Montenegro, Croatia, Hungary and Russia through to the Super Final
Europe’s best teams played last night on Tuesday April 10 their sixth and final round of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League preliminaries, the mandatory phase to secure a berth to join teams from America, Asia and Oceania for the Super Final.
Group A’s Montenegro beat Romania 12-4 (1-1, 3-2, 4-1, 4-0) in Izvorani (ROU). Montenegro took then the lead of group A, securing the pass to the Super Final and preventing Olympic champions and World League leaders for the last decade Serbia to qualify.
In Slavonski Brod (CRO), group B’s Croatia proved too strong for the Germans by winning 14-8 despite Germany coming back towards the second half of the game (4-0, 2-1, 4-4, 4-3). World champions Croatia naturally access to the Super Final with 12 points and four wins.
Spain and Hungary tied 10-10 (3-1, 1-3, 3-3, 3-3) in Pamplona (ESP) but Spain ended up claiming the victory 15-13 after penalty shoot-out. World silver medallists Hungary however is the best of group C with 9 points.
Final ranking of the European prelims:
Group A: 1. MNE 9pts (3W, 1L); 2. SRB 9pts (3W, 1L); 3. ROU 0pt (4L)
Group B: 1. CRO 12pts (4W); 2. RUS 5pts (2W, 2L); 3. GER 1pt (4L)
Group C: 1. HUN 9pts (3W); 2. ESP 6pts (2W, 1L); NED 0pt (4L)
After six rounds played from November 2017 until April 2018, the three best teams of the preliminaries, Montenegro, Croatia and Hungary, as well as the hosts Russia have qualified for the World League Super Final to be held in Russia (city tbc) from June 18-23, 2018.
USA, Australia, Japan, and Kazakhstan are the four teams that qualified for the Super Final following the FINA Water Polo Inter-Continental Cup in Auckland (NZL) last week.