The Netherlands made it again, for the third time in a row they reached the final and this time they didn’t even need penalties like in 2014 (against Italy) and in 2016 (against Spain). In the rematch of the Belgrade final, the Dutch kept the game under control, Hungary never led in the match, still, they had chances to force at least a shootout in the first semi-final. The Netherlandswent 7-4 up deep into the third, then Hungary finally made an extra 15 seconds from time for 7-5, halting their scoring drought of 8:14 minutes. And early in the fourth they trailed by one and had another 6 on 5 to go even but Laura Aarts came up with another save and Maud Megens’ blast found the back of the net from an extra for 8-6, with 5:11 to go. The Dutch didn’t score more but the Hungarians pulled back only one and couldn’t add any more in the remaining 3:41 minutes.
The second semi featuring Greece and Spain began in stunning mood: late into the second Greece was 1-5 up. At this stage the difference between the goalies was significant: Chrysoula Diamantopoulou had 4 saves on 5 shots, while Laura Ester was 0/5. And even though Spain began with an action goal in the third, two Greek hits arrived as response in 41 seconds to make it 3-7. And Greececould hold on for quite a while as the first save arrived late in the third, by Maria Sanchez since Ester had to be substituted (she left the pool with 0/9).
It was too late and too few: even if the hosts got a bit closer as Beatriz Ortiz netted a man-up but the Greeks had the answers to keep the margin at three before the last three minutes commenced. Soon Ortiz netted a 6 on 4 (her 5th) for 11-9, then Greece gave away the ball in man-up and Spain had 97 seconds to do a miracle. They couldn’t, the Greek defence denied Garcia, then Diamantopoulou finished the match with two saves, she had 9, the Spaniards had 1 – that told the story.