Defending champions Serbia will meet Greece in the men’s European Water Polo Championships semi-finals, after both countries emerged unscathed from their last eight ties in Belgrade’s Kombank Arena.
The host country continued their relentless march towards to a third consecutive title as they preserved their perfect record, dispatching Russia with relative ease.
It appeared as though the Russian team would provide Serbia with their first stern test, with the score at the end of the opening period only 3-2 in favour of the holders, but the gap started to widen in the remaining three quarters.
Dusan Mandic, in particular, enjoyed a fine game for Serbia as each of his three shots found the opposition net and by the time the contest drew to a close in front of a raucous crowd, the score stood at 15-5 in favour of the home side.
After finishing in third position in their group, Greece showed signs of finding form, beating Romania in the last-16 and they hoped to take their new found confidence into the tie against Spain.
The Spaniards had earned wins in each of their four matches to date, but found themselves on the back foot, falling to a 2-0 deficit in the opening quarter.
Greece ultimately proved resilient to the majority of their opponent’s attacks and extended their lead further, ending the match 6-2 winners.
They will now meet Serbia in the semi-finals with a victory giving them their first ever medal at the biennial tournament.
Hungary, the 12-time winners, are due to meet Croatia tomorrow in their quarter-final and the winners will advance to face either Italy or Montenegro.
The highlight of the women’s competition saw Hungary and Russia clash to decide which side advanced as runners-up in Group A.
Owing to their better goal difference, Hungary needed only to avoid defeat to finish second with both sides boasting three wins and a defeat.
In the end, they claimed a narrow victory after they held off a late fightback from their opponents, with Russia scoring five goals in the final period, to claim an 11-10 win.
The Netherlands ensured they ended the group stage with a 100 per cent record, securing a closely fought 11-10 victory over Greece, already assured of the fourth and final quarter-final berth.
A hat-trick of 11-10 scorelines in the Group A was completed when Portugal overcame Turkey in the battle between the two winless teams, with the result meaning they ended fifth.
Group B is due to draw to a close tomorrow, with the full quarter-final line-up being finalised.