Spain loses the gold medal in penalties against a historic Serbian side 33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018

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Men’s final – Serbia v Spain 7-7, pen: 5-3

Milos Cuk, player, Serbia:
“It was very difficult. I would like to congratulate my team. Spain played beyond their abilities. We had a bad start then rose and came back at the end of the third quarter. However, we didn’t endure till the end. It was a very demanding physical match. The penalties… we had luck on our side today. I am overjoyed.”

David Martin, head coach, Spain:
“I am very proud of my team. We played against the world’s best team. We have had opportunities to win but didn’t use it. Penalties are always a gamble. My congratulations to Serbia.”

Marc Minguell, player, Spain:
“It was not a good day for us. Once again we lose to Serbia in the penalties in another final. I am so proud of this team and the kind of water polo we played at this Europeans. To us this silver medal has a golden shine.”

LENWP_Barcelona_2018/G.Scala-DBMedia

 

Men’s bronze medal match – Croatia v Italy 10-8

Mile Smodlaka, assistant coach, Croatia
(substituting suspended head coach Ivica Tucak):
“The feeling is extraordinary. This is the fourth time I am stepping in for our head coach but never before in such an important match. It was excellent. There was a lapse in our play at the beginning of the second quarter. We didn’t let that put us off track, we re-organised our game and closed down the match without any problems. With these officiating criteria it’s hard to predict anything. Our goalkeeper was excellent too. Italy never stood a chance.”

Marko Macan, player, Croatia:
“It was a difficult game with odd officiating. We managed to rise after the defeat in the semi-finals. We put our heads together and played a match we should have played in the semi-finals. We didn’t lose our heads not for a minute and took the bronze medal.”

Alessandro Campagna, head coach, Italy:
“It was a difficult game. We didn’t play well. I am sorry because we were playing good water polo throughout the Championships. Today’s performance was not at that level.”

Francesco di Fulvio, player, Italy:
“I would like to congratulate Croatia on the bronze medal. They were excellent today. It was a very physical match. We didn’t know how to use the many extraman we were given because of their tougher defence. I am sorry.”

LENWP_Barcelona_2018/G.Scala-DBMedia

 

Men, for places 5-6th – Montenegro v Greece 6-8

Vladimir Gojkovic, head coach, Montenegro:
“Our heads just weren’t in this game the way they should have been. We had a lot of chances just not enough players in the right mood. That quarter-final match was the key. I can’t take it against them, they played a very good match against Hungary but today just wasn’t our day.”

Drasko Brguljan, captain, Montenegro:
“I would like to congratulate Greece on the victory. They were the better team today. We have a number of injured players. I think we played really well in the quarter-finals but eventually lost. We have no regrets, we showed good performances all the way except today. The weariness did its curse.”

Theodoros Vlachos, head coach, Greece:
“After the defeat in the quarter-finals it was difficult to motivate the team. But it was the last game and we tried to win and be next after the medal games participants. This is not what we have expected. The level of water polo was great. I think the best four teams are in the medal games. The organisation was great with a lot of surprises for the water polo fans.”

Ioannis Fountoulis, captain, Greece:
“Today was hard. We wanted to find a way to motivate ourselves to show that we can play good water polo. We were hoping for a better position, this is not what we wanted. Consequently, we are not satisfied. Sometimes it’s difficult, the level of the games is high and details play a crucial role.”

GRE – Greece Team
MNE-GRE Montenegro (white caps) vs. Greece (blue caps)
Barcelona 28/07/2018 Piscines Bernat Picornell
Men Final 5th – 6th Place
33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships – Barcelona 2018
Photo Pasquale Mesiano/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

 

Men, for places 7-8th – Hungary v Russia 8-9

Tamas Marcz, head coach, Hungary:
“The warm-up was fine but unlike against the Montenegrins we fell behind at the beginning. We lacked the speed, we were slow in organising our attacks and late in defending. The comeback in the fourth was a positive sign but at the end we couldn’t save the match to a penalty shootout once more so it ended up in disappointment again. Before the championships I said, for this team not the final position is the important but how it plays in the matches. Our defence worked well in some matches, held some strong rivals on fewer goals than other team, but our offence was simply disastrous. I looked through the stats and our conversion of scoring chances has been horrendous throughout the entire event. In the future we have to work on this as I can’t see our defence improving significantly.”

Marton Vamos, player, Hungary:
“We committed a handful of stupid mistakes, played without discipline, it was inevitable that we end up losing. We had a series of great games just a month ago in the World League Super Final, where we won silver. What worked then, what kept the team going, was missing almost completely in these two weeks. All of us have to look for the reasons and all of us have to rethink a lot of things but I would not go into details.”

Sergey Evstigneev, head coach, Russia:
“This was the last game of the championships. It was important for us to conclude the Europeans well and with a victory. This is a big success. We won against Hungary, one of the top teams. It is a success to finish the competition in good spirit. I want to thank everyone and see you in two years.”

Daniil Merkulov, player, Russia:
“We started strong, took the lead with 3-4 goals and won the first half. Later on everyone gave their best to finish the championships the right way. It was difficult after the defeat from Italy. Things could have gone the other way. Our extraman was 16/1 and not the way we were supposed to do it. That game set the course for the rest of the event. We could have later on played with Spain which is a good team but not unbeatable. All in all, I am satisfied.”

5 KOPTSEV Ivan RUS, 11 BEDO Krisztian HUN
HUN – RUS
Hungary (white caps) vs Russia (blue caps)
Final 7th-8th Place
Barcelona 28/07/18 Piscines Bernat Picornell
33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships – Barcelona 2018
Photo Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

 

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Fonte Gergely Csurka
LEN Media Manager
Site http://www2.len.eu/

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