PR15 - Preliminaries continue with wins for Spain, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro
The second round of preliminary games within the European men's FINA Water Polo World League took place in four countries on February 17.
In Group 1 (composed of Serbia, Greece, France) Greece defeated France with a score of 16-6 (4-2, 3-3, 4-1, 5-0). Scorers on the Greek side were Doskas(4), Afroudakis(3), Doulos(2), Foudoulis(2), Theodoropoulos(2), Mylonakis(1), Delakas(1) and Chatzikyriakakis(1). Scoring for France were Bodegas(2), Audon(2), Marzouki(1) and Jablonski(1). The game took place in Athens (GRE).
In Group 2 (Montenegro, Italy, Romania) Montenegro beat Romania 13-7 (3-2, 4-2, 3-1, 3-2). Scoring for Montenegro were Brguljan(1), Vukcevic(2), Janovic(1), Ticic(2), Janovic(2), Ivovic(2), Zlokovic(1) and Gojkovic(2). Scoring for the Romanian side was Busila(2), Matei(1), Edward(3) and Kadar(1). The game was held in Kotor (MNE).
From Group 3 (Spain, Croatia, Russia, Germany) the winners were the 2007 Melbourne World Champion team of Croatia over Germany with a score of 13-7 (3-1, 2-3, 5-1, 3-2). Croatian scorers were Boskovic(4), Dobud(1), Jokovic(1), Buslje(1), Sukno(4), Obradovic(2), and scoring for Germany was Naroska(1), Savic(3), Politze(2) and Oeler(1). The match took place in Sibenik (CRO).
In the other Group 3 game, Spain defeated Russia 14-13 (2-3, 4-1, 2-1, 0-3 // Penalties: 6-5). Scoring for Spain was Mallarach(1), Molina(1), Gallego(1), Perrone(1) and Garcia(4). On the Russian side, goals came from Ryzhov-Alenichev(2), Zheltovskiy(1), Finaev(1), Stepanyuk(2) and Vishnyakov(2). This game was played in the city of Madrid (ESP).
After two rounds of play, Greece and Serbia lead Group 1 with 3 points apiece, while Italy and Montenegro are tied for first in Group 2, also with 3 points apiece. Croatia leads Group 3 with 6 points after 2 wins, followed by Spain in second with 5 points.
The next World League game amongst the European teams will be held on March 3, 2009 between Italy and Montenegro at Trieste (ITA), before the three following match-ups on March 10, 2009: Greece vs. Serbia (Athens), Croatia vs. Spain (Dubrovnik) and Russia vs. Germany (Moscow).
The League commences earlier in Europe this year because the preliminary round is a series of six individual home-or-away matches scheduled over five months, as opposed to the tournament format of previous years. Four teams from Europe will advance to the Super Final, which will be held in Podgorica (MNE) from June 16-21. The host team of Montenegro automatically advances.