The most anticipated match of the 1st round of the 122nd French championship didn’t disappoint water polo lovers. Tourcoing and Montpellier faced off in the derby. Montpellier water polo players, the visitors in this encounter, recorded a narrow 13:12 victory, although they were four goals behind the hosts in the third period.
Marseille and Pays d’Aix opened the season in style. Pays d’Aix beat newcomer Bordeaux 22:8, while Marseille was better than Nice in the Mediterranean derby – 16:4.
Noisy-le-Sec defeated Douai. Reigning champion Strasbourg defeated Sete.
Pays d’Aix is the only home team that won the points in the opening round of the powerful 2020/21 French League.
2020/21 French League, Day 1
Tourcoing – Montpellier 12:13 (4:2, 4:3, 3:3, 1:5)
Tourcoing: Kujacic 4, Canonne 3, Randjic 2, Grgurevic 2, Rocchietta 1,
Montpellier: D. Zivkovic 4, Kalinic 3, Piot 2, Ivankovic 2, I. Zivkovic 1, Mustur 1.
Pays d’Aix – Bordeaux 22:8 (5:0, 5:3, 5:1, 7:4)
Pays d’Aix: Monneret 5, Khasz 3, Gluhaic 3, Gagulic 3, Dino 3,Veron 2, Bakircilar 2.
Bordeaux: Gadza 4, Cohat 3, Streiff 1.
Nice – Marseille 4:16 (2:2, 2:4, 0:5, 0:5)
Nice: Cakic 1, Canovas 1, Gardikas 1, Butic 1.
Marseille: Vanpeperstraete 3, Prlainovic 2, Marion-Vernoux 2, Kovacevic 2, Vukicevic 2, Vernoux 1, Cuckovic 1, Olivion 1, Spaic 1, Camarasa 1.
Sete – Strasbourg: 6:13 (2:6, 2:1, 1:3, 1:3)
Sete: Furman 2, Kopeliadis 1, Mijuskovic 1, Porobic 1, Chandieu 1.
Strasbourg: Misic 3, Budjen 2, Culina 2, Babic 2, Buha 2, Missy 1, Markovic 1.
Douai – Noisy-le-Sec 7:9 (1:1, 3:1, 1:5, 2:2)
Montpellier, which plays with the same team as in the last season (there were no arrivals and departures), produced a big comeback to win all three points in a derby game in Tourcoing. Montpellier had a slim opening lead (1:0, 2:1), but the hosts took control shortly after that, and they built a 5:2 advantage early in the second period. The home side maintained a 3-goal gap until the middle break (8:5).
Tourcoing stretched the margin to four in the third quarter (10:6 and 11:7). The visitors started coming back in the last minute of the quarter. They scored three unanswered goals and were trailing just 10:11 in the 27th minute. Tourcoing quickly doubled an advantage (12:10). But, the hosts couldn’t find the net in the last five minutes. Montpellier equalized in the middle of the final period. Duje Zivkovic scored his 4th goal 53 seconds before the final buzzer for Montpellier’s 13:12 victory.
Titleholder Strasbourg didn’t make a mistake in Sete. Centre-forward Sasa Misic, who came from Miskolc this summer, scored three goals and led Strasbourg to a 13:6 win.
Pays d’Aix was too strong for Bordeaux, the newcomer to the Elite Division. Aix kept the newcomer to the Elite Division goalless until the middle of the second quarter. The hosts rushed to a 9:0 lead before the visiting side scored its first goal.
The first half of the encounter between Nice and Marseille was a big battle. After the first quarter, the sides were tied (2:2). Early in the second quarter, Nice went in front (3:2). After that, Marseille responded with three goals and went 6:3 up. Before the end of the first half, Nice scored its 4th goal. However, the visitors, guided by a new coach Milos Scepanovic, tightened their defense after the middle break. Nice failed to score in the second 16 minutes, while Marseille’s attack worked perfectly, and the biggest favorite for the title cruised to a 16:4 win. Almost all of Marseille’s field players found the net in this match. Pierre-Frederic Vanpeperstraete scored three goals. Marseille’s biggest star Andrija Prlainovic sent the ball into the net twice in his debut in France, etc.
Noisy-le-Sec, with a new coach Stefan Ciric, had a slow start in Douai. The hosts had a 4:2 advantage at halftime. The third period belonged to the Parisiens (5:1), which proved vital for their victory.