The 2020 FINA Women’s Water Polo World League proceeded on February 25 with three matches in Europe, with Russia and Hungary winning their games at home, and Italy prevailing in French soil.
After this round, the Magyars lead the ranking in the Old Continent, with 10 points after four matches.
In Kirishi, Russia, the locals received the team of Greece and triumphed by 12-9. The encounter started with the visitors winning the first period by 2-1, but the situation changed in the second partial, after a 3-1 advantage for Russia.
The home team then went on a 6-4 (third quarter), which sealed the fate of the game. The final 2-2 could not change things in Greece’s favour.
Despite the loss, Eleftheria Plevritou (GRE) was the best scorer of the match, with three goals. This was the third defeat for the Hellenic squad in the competition, while Russia has now two wins/two losses.
In Hungary, fans in Szentes could witness their team’s victory by 12-7 against the Netherlands. The match was quite balanced until half time, with the Magyars winning the first period by 3-1, but then losing the second partial by 1-3.
Starting the third partial with a 4-4 in the scoreboard, the team of Hungary was then more inspired, getting a 6-3 in the third quarter and a final 2-0 to conclude the game.
Dorottya Szilagyi (HUN) and Maartje Keuning (NED) were the best scorers of the match, both with four successful shots. This was the third victory for Hungary in the season, while the Netherlands (only two games played so far) has one victory/one loss.
Finally, in Montreuil, France could not overcome Italy’s strength, losing by 8-13. The locals actually started the encounter quite well, concluding the first quarter on a 3-3 tie.
Italians then made the difference in the second period (4-1), which proved decisive for the remainder of the game.
After a 2-2 partial and a final 4-2 advantage for the visitors, the outcome of the encounter was established.
Audrey Daule (FRA) and Roberta Bianconi (FRA) were the most prolific players of the game, with three goals each. Italy has now two wins/one loss in the European tournament, while France was unable to win any of the three matches it contested so far.
The provisional ranking of the 2020 FINA Women’s Water Polo World League European preliminaries is as follows:
1. Hungary, 10 pts (3 wins, 1 loss); 2. Spain, 8 pts (3W, 0L); 3. Italy, 7 pts (2W, 1L); 4. Russia, 6 pts (2W/2L); 5. Netherlands, 2 pts (1W/1L); 6. Greece, 0 pts (3L); 7. France, 0 pts (3L)
Water Polo World League action will continue in March, with three men’s matches on March 10 and also on March 17, and three women’s games on March 24.