Three of the four semifinalists recorded convincing wins in the quarterfinals today. The Netherlands downed Slovakia 10:5, Italy ran over France 20:5, while Spain blew away Serbia 18:6.
The last quarterfinal match offered a lot of thrills. Russia edged out host Greece 14:13.
Semifinals (7 September)
Spain – Netherlands
Italy – Russia
Classification 5-8, semifinals (7 September): Slovakia – Serbia, France – Greece.
Women’s European U17 Championships, Day 5
France – Italy 5:20 (0:9, 2:4, 2:3, 1:4)
The great disparity in quality between France and Italy was obvious from the beginning. Already in the 9th minute, the Italians had a double-digit advantage (10:0) and cruised to a win.
Serbia – Spain 6:18 (2:3, 0:7, 3:3, 1:5)
Spain earned a 3:0 lead by the middle of the first period. Serbia managed to reduce the deficit (2:3) with two and a half minutes to play in the first period. The Spaniards ruled the field in the second period and continued its dominance after the middle break. Early in the fourth, Spain jumped to a 12:2 advantage and never looked back.
Slovakia – Netherlands 5:10 (4:4, 1:3, 0:1, 0:2)
The Slovaks, encouraged by a surprising victory over Hungary in the crossover round, took a flying start. Slovakia was three goals ahead of the Netherlands after less than five minutes of play – 4:1. The Dutch caught the rival by the end of the first period (4:4). Slovakia water polo players earned a new lead in the 9th minute (5:4), but that was their last goal in the game. The Dutch played superbly in defence and achieved a nice 10:5 victory.
Russia – Greece 14:13 (5:3, 5:2, 3:5, 1:3)
Russia dominated the first half of the match. Deep into the second period, the Russians and earned a 5-goal lead (8:3). They maintained the advantage until halftime (10:5). After a 3-minute break, the Greeks, boosted by their supporters from the packed stands, started climbing back
The hosts were coming closer and closer to Russia step-by-step. At the beginning of the last period, Greece trailed 11:13. Russia quickly responded with a goal for 14:11. The Greeks reduced the gap to 1 (13:14) a minute and 26 seconds from the end. Both sides had their chances in the last 86 seconds, but there were no goals and Russia kept the slim advantage.
Russia is the only semifinalist which didn’t win the 1st place in the Group Stage. Russia finished 2nd in Group C, behind Spain.
Classification 9-12, semifinals
Great Britain – Hungary 3:12 (0:5, 0:2, 1:3, 2:2)
Germany – Israel 8:16 (1:4, 1:5, 4:5, 2:2)
Hungary and Israel will battle for the 9th place tomorrow, 6 September.