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LEN Women’s European Junior Championships: Spain and Russia Battle for Gold

Photo: Nikolas Simaiakis

Spain and Russia will play for the gold medal at the Women’s European U17 Championships in Volos.

The semifinal matches were played today. Both matches were decided by two goals. Spain defeated the Netherlands 8:6, while Russia advanced to the final with a 14:12 victory over Italy.

Russia and Spain have already faced off at the Championships in Volos. Spain convincingly defeated Russia 15:8 in the Group Stage.

In the semifinals for the 5-8 classification, Serbia defeated Slovakia (15:13), while Greece blew away France (9:2). By advancing to the 5th-place game, Serbia and Greece qualified for the World Junior Championships, which will be held in Israel next year, along with four semifinalists. Israel is, as a host, automatically qualified.

Sunday, 8 September

Final game
Spain – Russia
Bronze medal match
Netherlands – Italy
Classification 5 – 6
Greece – Serbia
Classification 7 – 8
France – Slovakia

Women’s European U17 Championships, Day 7


Spain – Netherlands 8:6 (1:0, 3:2, 2:3, 2:1)

Spain led for most of the time. Early in the third period, the Spaniards jumped to a 5:2 lead. The Dutch were able to come back. The Netherlands equalised at 6:6 in the 28th minute. Spain netted two quick goals to earn an 8:6 advantage with 01:54 to go. They kept the advantage.

Italy – Russia 12:14 (3:3, 2:3, 4:3, 3:5)

The second semifinal match offered a lot of thrills. The winner was decided in the fourth quarter.

The first quarter saw Italy taking a flying start and a 3:1 lead. The Russians came back. Russia earned a 6:4 advantage deep into the second quarter. A hard-fought battle was continued in the third quarter and the sides were tied at 9:9 before the final eight minutes.

Italy gained a lead twice (10:9 and 11:10) in the fourth quarter. After the Italians’ 11th goal, Russia responded with three in a row midway through the 4th quarter to build a 13:11 advantage. Italy’s Sofia Giustini netted her 5th goal for 12:13 with 1 and 43 seconds to play in the match. Her team couldn’t go further. Russia’s Anastasia Panfilova beat the siren and hit the back of the net in the last second to set the final score 14:12.

Twelve goals for Italy were scored by just three players: Dafne Bettini (6), Sofia Gustini (5) and Alissia Iannarelli.

Classification 5th – 8th, semifinals

Serbia – Slovakia 15:13 (3:3, 5:6, 3:1, 4:3)

After a balanced first quarter, Serbia gained a 2-goal lead (5:3) 3:06 minutes into the 2nd period.

Thirty seconds before the middle break Serbia led 8:7, but Slovakia’s Tamara Kolarova netted two goals in the last 16 seconds of this quarter and put her team in front (9:8). Slovakia doubled an advantage in the middle of the third quarter (10:8). Serbia answered with five consecutive goals and gained a 13:10 lead early in the fourth period. That 5:0 series was crucial in Serbia’s 15:13 win, as Slovakia didn’t manage to equalise.

France – Greece 2:9 (0:1, 0:3 ,1:4, 1:1)

Greece and France met for the second time at the championships in Volos. In the group stage, Greece recorded a 15:5 win. Today, the home team dominated again.

Greece had a 5:0 advantage before the French found the net for the first time. After France’s first goal in the match, Greece produced a 4:0 rush for a 9:1 lead. Five minutes before the end, France scored for 2:9. Both sides slowed down in the remaining time, they were saving energy for tomorrow’s challenges.

The match for the 5th place will be the second encounter between Greece and Serbia at the 2019 European Junior Championships. Their matchup in the group phase was ended with Greece’s 17:11 victory.