The number 3 in Europe was too strong with 13-7: 4-0 3-3 3-4 3-0. Only the best three countries qualify for the Tokyo Games.
The Dutch had narrowly lost to Russia in the last group game on Thursday, which meant it faced the winner of the other group in the quarterfinals. Strong Montenegro left the Orange with no chance in the first quarter (0-4), but the host country fought back well. After the 3-3 in the second quarter, the team of national coach Van der Meer ran in a point thanks to a goal shortly before Pascal Janssen’s buzzer, the top scorer of the team with three goals.
Last participation in 2000
“At that moment we felt that there was something to be gained”, Janssen looked back. But in the fourth quarter, the Montenegrins once again lived up to their favorite status. “Five goals difference with three minutes left on the clock, then you know it’s over,” said Janssen.
The Netherlands last participated in the Games in 2000, when Van der Meer was still one of the players. Placement was just missed for the Rio 2016 Games.
Van der Meer spoke of a great disappointment. “We worked for this for four years, which is tough. It makes for mixed feelings. I am proud of how we played here. Also today we showed good moments. In the third period we come back nicely. Then maybe we tried to force it too much individually, then they walk away. It is of course also a world team. ”
For the Netherlands, the battle for places five to eight remains. “It is difficult to focus on that,” said Van der Meer. “We have to process this first. Then we will focus on the rest of this tournament. I feel we are close to the top countries. Article link https://www.news1.news/news/2021/02/water-polo-players-orange-miss-the-olympic-games-again-sport.html
The difference is getting smaller, but this does not result in participation in the Olympic Games. We must try to continue this line in the coming years. ”
In January, the Dutch water polosters did qualify for the Tokyo Games.
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