PR 69 - World champion Italy gets the easiest win of round 1


Lausanne (SUI), November 16, 2011 – Italy, Croatia, Romania and Spain were the first winning teams in the inaugural European round of the 2012 edition of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League, which had one game on November 12 and three other matches on November 15.

In Civitavecchia, the reigning world champion Italy had the most comfortable victory of the round, easily beating Russia by 16-5. Led by its top-scorers Christian Presciutti and Valentino Gallo (three goals each), the team coached by Sandro Campagna now leads Group A, also including the hosts of the next Olympic Games, the squad of Great Britain (who had a bye for this round).

In Group B, things were not so easy for Croatia, who received the team of Germany in Dubrovnik. After a very balanced game, which concluded 11-11 at the end of the regular time, the locals were luckier in the penalty shootout, scoring 5-4 for a final result of 16-15. The third team of the group, FYR Macedonia, did not play in this initial round.

Finally, in Group C, with four squads, Romania controlled the operations against Turkey in Oradea (on November 12), triumphing by a convincing 16-8. The Romanians now lead the group in front of Spain, who had to play at full speed until the last moments of the game in Barcelona, against Greece: in the end, the Iberians, thanks to a valuable goal of Albert Español (with 1:47m to go), got a precious victory by the minimal difference of one goal (8-7).

ESP vs GRE, Barcelona (ESP)

Provisional rankings:
GROUP A: 1. ITA, 3 pts (1 win); 2. RUS, 0 (1 loss); 3. GBR (did not play on round 1)
GROUP B: 1. CRO, 2 pts (1W); 2. GER, 1 (1L); 3. MKD (did not play on round 1)
GROUP C: 1. ROU, 3 pts (1W); 2. ESP, 3 (1W); 3. GRE, 0 (1L); 4. TUR, 0 (1L)

Next round:
Group A: GBR-ITA (December 6)
Group B: GER-MKD (December 17)
Group C: ROU-ESP (December 6) & GRE-TUR (December 17)