Day two of the Women’s European Championship Qualifiers continued today with Greece, Germany and Romania all taking big steps towards qualifying for the main tournament in Split, later this year. Greece thrashed both Turkey and Belgium, while Germany may have expected more of a fight from Slovakia before seeing off Ukraine. Romania beat Slovakia by 9 goals to 8, meaning they could cause what would be a bit of surprise in denying Slovakia a place in the main tournament.
In Group A, Germany were the big winners today, playing two and winning both. Their first game of the competition was against Slovakia, and they won 12-4. Their second game of the day saw the Sven Schultz’s side win 15-6 against Ukraine. The German captain, Gesa Deike, scored 6 over the two games, while her Spandau 04 Berlin teammate, Nadine Hartwig, scored 4. The Germans will feel they have all but have their place booked for Split, especially since Slovakia were probably to be their hardest game in the group. However, Slovakia had a totally different day to the Germans, losing both of their games. The first was the aforementioned Germany game, but the big blow to the Slovakians was dealt at the hands of the home side, Romania, who held out to beat the Slovaks 9-8 courtesy of goals from Briana Maria Mihaila (3) Demi Carpatorea (2) and Anita Johanna Toth (2). It now appears that Romania may well qualify out of the group at Slovakia’s expense, so long as they can beat Ukraine tomorrow evening. Elsewhere in the group, Ukraine were held by the Republic of Ireland to an fiercely contested 8-8 draw, putting both sides on 1 point.
Slovakia 4-12 Germany (2-4, 1-5, 0-2, 1-1)
Ireland 8-8 Ukraine (4-1, 1-1, 0-4, 3-2)
Germany 15-6 Ukraine (3-2, 3-0, 6-3, 3-1)
Slovakia 8-9 Romania (2-1, 0-2, 2-4, 4-2)
In Group B, Greece have definitely secured qualification to the European Championships, as is expected, with a strong victory over nearby rivals, Turkey, and a procession against Belgium, winning 33-2. The game against Belgium was one of the most one sided affairs of water polo you will see; Nefeli Chrysoula Chaldaiou netted 7, Stefa Santa 6, Eleni Elliniadi 5, with 4 goals apiece for Maria Myriokefalitaki and Eleftheria Fountotou.
In the other games today in the group, Switzerland kicked their qualifying campaign off with a win against Belgium, thanks to five goals from the former Canadian international and Lille UC number 9, Jaqueline Kohli, and a hat-trick from Lotti Verhagen, who plays her water polo in the Netherlands for Den Haag. However, the Swiss were perhaps showing some fatigue when they later faced Serbia, to which they lost 17-11. The Serbian captain and Ekipe Orizzonte winger, Jelena Vukovic, led the scoring with five goals. With Serbia running out winners against Switzerland, it will be interesting to see how they fare against Turkey on Sunday evening, for that all important second qualifying spot.
Turkey 7-25 Greece (2-6, 4-4, 1-7, 0-8)
Switzerland 14-7 Belgium (5-0, 1-2, 5-3, 3-2)
Serbia 17-11 Switzerland (5-4, 2-5, 4-0, 6-2)
Greece 33-2 Belgium (10-, 8-2, 7-0, 8-0)