lithuania) defeated Kometa Brno (Czech Republic) with ease – 16:5.
The semifinal matches didn’t offer too much excitement. Nováky defeated Turun by seven goals (14:7). Zaibas beat Jarfalla 14:9.
KVIK and Kometa advanced to the 5th-place match with comfortable victories over SPIF and LSTW OCMER respectively.
1st – 4th place
5th – 8th place
Žaibas opened the final game very well. The Lithuanians earned an early 3:0 and 4:1 lead. But, Nováky, led by a former member of the national team of Slovakia, Juraj Zatovič, responded with a 6:0 series of goals and went to 7:4. Midway through the third quarter, the Slovaks earned a 6-goal lead (14:8) and held back all Žaibas’ comeback attempts. (16:13).
The bronze-medal match had a similar scenario. The middle two quarters were crucial for the outcome. Jarfalla started better, it had a 3:1 lead at the first break. However, Turin took control and built an 8:5 lead before the last break. The Finish team kept the distance until the end (11:8). The man of the match was Alberto Espanol, the silver medalist at the 2009 World Championships with Spain and the Champions League winner with Barceloneta in 2014. The Spaniard scored four goals.
Kometa Brno blew KVIK Kastrup away in the fifth-place game – 20:5. Host and outgoing champion LSTW OCMER finished the tournament with a 15:13 victory over SPIF to win 7th place.
Bronze medal match
For all scores and statistics visit the Nordic League tournament page, powered by Total Waterpolo Arena.