Two reigning champions – Italy and Serbia – will play in the 5th-place game at the 34th European Championships for men.
Italy, the world champion, defeated Russia 14:12, in today’s semifinals for the 5th-8th place classification, while current Olympic and outgoing European champion Serbia beat Greece 12:9.
Germany finished in 9th place. After being four goals down, Germany came back in the last quarter to beat Georgia 10:9 in the game for 9th place. Romania stormed past Turkey in the 11th-place game.
The men’s tournament, Day 6, morning/afternoon session
Semifinals 5th – 8th place: Italy – Russia 14:12, Serbia – Greece 12:9.
For 9th place: Georgia – Germany 8:9.
For 11th place: Turkey – Romania 3:20.
Italy: Aicardi 3, Di FUlvio 2, Figlioli 2, Velotto 2, Renzuto Iodice 2, Figari 2, Echenique 1.
Russia: Kharkov 3, Bychkov 3, Lisunov 2, Shepelev 1, Suckhov 1, Dereviankin 1, Nagaev 1.
All the match’s and the players’ statistics: ITA-RUS
As expected, the world champions defeated Russia and secured the match for the 5th place. The difference between the sides was just two goals in the end. Still, Italy’s win wasn’t in big danger, although Russia played well and was coming back from time to time. The Italians controlled the match and they scored every time when it was necessary to earn a safe advantage and stop Russia’s “invasions”.
Already in the middle of the first quarter, Italy had a 3-goal lead (4:1). Russia caught the world champions midway through the third period – 6:6. But, quickly after that, Italy went 8:6 up, while it built a four-goal lead early in the fourth period (11:7). Italy maintained a 4-goal gap until the end of this quarter (12:8). After the last break, Russia started coming back step-by-step and came very close two minutes before the end, when Kharkov hit the back of the net for 12:13. But, in Italy’s next possession, Velotto converted a man-up to a 14:12 advantage and Italy avoided a thrilling ending.
Serbia: Dedovic 3, Mandic 2, Vico 2, Filipovic 2, Mitrovic 2, Prlainovic 1.
Greece: Vlachopoulos 3, Kolovos 2, Genidounias 1, Fountoulis 1, Papanastasiou 1, Argyropoulos 1
All the match’s and the players’ statistics: SRB-GRE
Serbia had only 12 players in the team today. An experienced center-forward Dusko Pijetlovic missed the game because he got ill, even before the match against Spain. He played in the quarterfinals, but he was exhausted after that game, and he had to rest and recover. So, Serbia’s coach Savic had to change tactics due to Pijetlovic’s absence.
The Serbs started pretty well and opened the match with a 3:1 lead. Greece responded with three consecutive goals and went ahead (4:3) in the second minute of the second period. Deep into this period, the Serbs earned a new lead (5:4). The Greeks managed to level the score once more, but Dusan Mandic converted a man-up 47 seconds before the middle break and Serbia had a 6:5 advantage at halftime. Stefan Mitrovic opened the third period with a goal from a penalty shot for 7:5. The outgoing champion built a three-goal lead in this period (9:6) and entered the last period with a 10:7 advantage.
There were no goals for a while in the final quarter. Nemanja Vico, Serbia’s center, broke the deadlock for 11:7 two and a half minutes before the final buzzer and Greece couldn’t come back.
Georgia: Vapenski 2, Tsrepulja 1, Imnaishvili 1, Bitadze 1, Bagaturia 1, Rurua 1, Magrakvelidze 1.
Germany: Restovic 3, Stamm 2, Reibel 1, Juengling 1, Gielen 1, Eidner 1.
All the match’s and the players’ statistics: GEO-GER
Germany ended the tournament in 9th place, as well as in Barcelona 2018, despite it was trailing for most of today’s match.
After 2:2, Georgia took control and scored three straight goals for 5:2. Early in the third quarter, the Germans reduced the gap to 3:5, but Georgia responded with two goals from an extra and jumped to a 7:3 lead in the 21st minute. Then Germans started climbing back, and they equalized 7:7, in the 26th minute. But, Bitadze replied immediately and put Georgia ahead – 8:7. The Germans again leveled the score – 8:8 in the 29th minute, while Restovic scored his third goal in the match to give Germany the advantage – 9:8, with 02:34 remaining on the clock. This was the Germans’ second lead in the game (after the opening 1:0). The Georgians battled to level the score, but they didn’t manage to do that. Their last chance was Magrakvelidze’s shot 35 seconds from the end. But, Schenkel saved the Germans’ net.
Georgia, which took 13th place in Barcelona, missed an opportunity to repeat its best achievement at the Europeans (9th place in Belgrade 2016).
Turkey: Acar 1, Biyik 1, Ozbek 1.
Romania: Fulea 5, Prioteasa 4, Radu 3, Negrean 3, Oanta 2, Antipa 1, Gergelyfi 1, Vancsik 1.
All the match’s and the players’ statistics: TUR-ROM
Romania, led by Tudor Fulea, blew away Turkey. The Romanians earned an early 4:0 before the Turks scored their first goal. Then Romania produced 10:0 series for a big 14:1 lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter and secured the victory.
Romania “copied” the previous Championships, when it also took 11th place. Turkey took a few steps further comparing to Barcelona. Two years ago they finished 15th.
Spain – Croatia (17.30 – CET) – follow the live score and statistics
Hungary – Montenegro (19.00 CET) – follow the live score and statistics
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