Holders Serbia breezed into the Men's European Water Polo Championships quarter-finals after recording a 10-5 victory over Slovakia at the Kombank Arena in their capital Belgrade.
Having earned comfortable wins in all their group matches, the Serbian team began as the overwhelming favourites in the last 16 tie against a Slovakian side, who were smarting from three straight losses.
However, the early stages of the match produced a far tighter affair than the majority of the crowd had been expecting, with the score at the end of the first quarter level at 3-3.
The Serbians, though, started to show the form which saw them win the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championship and World League titles, as they pulled away in the remaining quarters to emerge as 10-5 winners.
Dusko Pijetlovic, Milan Aleksic, Filip Filipovic and Andrija Prlainovic all ended the match with braces, as the hosts kept up their pursuit of a third straight European title.
They will meet either Germany or Russia in the quarter-finals, with the two teams due to meet tomorrow.
The opening day of the men’s last-16 matches failed to provide any shock results as Group A winners Spain cruised to a 14-3 win over Malta, with the result seeing them set up a clash against either Greece or Romania.
Meanwhile, Montenegro will await the winners of Italy’s tie with Turkey, after they overcame France by a score of 11-6.
Croatia defeated the The Netherlands 16-9, with the result seeing them advance to a last eight match against 2014 runners-up Hungary or Georgia.
The penultimate matches in Group A of the women’s competition also took place today, where the highlight was The Netherlands overcoming Russia 14-7 to seal top spot.
Hungary took advantage of Russia’s defeat to move into second position on goal difference, as they recorded a 25-0 win over Portugal.
The two teams will meet in their final group match on Monday (January 18), to see who secures the runner-up spot and claim an easier quarter-final place.
All four knock-out stage berths in Group A have now been decided as Greece coasted to a 28-3 win over Turkey.
With Turkey and Portugal yet to win, neither side will be able to overhaul the Greeks, who cannot improve on their fourth place finish.