Great Britain's men's water polo team were outclassed by experienced rivals Russia in their final European qualifier in Sunderland.
But after wins against Moldova and Israel in their opening two matches in the north east, they will still progress to the final stage of qualification – a two-leg playoff against Spain, Romania or Croatia next year.
And captain and goalkeeper Ed Scott was upbeat about the performance, with the British team trailing by just one goal coming into the final quarter before going down 13-6.
“We’re obviously disappointed but we’re really happy with some of the performances we’ve had over the last few weeks and we want to build on that for the next round of qualifiers,” said Scott.
“It’ll be great to have another match in Great Britain with a home leg in the next round so we’ll all really look forward to that now.
“We knew the match was going to be quicker but we stuck with Russia all the way up to the last quarter and did well to match them.
“I think it showed our fitness isn’t quite up to scratch compared to the Russians. If we want to play at the same level as them we need to keep working hard and training away.”
© Sportsbeat 2013