The Netherlands clinched the title for the first time since 1993: they beat Greece 6-4 to claim the nation’s 5th gold at the women’s European Water Polo Championships. This ties Italy’s record and gives them back the top rank on the all-time medal table. The Greeks had to settle for silver for the third time and yet to earn their first gold.
The final proved the good old saying: offences win matches but defences win titles. The Dutch led all the way, for most of the time by two goals while the Greeks lacked the precision which helped them ousting Spain in the semis, they took 22 shots but 11 were either missed or hit the post – just like in their last 6 on 5, when the ball jumped over the bar. This also credited the Dutch defence which did a tremendous job by killing 7 out of 8 Greek extras, headed by the tournament’s best goalkeeper Laura Aarts.
In the game for the bronze, Spain needed eight minutes to take a decisive 1-5 lead against Hungary. The hosts slowed down a bit later and the Hungarians even had a man-up early in the third to come back to two at 6-3 but missed it, and a Spanish double in 52 seconds settled the game once and forever (the shots taken tell part of the story: it was 21-31 to Spain). It means that Hungary missed the podium for the 4th time in the 17 editions since 1985.