The Ethniki Efivon defeated Serbia 9:8 in the semi-finals of the FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships and will play in Sunday’s big final against Spain.
Greece’s magnificent run in the FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships continued on Saturday as the Galanolefki defeated Serbia 9:8 in the semi-finals and will play for the World Championship against Spain on Sunday. Spain defeated the hosts, Hungary, 12:11 in the other semifinal.
Greece did not get off to the best start in the semi-final as Serbia held a narrow lead for most of the first half. The Ethniki Efivon, however, improved their display in the third period and despite falling behind 5:7, managed to pull level at 7:7. Late on in the period, the momentum swung into Greece’s favor when Serbia were awarded a penalty, which was blocked by the Greek custodian to keep the scores level. The Greek team then managed to take their first lead of the game at 8:7 as the turn of events changed the momentum of the game.
In the final period, Greece pulled ahead by two goals, making it 9:7 before Serbia brought the match back within one. However, Greece’s stubborn defensive play paid off as they held the slender advantage until the final whistle to book their ticket for Sunday’s final.
Papanikolaou, Dimou, Chavilopoulos, and Kalogeropoulos each scored two goals for Greece while Braime scored one goal for the Galanolefki.
Sunday’s final is scheduled for 17:15 (5:15 PM) local Greek time. Greece have already secured the silver medal in the competition and will look to become World champions on Sunday. A reminder, the Ethniki Neon, the class just above the current Ethniki Efivon, were crowned World Champions in last year’s competition in Belgrade, something the Ethniki Efivon would like to replicate on Sunday.
by Sarantos Kaperonis
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