Apollon Smyrnis is the last semifinalist of the LEN Challenger Cup.
The Athens-based side beat Galatasaray in Istanbul (16:8) in the return match of the quarterfinals that was postponed due to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
The Greeks advanced to the semifinals with a 27:13 win in an aggregate score and will face Tenerife in the next stage.
LEN Challenger Cup, Quarterfinals, 2nd leg
Galatasaray – Apollon 8:16 (1:4, 2:2, 1:5, 4:5) – 1st leg 5:9
Galatasaray: Acar 3, Colak 2, Destici 2, Gulenc 1.
Apollon Smyrnis: Bogdanovic 4, Chondroukoukis 3, Gardikas 3, Goniotakis 2, Solanakis 2,Alamanos 1, Braimis 1.
Shortly after the beginning, it was almost certain that erasing a 4-goal deficit from the match in Athens would be a mission impossible for Galatasaray. Apollon dictated the pace. Galatasaray leveled just once (1:1). Apollon finished the first quarter with a 4:1 ead and maintained the difference until the middle break.
The Turks’ last hope was killed in the third period. Apollon earned a 5-goal lead quickly after the beginning of the second half (8:3). By the end of the third quarter, the Greeks went to 11:4 and the fourth quarter was just a formality.
Nikola Bogdanovic led the Greek team with four goals.
Galatasaray’s fans and Turkish water polo lovers welcomed the Greeks very nicely. Before the game, they raised a banner with the message “Thank you very much friends! (in Greek and in English) and a photo of a child from Turkey in the arms of a Greek rescuer.
Terrassa (Spain) – Enka Istanbul (Turkey)
Tenerife (Spain) – Apollon Smyrnis (Greece)
The matches are scheduled for March 1 and 22