Greece lost 9-6 in a tense final as they were attempting to win the title for the first time but came up short against the reigning champions.
Hold your heads high, Greece 🇬🇷
— LEN – European Aquatics (@LENaquatics) September 9, 2022
Spain opened up a 3-0 lead thanks to first-period goals from Elena Ruiz Barril, Nona Perez Vivas, and Anna Espar Llaquet.
Ioanna Chydirioti got one back for Greece before Paula Leitón made it 4-1 for Spain.
Greece fought back to reduce deficit at the water polo final
Greece battled hard and reduced the deficit to 4-3 courtesy of efforts from Margarita Plevritou and Christina Siouti.
The match was finely balanced at half-time before a third-period strike from Ruiz Barril gave Spain a two-goal lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Greece struck three times in the final period and leveled the match at 6-6 after Eleni Xenaki, Eleftheria Plevritou, and Chydirioti netted.
Maica García Godoy scored Spain’s sixth goal before adding another, as the title holders pulled away in the closing stages with further efforts from Beatriz Ortiz Muñoz and Espar Llaquet.
It is Spain’s third women’s title following their victories in 2014 and 2020.
On Friday, Greece had moved one step closer to a first-ever Women’s European Water Polo Championship title after beating five-time champions Italy in the semi-finals in Split.
For Greece, this is the fourth silver medal in the Women’s European Water Polo Championship.
Greece has emerged as a leading force in water polo
Since the mid-1990s, Greece has emerged as one of the leading powers in the world, becoming World Champions after their gold medal win at the 2011 World Championship.
They have also won the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics, the gold medal at the 2005 World League, three silver medals at the 2010, 2012, and 2018 European Championships, and the gold medal at the 2018 Europa Cup.
The Greek men’s national water polo team also has a long tradition of strong presence at the international level, with their major successes being the two bronze medals won at the World Championship in 2005 and 2015.
The Greeks have also won a silver medal at the World Cup in 1997, three bronze medals at the World League in 2004, 2006, and 2016, as well as one silver (2018) and four bronze medals (1951, 1991, 1993, 2013) at the Mediterranean Games.