Baku, June 17, AZERTAC
The Russian women's team took top spot in Group B and an automatic semi-final berth on Tuesday, as they recovered from Monday's draw with Italy to thrash Serbia 28-3.
Their peformance earned them a well-deserved day off on Wednesday. “We needed a free day because the girls are very young and it is very tough to play every day," said head coach Andrei Belofastov.
“We will have to train because we need to be prepared for the semi-finals. We will come and see the quarter-finals because we need to know about our opponents.”
Greece joined Russia in the women's last four by coming out on top in a three-way tie for first position in Group A by virtue of their superior goal difference in matches played between themselves, Netherlands and Hungary.
Hungary must now get past Spain in a quarter-final on Wednesday, while Italy will take on Netherlands.
"The results didn’t turn in our favour, but we’ve got what it takes to beat Spain," said Hungary'a Anna Mandula Mucsy, after Tuesday's 16-4 defeat of Great Britain.
Montenegro, the 2013 European junior champions, were knocked out of the men's competition at the qualifier stage by Russia, who triumphed 11-8 to book a quarter-final meeting with Spain.
“We have played them [Spain] twice in Barcelona in training games. I know them and their possibilities and their style very well. I hope they have forgotten about our style,” joked head coach Alexander Eryshov.
Elsewhere in the men's competition, Greece beat France 16-7 to set up a quarter-final against Hungary as Germany overcame Slovakia 13-7 to cross paths with Croatia. Serbia will clash with Italy in Wednesday's other quarter-final.