Nailbiter finish to close World League prelims?

Less than two weeks before the opening matches of the FINA Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament the last Europe-based Preliminary Round matches of the FINA Men’s League will be contested on Tuesday night. Here a pretty strange and breath-taking scenario is still possible in Group C as we are pretty close to a three-way tie after six game days. This situation would happen if Europe’s new number six Greece would beat the current group leader Romania in regulation. This match will be held at Piraeus’ wellknown Petros Kapagerof indoor-pool again.

You also need a home victory of the Spaniards in regulation against the winless Turkish team, but this is expected by the observers. In this case, all three teams – Romania, Greece and Spain – would have a final result of 12 points each after six matches and a 4-2-0 record. Romania could escape the scenario easily; the current leader just needs a loss on penalties to finish first in this group as they would already keep one of the three points for the tie after regulation. In case of Greek victory the goal differential of the head-to-head duels will decide, kicking out Romania in any case.
The winner of the scenario could receive a pretty interesting reward. The group winner is advancing to this year’s Super Final to be held at Almaty, Kazakhstan, joining the already qualified teams from Italy and Croatia. The third European team to go to Central Asia has quite a good chance to win a medal as only three nations from the World's powerhouse from men's waterpolo will be there this time. Romania or Greece would get another promising shot for a World Championships berth, as both teams are not qualified for the 2013 FINA World Championships to be held at Barcelona, Spain yet.
The third match of the final day will be held at Manchester, Great Britain. Here the upcoming Olympic host is facing 2002 winner Russia which has even missed the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament this year. The players from Eastern Europe gained a trouble-some victory by five goals in the home match at Kirishi, while the Britons are going for the historical first point in the FINA World League. In this pool, 2011 World League finalist Italy had already ensured the first place by an easy 4-0-0 run. The fourth match was already held on Thursday when Macedonia beat Germany on penalties, 13-12.    
FINA Men's Worls League 2011-2012

Preliminary Round Europe - day 6 

Group A 
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
20:00 Great Britain vs. Russia - at Manchester, Great Britain
Progress points: Italy 12 points (4 matches), Russia 3 (3), Great Britain 0 (3).   
Group B 
Thursday, 15 March 2012
20:15 Macedonia vs. Germany 13-12 on penalties - at Skopje, Macedonia
Final standings after four matches matches: Croatia 11 , Germany 5, Macedonia 2

Group C

Tuesday, 20 March 2012
19:00 Spain vs. Turkey - at Barcelona, Spain 
20:00 Greece vs. Roumania - at Piraeus, Greece
Progress points (five matches each): Romania 12, Greece 9, Spain 9, Turkey 0. 
Picture: Six teams - here Greece and Turkey - will be in action tomorrow night. Photo by Henk Swinkels

 Share this