Huge fight for the victory at the 15th CMAS Underwater Hockey European Championships for men and women as well. Here is Day 5.
Turkey – Hungary 4:2
Robert Libel, Hungary player: Despite that we do not use to play together much, we could improve day by day and know each other style better from the first match. Our main problem was mentionality problem but for the last match we could beat it. Andor, our captain always says us: You must belive you can win and finally we could and almost win. The atmosphere was great by our supporter that helped a lot.
Alp Alkaya: Day by day the Hungarian masters team was playing better and better. They changed their tactics and playing much better.We have two players who didn’t come because they have been coaching our elite team in the final and we felt the loss.
Netherlands – Belgium (for the 5th place) 5:3
Andy Van Wesemael, Belgium player: We were super hyped about playing this game, we had an energy boost after our win yesterday against Hungary. During the game, I think it was quite even, maybe they were in better positions at the key moment and that was the decisive element, so in the end they got away with the win. Our last goal was a real team effort, maybe if we would have play like that more, we’d have the chance to turn around the game or at least to equalise it, but it didn’t happen every time, so they deserved the victory. Next time I think we have to be on a higher energy level, have to be more fit and maybe we can get a better result. I think in general, that the tournament was really useful for us, we have a lot of newcomers in the team, and all of them proved that they have all the right to be here, so it was a good experience for us before the World Championships next year.
Kevin Meeuwissen, Netherlands player: It was a really good tournament, we had some good results, some good wins, which is always good, maybe our game against France earlier was a bit worse, but in general we fulfilled our plans and we are satisfied with our performance.
Spain – France 2:4 (for the 3rd place)
Eduardo Lorente-Sorolla, Spain player: I think that we made some mistakes, we all wanted it very badly, but sometimes we didn’t use our time well when we had the puck. In general, the team did very well, we played better and better all the time, we almost had it, but France is a really good team, so maybe next time.
Maxime Blondel, France player: It wasn’t too tough in the beginning, I think the key element was that we didn’t let the spanish guys to play their own game, we swimmed a lot, we were everywhere. After the second goal, we just slowed down, and they used this against us, they managed to score, to put us under a bit of pressure, we had a few faults, a few mistakes, but we knew that we can play better, so in the end we put in some more work and managed to win it. We tried to bring the good things from our yesterday’s game against Great Britain and I think it was a lot better this time. This tournament was a great experience, the next step for us is the world championships next year, we’d like to regain our position among the top teams in the world.
Turkey – Great Britain 5:3 (FINAL)
Ross Pocock, Great Britain player: I think every game depends on how bad you want it, and now Turkey just wanted it more than we did. I think the turkish had some good experience from South Africa, and they took that experience and used it in this final they were very fit, very strong and they were the better team in there to be fair. We started off to slow, we couldn’t hold them, they score two early goals and we were just chasing the game after that. Congrats to the turkish, they were the stronger and they deserved the win.
Germany – Belgium (for the 7th place) 2:6
Ellen Palmers, Belgium player: Overall, we are satisfied with the tournament, we had a lot of good games, we grew through the tournament, so we can be proud of ourselves. Yesterday was another day with the Hungarian team, today is a new day and we won so I think we did a great game.
Daniela Steidl, Germany player: We are still a very young team compared to the big nations of hockey, we are here to keep learning and improving. I am very proud of my girls and their fighting spirit. Even when we lost they kept their spirit. It was a very good match, I think our best one in the tournament, that is why I am proud because we could improve. We are here to learn and we have learnt a lot.
Turkey – Hungary (for the 5th place) 3:1
Deniz Akbiyik, Turkey player: The game started off really really hard, it was 0-0 for a long time, we had a lot of penalties in the first half, which affected our game and our energy level excessively. In the second, somehow we managed to gain some more energy step up a level and we scored two goals in two minutes, which was decisive, I really don’t know how we did it, because everyone was really tired, maybe it was because of our strong mentality, we really wanted to win this. We have really specific plans for the future, we played well in this tournament and became 5th, just like the boys did in 2013. Then they improved from by the years and now they play the final against Great Britain, we want to do the same, next we’d like to reach the semi final, then win a medal and in the end, compete for medal in every tournament that we participate.
Nikoletta Filetoth, Hungary player: We were really hyped up after yesterday’s game, because we played expressly good against Belgium and in the end we even managed to win the game so we were in a really good mood this morning. Unfortunately the events yesterday drained our energy level excessively, so we were a bit tired today, but despite that, we still had a really good first half, then we even managed to score a goal, which have never happened against Turkey before. There were two or three minutes in the second half when they scored two goals, that was definitely because of exhaustion. I think that we could improve a lot if we could have more practice, in more suitable times, because usually we train around 9, or 10 pm. It’s especially a big problem for the youngsters, because they also have to perform at school. This 6th place shows us that we are on the right way, but we still have space to improve. In general, I’m really proud of the girls, we did what we came for, we played really well, everyone did their best, and with such a young team, it was a good performance.
Netherlands – Great Britain 2:6 (for the 3rd place)
Rachel Bell, Great Britain player: It’s been one of the best experience of our lives, some of the girls are really really young, participating on their first tournament, so this medal means us a lot. We felt quite comfortable against Netherlands, they played well, even managed to come back to two goals difference, but I think we handled the game all the way, sticked to the plan and in the end we got away with he win.
Spain – France 4:5 (FINAL)
Sophie Ginsbourger, France player: It was really difficult, it was one way or an other, but we were stronger at the end, we wanted this so bad, we were like, now or never and I think it was decisive. Now we have to celebrate a bit, and then get back to work, because there will be a world championship next year, and we want to have a great performance there too.
Clara Martínez, Spain player: We came to do our best, and our aim was for sure to get the gold, when you go to a competition you go for the gold, and when we came here and saw how we’re playing and how do hard work paid out, we were really happy. We thought that we can have a really good performance in the final, unfortunately we didn’t play our best, and France was really good. I’d like to congratulate to them because they were amazing, and we’re looking forward to the worlds where we can meet them again and maybe have some revenge.