Danica Brazier scored twice as Great Britain kicked off their European Games campaign with tough defeat against pre-tournament favourites Greece. The Greeks have become the dominant force of European junior women’s water polo in recent years, picking up the 2013 European Junior title and last year’s European U19 title.
And while Chelmsford / Otters’s Brazier scored in both the third and fourth quarter for the Brits, they were always playing catch-up against a talented Greek side who ultimately secured a 20-2 (4-0, 6-0, 2-1, 8-1) win.
“It was tough, but I was proud with how they kept going,” – GB head coach Nick Buller. There were positives to take for the Brits, not least in Brazier’s two goals, the first from the edge of the arc on man-up to take the lead in the third quarter, and the second as she created space before turning and powering home from the pit in the last quarter.
Playing two quarters each, British goalkeepers Hayley Price (Tyldesley) and Sophie Jackson (Leeds) impressed between the sticks to thwart a number of Greek chances as they attacked quickly and directly on the counter.
“This was what we expected from previous tournaments. It was tough, but I was proud with how they kept going,” said British head coach Nick Buller. The Brits also conceded the fewest goals of any of the losing teams in Group A on the opening day with the Dutch hammering Israel 29-1 and Germany losing out 21-4 to Hungary. Team GB will hope to secure their first points of the competition against Germany on day two in Baku.