Men’s Water Polo team starts with a win

In the first round of the European Water Polo Championships, held in Barcelona, the Russian team did not experience serious problems in the match against Slovakia, which ended with the score of 12:6 (3:1, 2:1, 5:1, 2:3) in favor of Sergei Evstigneev’s team.

Stepan Andryukov and Ivan Nagaev were the most effective in our team. They scored four goals each. Dmitry Kholod scored twice (once with a penalty). Roman Shepelev and Daniil Merkulov scored one goal each at the very beginning of the game.

On Wednesday, our team will play against Serbia, bronze medalist of the 2017 World Cup and the winner of the last three European Championships (2012, 2014, 2016). And the match with Romania is scheduled for July 20.

In the 1/8 finals the Group D teams will meet with those who qualify from the Group B, which includes Spain, Montenegro, France and Malta.

The format of the men’s tournament is different from the women’s, which is also held these days in Barcelona. 16 teams are divided into four groups. Their winners go directly to the 1/4 finals, and the teams that took second and third places will play play-offs against each other, corresponding to the 1/8 finals.

The USSR national team was the European champion five times, but for the Russian national team the bronze of 1997 was the highest achievement at the Championships of the Old World. At the 2016 European Championships  in Belgrade, it took the eighth place, losing in the quarter-finals to the hosts of the tournament with a score of 5:15.  On the results of the 2017 World Cup it was eighth as well.

The composition of the Russian team, headed by Sergey Evstigneev: goalkeepers — Petr Fedotov and Vitaly Statsenko (both from Spartak-Volgograd); defenders — Ivan Koptsev (Dynamo, Moscow) and Ivan Suchkov (Shturm-2002),  central forwards — Sergei Lisunov (captain) and Nikita Derevyankin (both  Dynamo, Moscow); moving forwards Ivan Nagaev, Dmitriy Kholod, Igor Bychkov, Roman Shepelev (Dinamo, Moscow), Daniil Merkulov (Jadran, Montenegro), Konstantin Kharkov (Shturm-2002) and Stepan Andryukov (Spartak-Volgograd).