giovedì 22 gennaio 2015

WL: Reigning champs grab control

The first two results of day 4 of action in Europe's men's World League preliminary round saw reigning champions Serbia now being sole leaders of group B after defeating Russia 8-17 in convincing fashion in Russia on Tuesday. 2014 World Player of the Year Filip Filipovic (pictured) led the way for the Serbs scoring 5 goals as his team quickly grabbed control and held the initiative for 3 quarters until the outcome was decided in their favour. Stefan Mitrovic and youngsters Nikola Jaksic, Dusan Mandic and Gavril Subotic each added 2 goals for the winners. Lefthander Ivan Nagaev topped the scorers list for the Russians netting 3 shots. Meanwhile in group C Montenegro could not be endangered by Turkey and recorded their first win in a 15-4 display. The visiting Turks were held scoreless the entire first half as Darko Brguljan and Uros Cuckovic, with 4 each, led their team to the blowout win. In group A Romania and Slovakia drew level in Bucharest 9-9. The penalty shoot-out was won by the home team to emerge victorous with a 14-13 final score. In group B Spain survived a late Germany surge to win 11-12 in the city of Bremen gaining the first points of this year's prelims.

The top match-up in group A saw last year's finalists Hungary surviving a scoring festival in Athens where Greece came close but in the end fell just short: 13-15. Leftie Marton Vamos led the way for the Magyars scoring 4 goals, while fellow lefthander Norbert Madaras and Norbert Hosnyanszky added 3 each for the winners. Ioannis Fountoulis once again led the Greek scorers, this time with 4. In group C Croatia gained a big win as they held off Italy in front of a packed pool in Turin. Thanks to a critical goal by Maro Jokovic in 4th quarter, the Croats took a 8-6 advantage that proved just enough, after Italy's lefthander Valentino Gallo brought the game back to single-goal differences converting a penalty. In the remaining minutes however the home team could not force a draw and penalty shoot-out as Croatia stays unbeaten comfortably leading the group and look well underway to the Bergamo Super Final. Veteran Damir Buric and Sandro Sukno top scored the Croatian team with 3 each. Gallo was the only Italian player to score more than once (2).

FINA Men's World League 2014-2015
Europe preliminary round

Day 4 - Wednesday, 20 January

Greece vs. Hungary 13-15 (5-4, 3-5, 3-3, 2-3) - in Athens, Greece

Romania vs. Slovakia 14-13 (9-9 after regulation) - in Bucharest, Romania

Russia vs. Serbia 8-17 (2-4,1-4,2-5,3-4)
 - in Astrakhan City, Russia

Germany vs. Spain 11-12 (2-3,3-5,1-2,5-2
 -  in Bremen, Germany

Montenegro vs. Turkey 15-4 (4-0, 3-0, 3-1, 5-3) 
- in Budva, Montenegro

Italy vs. Croatia 7-8 (2-3, 2-2, 1-2, 2-1) - in Turin, Italy

The current standings are as follows:

Group A

1. Hungary 3 - 9 pts
2. Greece 3 - 6
3. Romania 3 - 2
4. Slovakia 3 - 1

Group B

1. Serbia 3 - 9 pts
2. Russia 3 - 6
3. Spain 3 - 3
4. Germany 3 - 0

Group C

1. Croatia 4 - 12 pts
2. Italy 3 - 5
3. Montenegro 3 - 4
4. Turkey 2 - 0
5. France 2 - 0

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