It was without surprise that Balkan powerhouses Serbia / Croatia and Italy secured a berth to the FINA Men's Water Polo World League Super Final, finishing atop of their respective groups of the European tournament last night in various European cities hosting the sixth round.
Group A's Serbia, who has been leading the group since the beginning of the tournament back in October 2016, crushed Slovakia 11-2 on home soil in Becej, giving their opponents no chance in the first and last quarters (3-0, 3-1, 2-1, 3-0). The World and Olympic champions head to the Super Final with a total of 17 points, 5 wins and 1 win after penalty shootout.
Still in group A, Romania beat Germany 9-7 (2-2, 3-1, 1-1, 3-3) in Bucharest. Romania sits in third position in its group with 7 points.
Group B's Croatia defeated the Netherlands 17-7 in Sibenik (CRO), while France was defeated by the Greeks 4-10 (2-1, 0-4, 1-2, 1-3) in Nancy (FRA). Greece and Croatia both accumulated 15 points throughout the tournament, and both won and lost a game while playing each other, however Croatia will be going to the Super Final due to a higher goal difference in the ranking.
In the only game of Group C, Italy narrowly defeated Georgia 13-12 after a very tight start of the match (2-2, 4-4, 4-4, 3-1).
The European qualification tournament is now completed and the Men's Super Final will take place in Russia (city tbc) from June 20-25.
The Intercontinental tournament (with Australia, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, USA) will be held in Gold Coast (AUS) from April 25-30, out of which the four best teams will join the three teams mentioned above. Russia, as the host country, will also be playing for the title in Russia.
Current ranking after round 6 (completed)
Group A: SRB 17 pts (5W, 1Wp); SVK 8 pts (2W, 2Lp, 2L; ROU 7 pts (2W, 1Lp, 3L); GER 4 pts (2Wp, 4L)
Group B: CRO 15 pts (5W, 1L); GRE 15 pts (5W, 1L); NED 6 pts (2W, 4L); FRA 0 pt (6L)
Group C: ITA 12 pts (4W); RUS 6 pts (2W, 2L); GEO 0 (4L)