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South Africa wins EU Nations Cup

EU Nations Cup for B-class water polo nations
 
Successful tournament in Denmark

Denmark's water polo team was undefeated when going into the final against South Africa. Here Denmark lost the first period with a massive 0-5 but rebounded strongly. Denmark had beaten Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and even South Africa (9-6) in the first rounds. But when the final began, the team met unexpected resistance from a highly motivated South African team.


By Jacob Schjødt-Pedersen
 
The first period ended 0-5 to South Africa, so the Danish team needed to rethink its strategy. And so it did. The team got into their stride again against the physically stronger team from South Africa. The next periods ended 2-1, 2-2 and 4-2.
 
Great team spirit
Danish coach Dines Bagenkop Nielsen explains that the team was caught off guard in the first period and lacked quality in their shots. There were plenty of shooting possibilities, and if the team had used them, the game would have looked very different.
 
“We can use the last three periods to look ahead”, says the coach. “We won the three periods overall. So it shows that the team had good spirits despite the resistance.
We also reached our goal which was to reach the final,” says the coach.
“It's a team with a lot of experience, which is why the team had the strength to rise again.
If we had had a 5th period, we would have won - but that's life, right?” concludes the slightly frustrated coach.


 
Beautiful arrangement
The tournament in Odense was the most well-organized water polo tournament Denmark has hosted. The whole setup at Odense University indoor pool was very successful with support from the Swedish company Malmsten, which delivered cat walks.
 
The delegates from the European Swimming Federation LEN didn’t waste their time either coming to see the tournament. LEN expressed great enthusiasm for the event and was pleased with the way water polo was showcased.
 
See all the results here.
 
Final ranking:

South Africa
Denmark A
Ireland
Switzerland
Austria
Malta
Denmark B
The Czech Republic

Best player: Emil Morning Bjørch, Denmark A

Top scorers: Johnny Clarke, Ireland with 15 goals and Michael Dines Bagenkop Nielsen, Denmark came second with 14 goals.

Best Goalkeeper: Salkan Samardic, Austria.

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