FINA WOMEN’S WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE 2018
The fifth round of the European preliminaries of the 2018 FINA Women’s Water Polo World League, held on March 27, provided two excited games in Rotterdam (NED) and Pontevedra (ESP). In the Netherlands, the local team was tangentially beaten by Russia (12-13), while in Spain, the Iberian side needed the penalty shootout to overcome Hungary by 15-13.
Despite the difficult match, the Spaniards now lead the European group with 11 points, and have ensured their presence in the Super Final of the competition, taking place from May 28 to June 2 in China. In Pontevedra, Spain didn’t start well, losing the first period by 1-3. The Magyars couldn’t perform so well in the second quarter and the locals managed to reverse the situation with a clear 6-1.
In the third and fourth period, the visitors were once again better (3-1 and 5-4, respectively), tying the game at 12-12 at the end of the regular time. In the penalty shootout, the Spaniards were calmer and scored 3-1, for a final outcome of 15-13. Despite the loss, Hungary is second of the group, with seven points.
In Rotterdam, the local side lost the two first periods (0-2 and 3-4, respectively) and this weak start was decisive for the final result of the match. In fact, the Dutch recovered in the second half of the game (5-4 in the third, and 4-3 in the fourth period), but this improvement was not enough to avoid the defeat against a motivated Russian team. As the first three ranked teams of the group qualify for the Super Final, this win was particularly important for Russia, precisely in third before round 6.
The last two games of this group will oppose, on May 1, Russia and Hungary, and Spain-Netherlands.
European rankings (after round 5):
1. ESP, 11 pts (4 wins, 1 loss); 2. HUN, 7 pts (2W, 3L); 3. RUS, 6 pts (2W, 3 L); 4. NED, 6 pts (2W, 3L)
The Inter-Continental Cup of the competition will take place in Auckland (NZL), from April 3-8 and includes eight teams from Americas, Asia and Oceania.