Montenegro and Croatia are the big winners of Day 3 of the Men’s European U15 Championships in Podgorica.
Both teams achieved significant wins today. Croatia secured 1st place in Group B of Division 1, with a 15:13 victory over Greece.
Montenegro remained the only unbeaten side in Group A after it defeated Italy 11:9.
In other matches in Division 1, Spain bettered Hungary 9:7 and entered the chase for 1st place in Group A, while Serbia didn’t concede a single goal in beating Turkey 20:0.
Germany became the second team that advanced to the playoffs from Division 1 as it confirmed the top spot in Group E. The competition in Group D is open before tomorrow’s last round.
2023 Men’s European U15 Championships, Podgorica, Day 3
Spain – Hungary 9:7 (4:2, 2:1, 1:3, 2:1)
Italy – Montenegro 9:11 (2:5, 4:2, 1:2, 2:2)
The third round in Group A will be very interesting. Montenegro is the only unbeaten, but Spain has the right to hope for first place in this balanced group.
Spain was almost always in front in the game against Hungary. The Hungarians leveled the score just once (1:1). In the second quarter, Spain went to “+3” (5:2 and 6:3). Still, the Hungarians didn’t surrender. Late into the third period, they came very close to the rival (6:7). Still, Spain controlled the game for a 9:7 victory.
Spain, which suffered an 8:9 loss to Italy on Day 1, will finish first if it beats Montenegro tomorrow, regardless of the result of the game Italy-Hungary.
But, beating the hosts will be a very demanding task. Montenegro, which has had great support from the stands from the beginning of the tournament, got off to a good start in the match against Italy, earning an early 2:0 lead. By the end of the first period, the home side stretched the margin to three (5:2). Still, Italy came back and leveled at 7:7 in its first possession in the second half. The Montenegrins replied with two goals (9:7) and kept a 2-goal distance in the fourth period.
Standings: 1. Montenegro 6, 2. Italy 3, 3. Spain 3, 4. Hungary 0.
Head to head: Italy – Spain 9:8
GROUP B, Round 3
Serbia – Turkey 20:0 (5:0, 4:0, 5:0, 6:0)
Croatia – Greece 15:12 (5:0, 3:6, 4:2, 3:4)
Serbia kept a clean sheet. It demolished Turkey, but a 20:0 victory isn’t a big consolation after yesterday’s 3:8 loss to Croatia. Besides, since Croatia earned three points in the next match in the group, Serbia lost a slim chance to finish 1st here.
Croatia stunned the Greeks in the first quarter, scoring five goals between the 3rd and the 7th minute. After Croatia’s explosive 5:0 start, Greece started recovering quickly and reduced the gap to one midway through the second period (4:5, 5:6) and once more at the finish of the first half (6:7). Croatia entered the third period with a 8:6 advantage, but the Greeks didn’t say their last word yet. In the 21st minute, they caught up with the rival (8:8). But, then came crucial moments. The Croats scored four goals in the last 155 seconds of the third period, jumped to 12:8 and didn’t let Greece endanger its lead again.
Croatia will have easy training against Turkey tomorrow, while Serbia and Greece will play for 2nd place. Both teams have three points and an identical goal difference of +15, but Greece scored more goals.
Standings: 1. Croatia 6, 2. Greece 3 (+15), 3. Serbia 3 (+15), 4. Turkey 0.
Day 4 (July 11)
Group A: Hungary – Italy (19:40), Spain – Montenegro (21:00)
Group B: Croatia – Turkey (17:00), Serbia – Greece (18:20)
A day off
Standings: 1.Malta 6, 2. Moldova 3, 3. Bulgaria 3, 4. Lithuania 0.
GROUP D, Round 3
Israel – France 12:6 (4:3, 2:2, 3:1, 3:0)
Ireland – Netherlands 4:35 (0:10, 2:7, 0:8, 2:10)
Bosnia and Herzegovina bye
France – Ireland 30:0 (6:0, 11:0, 8:0, 5:0)
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Israel 6:19 (1:4, 1:5, 2:7, 2:3)
Standings: 1. Netherlands 9 (3 games), 2. Israel 9 (4), 3. France 6 (3), 4. Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 (3), 5. Ireland 0 (3)
GROUP E, round 3
Georgia – Germany 1:18 (1:6, 0:2, 0:5, 0:5)
Switzerland – Ukraine 9:16 (3:5, 1:3, 3:2, 2:6)
Final standings: 1. Germany 9, 2. Georgia 6, 3. Ukraine 3, 4. Switzerland.
A day off
Standings: 1. Romania 6, 2. Poland 3, 3. Slovenia 3, 4. Czech Republic 0.
After Malta, which secured 1st place in Group C yesterday, Germany became the second-qualified team for the playoffs from Division 2. The match between Georgia and Germany, two unbeaten sides before today’s program, decided the top spot in Group E. However, Germany quickly killed all the Georgians’ hopes and cruised to the win.
As for Group D, everything is still open. Three teams have realistic or only mathematical chances to qualify for the playoffs.
The Netherlands kept 1st place with two convincing wins over underdogs, but it still hasn’t pocketed the playoffs ticket. Tomorrow, the Dutch will play against France. These two teams and Israel can finish 1st.
Israel did a great job in the opening match of the day, beating France 12:6. After that, it concluded its group play with a convincing victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
srael will wait for the outcome of the duel France – the Netherlands and support the French. Israel lost to the Netherlands by three goals (8:11) So, if France beat the Netherlands with a nine-goal difference or less, Israel will jump to 1st place. However, such a big victory by France isn’t very likely. The Dutch have everything in their hands, but they have to win at least a point to go through.
Day 4 (July 11)
Group C, 3rd round: Malta – Lithuania (11:40), Moldova – Bulgaria (13:00)
Group D, 5th round: Ireland – Bosnia and Herzegovina (14:20), France – Netherlands (15:40).
Group E: Day off.
Group F, 3rd round: Poland – Czech Republic (09:00), Romania – Slovenia (10:20).