domenica 31 agosto 2014

Tbilisi, Georgia 24-31 August 2014:Serbia edges Hungary for European junior gold

© Richard Schönebeck
The Serbian juniors have completed an incredibly successful summer for Serbia's men's water polo by claiming the 19 & under European Junior championships after beating Hungary 7-6 in Sunday's gold medal final. Yet anoter victory for the Serbs in a final against Serbia after the senior team had triumphed over the Hungarians in this year's World League Super Final, European Championships and FINA World Cup. The past week coach Vladimir Vujasinovic and his men emerged as title favorites and with Hungary also reaching the final this year's world's powerhouses were ready to battle for a major honour once again. Serbia came out firing and quickly established a 3-1 lead which was consolidated in the second period as they enjoyed a seemingly comfortable 4-2 lead at half-time. Hungary however looked to turned things around in a strong third-quarter performance. The two-goal deficit was quickly erased as three straight Hungarian goals got the side leading. But the Serbian side did not panic and saw their patience being rewarded in the important final period. In the final minutes their defence was the key to keep Hungary under pressure, mainly in their man-up situations as multiple efforts proved not enough and the final consolation goal came too late as Serbia played out the final 15 seconds before celebrations on an incredible week and summer started in Tbilisi's Olympic pool.

Croatia took the bronze medal as they defeated Italy 8-4 on Sunday while Greece finished 5th thanks to a 12-8 victory over Montenegro. The final day of action started with Spain taking 7th place as they held off Netherlands 7-6.

2014 European Men's Junior Championships
19 & under

Tbilisi, Georgia

24-31 August

Schedule and results

Saturday, 30 August

Slovakia vs. Georgia 8-7 - (15th/16th place)
Ukraine vs. Germany 8-12 - (13th/14th place)
France vs. Turkey 8-7 - (11th/12th place)
Romania vs. Russia 7-11 - (9th/10th place)

Sunday, 31 August - final day

Spain vs. Netherlands 7-6 - (7th/8th place)

Greece vs. Montenegro 12-8 - (5th/6th place)

Croatia vs. Italy 8-4 - (3rd/4th place)

Serbia vs. Hungary 7-6 (3-1, 1-1, 1-3, 2-1) - (1st/2nd place)

Player awards

Best goalkeeper
Milan Vitorovic (SRB)

Best defender
Tamas Sedlmayer (HUN)

Best centre-forward
Roger Tahull (ESP)

Highest goal-scorer
Vicenzo Dolce (ITA)

Extensive daily photos series available here.
The final classification

1. Serbia
2. Hungary
3. Croatia
4. Italy
5. Greece
6. Montenegro
7. Spain
8. Netherlands
9. Russia
10. Romania
11. France
12. Turkey
13. Germany
14. Ukraine
15. Slovakia
16. Georgia.

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