It’s water polo glory for Greece, as the Ethniki Efivon dramatically defeated Spain 9:8 in the final of the 2018 FINA World Youth Championship in Hungary to claim a historic crown.
Following in the footsteps of the junior national team which won the 2017 World Championship and a few weeks after the women’s silver success at the tournament in Spain, the Ethniki Efivon continued the country’s impressive water polo streak, seeing off the Spanish in the showpiece final. Throughout the entire competition, Greece didn’t lose a single match, showing true resilience to emerge triumphant in a number of pulsating games.
In an enthralling first period, the Greeks initially took the initiative with a 3:1 lead, but the Spaniards levelled the game at 3:3 in the dying seconds of the frame. Nevertheless, the response in the second was more than emphatic, with the Ethniki outscoring Spain by four goals to one and taking a 7:4 advantage.
Greece eventually went 9:7 to the good in the third stanza and that’s where the team shut up shop. During the fourth, the team didn’t score any goals as Spain clawed one back, but a stunning defensive display kept the opponents at bay to win 9:8 and win the World Youth Water Polo Championship for the first time in history.
Efstathios Kalogeropoulos was the top Greek scorer in the final, netting three of the nine goals. Bernat Sanahuja scored six goals for Spain, but his heroics weren’t enough to defeat a defiant, gritty Greece defence.
by Sarantos Kaperonis
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