The final tournament of the European Qualifiers for the Women’s World League Super Final has started in the Tuske Swimming Pool in Budapest today.
The tournament was opened by a thrilling encounter between the Netherlands and the Greeks. The Greeks prevailed and recorded a 16:15 victory.
Spain cemented 2nd place in the group (behind Hungary), after downing Russia (17:9).
Netherlands – Greece 15:16 (4:4, 3:5, 5:3, 3:4)
Netherlands: Keuning 3, Sleeking 3, Ten Broek 2, Wolves 2, Van de Karaats 2, Koolhaas 1, Van der Sloot 1, Stomphorst 1, Koolhaas 1
Greece: eleftheriadou 4, Xenaki 3, Ninou 3, E.Plevritou 2, Tsoukala 2, V.Plevritou 1, M. Plevritou 1.
Russia – Spain 9:17 (3:4, 3:5,2:2,1:6)
Russia: Prokofyeva 2, Karimova 2, Ivanova 2, Bersneva 1, Popova 1, Glyzina 1.
Spain: Ruiz 5, Ortiz 4, Ruiz 2, Gonzalez 2, Leiton 2, Forca 1, Garcia 1.
Hungary – Italy 5:0 (technical score)
The Greeks took revenge for a 4:7 defeat to the Netherlands at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Trieste. Of course, the game in Trieste was much more important than today’s duel. The Olympic berth was a stake in Trieste. However, Greece celebrated a sweet victory, mainly because of the way they earned the points.
The Netherlands got off to a better start and took a 6:4 lead early in the second quarter. The Greeks responded with a 5:0 series and built a 9:6 advantage.
Still, the Dutch got back in front (11:10) deep into the third quarter. From that point on, the match was an exchange of goals. The Netherlands were going ahead, while the Greeks leveled the score five times – until 15:15.
The Greeks scored their 15th goal 52 seconds before the end. After that, the Dutch missed a chance. Greece’s coach Lorantis called a time-out 28 seconds before the final buzzer. The Greeks prepared a 7 on 6 attack – the goalkeeper went in front of the Dutch goal. The tactics gave the results. Two seconds from time, Eirini Ninou found the net for 16:15. The Netherlands had the last shot, but it was blocked.
The Greeks finished the qualifications. They won nine points and secured at least fourth place. The Netherlands will face two demanding challenges in the remaining two days – against Russia and Spain.
Spain led for most of the match against Russia, but the silver medalists from the 2020 European Championships and 2019 World Championships didn’t secure the comfortable win before the final quarter.
After just 37 seconds of play, Russia had a 2:0 lead. Spain took control shortly after that and entered the second period with a 4:3 lead. Elvina Karimova opened the second quarter with a goal from a counter-attack to equalize (4:4). However, the Spaniards responded with three in a row and jumped to a 7:4 lead. The runners-up at the 2020 European Championships and 2019 World Championships maintained a 3-goal difference until the middle break (9:6).
The Russians couldn’t come back. Spain had a 4-goal lead midway through the third quarter (11:7). The Russians managed to reduce the gap, and they trailed 9:11 in the 26th minute. Still, the Spaniards knocked down their opponent with a 6:0 rush in the last six minutes.
1 Hungary 6 – 16
2 Spain 5 – 14
3 Greece 6 – 9
4 Italy 6 – 7
5 Russia 4 – 6
6 Netherlands 4 – 5
7 France 6 – 0
(Italy and France withdrew from the tournament. Each of the matches that France and Italy were supposed to play in Budapest gave a 5:0 win to their opponents. These results are included in the standings)
Friday, March 25 (Day 6)
18:30 Netherlands – Spain
Greece – Italy 5:0 (technical score)
Hungary – France 5:0 (technical score)
Saturday, March 27 (Day 7)
18:00 Netherlands – Russia
Italy – Spain 0:5 (technical score)
Greece – France 5:0 (technical score)