PR4 - Preliminaries kick-off with victories for Croatia, Spain, Serbia and Italy


The first round of preliminary games within the European groups of the men's FINA Water Polo World League took place yesterday in four countries.

In Group 1 (composed of Serbia, Greece, France) the Olympic bronze medal winning team of Serbia defeated France with a score of 12-6 (1-1, 4-1, 5-2, 2-2). Scorers on the Serbian side were Avramovic (2), Udovicic (3), Gak (1), Pijetlovic (1), Filipovic (1), Prlainovic (3) and Mitrovic (1), while on the French side goals were had by Jablonsky (1), Audon (1), Blary (1), Peisson (1) and Bodegas (2). The game took place in Novi Sad (SRB).

In Group 2 (Montenegro, Italy, Romania) Italy beat Romania 10-2 (1-1, 2-0, 5-0, 2-1). Scorers on the Italian side were Mistrangelo (1), Mangiante (2), Rizzo (2), La Penna (1), Aicardi (1), Di Costanzo (2) and Fiorentini (1). Scoring for the Romanian side was Radu (1) and Busila (1). The game was held in Genova (ITA).

From Group 3 (Spain, Croatia, Russia, Germany) the winners were the 2007 Melbourne World Champion team of Croatia over Russia with a score of 12-7 (4-2, 4-2, 3-1, 1-2). Croatian scorers were Boskovic (1), Dobud (1), Jokovic (1), Markovic (1), Karac (1), Sukno (1), Barac (1), Igor Hinic (1), Obradovic (4), and scoring for Russia was Katkov (1), Yurchik (1), Zheltovskiy (1), Finaev (1), Stepanyuk (2), and Lisunov (1). This match took place in Rijeka (CRO).

In the other game of Group 3, Spain defeated Germany 8-7 (1-1, 4-1, 2-3, 1-2). Scoring for Spain was Mallarach (2), Molina (1), Espanol (2), Perez (1), and Garcia (2). On the German side, goals came from Bukowski (1), Gietz (1), Stamm (1), Politze (1), Preuss (1) and Schlottebeck (2). This game was played in the city of Barcelona (ESP).

The next games of the World League in the European groups will be held on February 17, 2009 with the following match-ups: Spain vs. Russia (in Madrid, ESP), Croatia vs. Germany (in Sibenek, CRO), Greece vs. France (Athens, GRE) and Romania vs. Montenegro (Kotor, MNE).

The League commences earlier in Europe this year because the preliminary round is a series of six individual home-or-away matches scheduled over five months, as opposed to the tournament format of previous years.

Four squads from Europe will advance to the eight-team Super Final, which will be held in Podgorica (MNE) from June 16-21. The host team of Montenegro automatically advances.