The final games in the 8th and final day of the FINA Olympic Qualification Tournament have defined the ultimate team standings. The order in which the top four teams finished was meant not only to designate the medalists but also in which tier they would be included for the Olympic draw.
Hungary, undoubtedly the strongest team here, claimed gold against Italy while Spain claimed the bronze medal beating France easily.
In the other matches Netherlands beat Canada to claim the 5th place while Romania defeated Germany for the 7th place.
Notes – Romania lined up goalkeeper Tic, n. 13, from the start. Tic (R) saved penalty shot from Nossek (G) on 4-4 in the 2nd period. Extra man goals: Germany 1/7+1 penalty, Romania 2/5.
One more game won with the least advantage of one goal. It was a difficult match between two tired teams but also a balanced match with Romania narrowly prevailing in the 1st and 3rd periods and Germany in the 4th. The second period was a tie 2-2.
Romania claimed the 7th place in the Olympic Qualification Tournament beating Germany with a decisive break in the 3rd period, when it went 3 goals up, leading 8-5.
Germany reacted scoring 4 goals in the last period but Romania managed to administer the advantage netting 2 more goals, until the conclusive score of 10-9 for them. Romania’s captain and center Radu was the best scorer of the match with 3 goals.
Dejan Stanojevic , coach of Romania: "This matches are difficult because it's hard to motivate a team to play after the lost opportunity to go to the Olympic Games. I think there should be another way to evaluate the teams that play for the last positions".
Patrick Weisssinger, coach of Germany: "We are not satisfied about this tournament. I'm not happy with the team. We have to consider a lot of changes to build a better future".
GER-ROU - Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia
Game 40– 12.30 Netherlands- Canada 9-8 (1-2, 2-2; 4-3, 2-1)
Referees: Filippo Gomez (ITA), Dion Willis (RSA). Vojin Putnikovic (SRB), Sergio Galindo (ESP). FINA Delegate: Alan Alfanbayev.
Notes – From the start Netherlands’ goalkeeper as n. 13, Hoepelman. Red card for Boyd (C) and Winkelhorst (N) in the 4th period. Excluded with substitution Van der Horst (N) and Torakis (C) in the 4th period. Extra man goals: Netherlands 2/9 + 1 penalty, Canada 3/10 + 2 penalties.
One more win with the edge of just one goal. The final for the 5th place was decided by a penalty shot from Lindhout at 4:44 inside the 4th quarter. Previously there had been a few breaks for Canada in the lead: 2-0, 5-3, 6-4. Netherlands was ahead only once, on 3-2. Lindhout was the best scorer of the match with 4 goals.
Thomas Lucas, Netherlands’ player: "We are disappointed because we won six matches, but lost the quarter final and we don't go to the Olympic Games. Now we will go back to the club and we'll play the competition there and after that we'll be back to work with national teams to improve our level of playing".
Giuseppe Porzio, coach of Canada: "If we cancel this game, I'm satisfied with our performance during the tournament. Today we played our worst game. We made too many mistakes. We gave six goals on nine so we deserved to lose. We must learn to always play the best possible and with the right attention. We can improve physical, technical and mental skills. A long way waits us but we have had a good start".
NED-CAN - Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia
Game 41 – 16.00 France-Spain 4-16 (1-4, 2-5; 0-4, 1-3)
Notes – Both Spain and France played with goalkeeper number 13, respectively Lopez Pinedo and Noyon. Extra man goals: France 2/5, Spain 2/4 + 2 penalties.
France could not cope with Spain’ speedy actions. In the first half, the Spanish players scored 9 goals, all on action, and missed a few more easy opportunities. Spain won all periods: the first two periods by a 3-goal difference, the 3rd by 4 goal to none, the last by 2 goals. Overall an easy task to claim a predictable bronze medal. For France the reward had already taken place with the conquest of the Olympic qualification.
Spain soon out in front with two goals in the first three minutes, to Echenique and Munarriz, the latest immediately answered by France’s first goal scored by left hander Izdinsky. Munarriz scored his second finalising a team counter attack. At a minute to the end of the first period Tahull netted the 4th goal for Spain (1-4).
After 2 minutes inside the 2nd period Alarcon scored the 5th goal for Spain, also on a fast team counter attack, followed up by Tahull’s second goal 40 seconds later, and again less than a minute later he scored his 3rd goal on penalty: it was Spain’s 4th consecutive goal. Left hander Mallarach brought to 7 goals the advantage of Spain with 3 minutes to the end of the 2nd period. Seconds later it was the turn of Fernandez who could not miss netting the ball alone from 2 metres. At 1.32, Kovacevic scored France’s 2nd goal converting an extra man opportunity and Camarasa the third almost on expiration: 3-9 the score at half time.
In the 3rd quarter the score was opened by Mallarach on a direct throw (3-10). Then Minguell, Alarcon on penalty and Espanol on a breakaway action scored three more goals for Spain, to widen the gap to 10 goals: 3-13 the score before the last fraction.
In the last quarter, Tomasevic scored for France the first goal a minute inside the start of the period on extra man (4-14). Then Echenique scored his second on action (4-14). Then Munarriz, again on action. At 39 seconds to the conclusion of the game Tahull scored his 4th and final goal for Spain to seal up the score at 4-16 for Spain and the bronze medal. For Spain goals were scored by eight outfield players.
Gabriel Hernandez, coach of Spain: "This match had no sense, both teams did not want to play. We are looking forward to the draw for the Olympic Games tonight. We'll try to have a good result in Rio. We will think just about winning".
Roger Tahull, Spain’s player: "I hope this team will play high level because every single match will be very important in Olympic games. We have to be stronger than we are in an ordinary tournament".
Florian Bruzzo, coach of France: "Today it was a hard game after the emotions of these last days. The team had no more physical nor mental energies. We don't have the programme for the Olympic Games yet. We must check our budget and we'll try to organise some common trainings with some big teams".
Ugo Crousillat, France’s player: "Today we were very tired. This isn't a great finish for this tournament but we'll go to Rio and that's the important thing. Now we must have some rest and finish the French League. Then we'll concentrate to have the best result for Rio".
FRA-ESP - Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia
Game 42 – 17.30 Hungary-Italy 10-8 (2-3, 4-2; 3-1, 1-2)
Notes - Red card for Bodegas (I) and Hosnyanszky (H) in the 4th period. Extra man goals: Hungary 6/8, Italy 3/13. Attendance 1500
Both teams honored this intense final playing the best they could in this moment. In a nutshell Hungary’s victory derived from its supremacy in the central quarters, both won with an advantage of 2 goals. Italy won 2 periods too, the first and the last, however with the advantage of just one goal each. The 2 goals difference was reflected in the final overall score of 10-8. Hungary confirmed its strength and certainly deserved to win. For Italy, a loss by a narrow margin and the silver medal.
Less than a minute after the start, Denes Varga scored the first goal on extra man. On the opposite front, Italy missed a pair of opportunities: the first on man-up, the second an easy one on action, with Nora. A goal from Erdely sent Hungary 2 goals up. Seconds later Di Fulvio scored on action the first goal for the home team. Presciutti followed up on extra man to tie 2-2. Break for Italy at 3:19 to the end of the first period thanks an action goal from Figlioli, who shoot from outside (2-3).
Hungary’s captain Daniel Varga tied on man-up at 2:45 inside the 2nd quarter (3-3). Hungary one goal up at 3:12 to the end of the period on extra man with Harai. Seconds later Italy’s driver Di Fulvio scored his second goal, also on extra man, for a new tie at 4-4. New break for Hungary with an action goal from Szivos who shoot from outside the perimetre. A few more seconds and Italy tied again at 5-5, on man-up with a goal from center Aicardi. Hungary up again with Harai’ second goal, also on extra man. Score at half time 6-5 for Hungary.
In the 3rd quarter, Hungary went soon 3-goal up following two more swift goals scored by Szivos on man up and Manhercz on action (8-5). Italy narrowed the gap on man up with Luongo (8-6), but soon after Vamos scored to implacably reset the 3-goal lead finalising a counter attack (9-6).
40 seconds inside the last period Denes Varga scored his second goal to put Hungary up 4 goals (10-6). A gap unsurmountable for this Italian team who nevertheless managed to reduce the final gap to 2 goals after Giorgetti scored on extra man and Aicardi on action. Final score 10-8.
Daniel Varga, Hungary’s captain: "I'm satisfied to beat Italy in Trieste. But the real victory was two days ago against Germany, this was the most important success for us in this tournament. We want to win the Olympics Games".
Alessandro Campagna, Italy’s coach: "There was commitment from the boys. You can win or lose, but it's important to play with heart. We conceded two or three counterattacks. We had a good reaction but after has emerged tiredness. The qualification was not easy. We must work very hard to arrive at Olympic Games in the best shape".