Barceloneta finally did it. The Spanish champion recorded its first win over Pro Recco since the current format of the Champions League was inaugurated in the season 2013/14.
Barceloneta defeated Recco 9:8 in a very good and exciting game played in Milan. It ended its long series of 12 consecutive losses to the best Italian club in the last ten years. Today’s defeat is Recco’s first home loss in the Champions League since February 21, 2020, when OSC beat the Italians 12:9 on Day 9 of the CHL. That game was played in Bergamo, and shortly after, the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Spanish champion leads the race in Group A with 24 points. Olympiacos beat Vouliagmeni convincingly (14:6) and climbed to 2nd place with 22 points, one more than Pro Recco.
Visiting teams recorded wins in all today’s games.
Jadran Split recorded a very valuable win today, as well as Barceloneta. The Croatian team defeated Radnicki in Kragujevac (13:11) and kept realistic chances of reaching 4th place, while Radnicki is far from the Final Eight now.
Dinamo Tbilisi collected its first points in the season by beating Hannover in Germany 10:8. Hannover led 8:4 in the 15th minute, but they couldn’t find the net in the second half.
The Champions League continues in four weeks after the tournaments of the World Cup Division 1.
2022/23 Champions League, Group A, Day 9
Pro Recco – Barceloneta 8:9 (2:4, 4:2, 0:1, 2:2)
Pro Recco: Del Lungo, Di Fulvio 2, Zalanki 1, Figlioli, Younger 3, Iocchi Gratta 1, N.Presciutti, Echenique, Ivovic, Velotto, Loncar, Hallock, Negri. Head coach: Sukno.
Barceloneta: Aguirre, Famera 2, Matkovic, Munarriz 2, De Toro 1, Larumbe 1, Pavilalrd 1, Fernandez, Tahull 1, Perrone 2, Biel , Bustos, Porter. Head coach: Fatovic.
Pro Recco played three games of the Italian Cup last weekend, and that affected their today’s performance. Barceloneta was very well prepared for the derby. The visiting side dictated the pace and controlled the game. Recco managed to equalize only twice.
Barceloneta played at a high level from the beginning. In mid-quarter, the visitors netted two quick action goals within 66 seconds (Famera and Perrone) and earned a 2:0 lead. Younger scored the first goal for Pro Recco in the 6th minute.
However, the Spaniards continued dictating the pace. Twenty-one seconds before the first break, Luke Pavillard fired the ball from a distance for 4:1. Still, Younger closed the first quarter (2:4).
Recco cut the deficit already in the first possession in the second quarter. Matteo iocchi Gratta made it 3:4. Barceloneta rebuilt a 2-goal lead after Perrone scored from a penalty shot for 5:3. Recco found its rhythm and finally caught up with Barceloneta in the 14th minute. Di Fulvio scored an action goal for 5:5. Munarriz put Barceloneta ahead – 6:5. But, Younger was the last one who found the net in this period, just as in the first one. He converted a penalty for 6:6 at 00:47.
Recco was more aggressive in the third quarter and had more opportunities to score than the visitors, but goalkeeper Unai Aguirre, who had 10 saves this evening, was excellent, especially in this period. Only one goal was seen in the third quarter. In the middle of the period, Roger Tahull made it 7:6.
The beginning of the fourth period, in which Recco’s coach Sukno switched goalkeepers (Negri replaced Del Lungo), was similar to the third quarter. Defenses dominated. There were no goals for a while.
In the 28th minute, Munarriz doubled the Spaniards’ lead to 8:6 with a nice goal from more than 7 meters. Gergo Zalanki responded immediately from the 5m line. But, it didn’t take long before Barceloneta re-earned a 2-goal lead. Famera found the net from almost the same place as Munarriz did it a few minutes earlier and Barceloneta went to 9:7 in the 30th minute. Two goals separated the rivals less than 30 seconds, as Di Fulvio scored an action goal for 8:9. In the remaining two minutes of the hard battle, nobody found the net. Thirty seconds before the end, Negri saved a shot from Larumbe, and Barceloneta had new 20 seconds to secure a win. However, the Spaniards lost the ball, and Recco had the last attack. Younger sent the ball over the crossbar with two seconds remaining and all three points went to Barceloneta.
Elvis Fatovic, Barceloneta’s head coach, commented:
“Our defense was crucial for the victory. We knew that Recco would be tired because they played three games last weekend. We opened the game very well. We even had a chance to secure the win earlier, but we made some mistakes. Still, we managed to play well at the finish. It’s always nice to beat a team like Pro Recco. But, a lot of challenges are ahead of us. We will play against Olympiacos in a month, which is a very important game for us.
Sandro Sukno, Recco’s coach, said:
“Congratulations to Barceloneta. The Spanish team played better from the beginning. It was a very good game of high intensity. We lost, but we are still in the middle of the season. There will be a lot of important and challenging games for all teams until the end of the preliminary stage.”
Radnicki – Jadran S 11:13 (1:4, 3:4, 4:2, 3:3)
Radnicki: Dobozanov, Brankovic, Stanojevic, Jankovic 2, Cuk 1, Gavrilovic, Ukropina 4, Poznanovic, Pljevancic, Antic, Lukic 4, Vrlic, Todorovski. Head coach: Stevanovic.
Jadran Split: Anic Buric 1, Marinic Kragic 4, Cagalj 1, Butic 2, Pejkovic, Bukic , Zovic 1, Tomasovic 4, Dobud, Setka, Duzevic, Marcelic. Head coach: Marelja.
Jadran climbed to 5th place and pushed Radnicki to 6th. Despite the loss, the Serbian club still has slim chances of reaching the Final Eight, but it has a mountain to climb, while Jadran is close to 4th place.
On Friday, Jadran defeated Radnicki convincingly – 15:3. Such a big margin was really surprising. The Croats kept the momentum from that victory. They opened the match with a 3:0 lead. Nikola Lukic scored the first goal for Radnicki, by converting a man-up just 31 seconds from the first break. But, the visitors had a 6 on 5 in their last possession. Tomasovic didn’t miss an opportunity and Jadran regained a 3-goal lead.
For the first time after almost a month, Radnicki had two center-forwards on the roster. Bogdan Gavrilovic recovered from an injury and joined the team, so first center Josip Vrlic had more time to rest. The center-forwards did a good job and forced a lot of exclusions, but Radnicki’s man-up conversion was very poor in the first half (1/8). After 32 minutes, Radnicki’s conversion of the extra player shots was 28% (5/18), and Jadran’s 63% (5/8)
Radnicki’s head coach Uros Stevanovic tried to change something with often changes of goalkeepers, but it didn’t give the desired result.
Jerko Marinic Kragic gave Jadran a 5:1 lead early in the second quarter. Radnicki halved the deficit (3:5) and it looked like the hosts started coming back. But, the Croats regained a four-goal advantage with two quick goals from Jerko Marinic Kragic within 17 seconds in the 12th minute – 7:3.
At halftime, Jadran led 8:4. Ten days ago, Olympiacos had an 8:4 advantage after the first half in the same pool, but Radnicki, with enormous help from the stands, made a big comeback, took a 10:8 lead, but the match ended in a 10:10 draw.
Today, the scenario from the 8th round didn’t repeat. The atmosphere in the pool was significantly different compared to the game against Olympiacos. Radnicki didn’t have an extra man in the stands.
After less than a minute of the play in the third quarter, Jerko Marinic Kragic (who didn’t find the net in a 15:3 win on Friday) added his fourth goal in the match for 9:4. Although it missed a lot of man-ups Radnicki reduced the gap (7:9), but Butic replied shortly after for 10:7. But, Urkopina converted a man-up in the very last second and only two goals separated before the final eight minutes (8:10).
Just as in the first three periods, Jadran opened the fourth quarter with a goal. Tomasovic scored for 11:8. Butic widened the gap to 12:8. Still, Radnicki tried to return in the battle for the points once again and came close (10:12) with 02:39 minutes left on the clock. But, Zovic found the net in the next possession (13:10) and sealed Jadran’s victory
Jure Marelja, Jadran’s head coach, was very satisfied:
“We have to be happy, we beat a very good team of Radnicki and stayed in the battle for the F8. We knew this game wouldn’t be the same as the one we played on Friday. We were concentrated, played as we could. We hope that we can reach the Final Eight if we beat Vouliagmeni in Split in the next round and surprise some of the favorites.”
Uros Stevanovic, Radnicki’s head coach said that Jadran deserved the win and commented:
“We made too many mistakes for an important game like this was. I think we lost all chances to qualify for the Final Eight, with today’s loss and three draws (against Vouliagmeni, Jadran in Split and Olympiacos- Ed). Our plan is to play as best we can until the end of the season. Now, our main goals are the Serbian Championships and the Regional League.
Vouliagmeni – Olympiacos 6:14 (1:2, 1:6, 3:3, 1:3)
Vouliagmeni: Tzortzatos, Chalyvopoulos, Almyras 1, Kalogeropoulos 1, Troulos, Nikolaidis 1, Papasifakis 1, Woodhead 1, Alafragkis, Kapotsis, Kourovanis 1, Farmer, Andreadis. Head coach: Vujasinovic.
Olympiacos: Bijac, Gkillas 1, Vamos 2, Genidounias 4, Fountoulis 1, Grammatikos, Dervisis, Buslje, Dimou 2, Filipovic 2, Kolomvos 1, Papanastasiou 1, Zerdevas. Head coach: Milanovic.
Vouliagmeni couldn’t repeat a very good performance from the recently played league match against Olympiacos (10:10). The “Red Whites “broke their archrival with a 6:0 run, which they produced in less than six minutes.
The opening minutes didn’t indicate that the game would be one-sided. Vouliagmeni’s Kourovanis gave the hosts a 1:0 lead in the 3rd minute. Olympiacos, which was without centre-forward Konstantinos Mourikis, had a lot of problems in the attack. The Greek champion missed one shot after another. A minute and 31 seconds before the first break, Ioannis Fountoulis put Olympiacos on the scoreboard by converting a man-up. He activated Olympiacos’ goal machine. In the next attack, Vouliagmeni forced a penalty shot. Bijac saved a shot from Papasifakis, which was another encouragement for Olympiacos. In the eighth minute, Papaanastasiou put Olympiacos ahead (2:1).
The visitors continued rolling after the first break. Olympiacos opened the second quarter with four straight goals and earned a 6:1 lead in the 13th minute. Woodhead broke the visitors’ series with a power play goal (2:6), but not for long. The Piraeus-based side scored twice in the last 61 seconds of the first half and it was 8:2 up at the middle break.
Marton Vamos made it 9:2 in the 18th minute and it was clear that Vouliagmeni would leave the pool empty-handed. Olympiacos stretched the margin to eight until the end (14:6). Interestingly, Olympiacos beat Vouliagmeni with the same score in the match in Piraeus in the first half of the Preliminary Stage.
An excellent percentage of extra-player shots (6/9) was one of the keys to Olympiacos’ win. Vouliagmeni’s conversion was 3/9.
Waspo98 Hannover – Dinamo Tbilisi 8:10 (2:2, 6:4, 0:2, 0:2)
Waspo 98 Hannover: Goetz, Corusic, Schipper, Froreich 1, Schutze 1, Radovic 5, Lozina, Macan, Kubisch, Gansen, Benic 1, Basic, Benke. Head coach: Seehafer.
Dinamo Tbilisi: Razmadze, Kirikladi, Akhvlediani 3, Dzikhtsiarenka, Tkeshelashvili 2, Vlahovic, Jakhaia, Saric, Imnaishvili, Magrakvelidze 1, Malyshau 1, Pjesivac 3, Gvetadze. Head coach: Stanojevic.
Both teams had no pressure since they had been out of the race for the F8 berths before the match, but both were motivated to win. Still, Hannover’s attack stopped in the second half, primarily because of an excellent performance of Dinamo’s goalkeeper Irakli Razmadze, who posted 17 saves today!
The teams were in a neck-and-neck race until 3:3. In the 11th minute, Dinamo took the lead for the first time (4:3), only to see Hannover’s 5:0 rush. The German champion, led by Montenegrin veteran Aleksandar Radovic, scored five unanswered goals in 03:32 minutes. Radovic found the net from a distance for 8:4 in the 15th minute. Few believed that Dinamo could come back. But it was Hannover’s last goal in the game. However, something similar happened ten days ago in the match against Vouliagmeni – Hannover when the Germans scored their last goal in the 17th minute.
The Georgians scored two goals in the last 53 seconds of the first half (6:8), showing that a comeback was possible.
An outstanding Irakli Razmadze blocked numerous hosts’ shots in the second half. The fact that center-forward Luka Lozina got injured in the first half impacted Hannover’s play in the attack in the third and the fourth quarters. Most of their attempts were from a perimeter. They couldn’t find a way to send the ball behind Razmadze’s back. Dinamo equalized late into the third quarter – Pjesivac scored an action goal in the 23rd minute (8:8). Akhvlediani made it 9:8 in the middle of the last period. Tkeshelashvili set the final score with a long-distance shot two and a half minutes before the end.
1.Barceloneta 9 games – 24 points
2. Olympiacos 9 – 22
3. Pro Recco 9 – 21
4. Vouliagmeni 9 – 13
5. Jadran S 9 – 10
6. Radnicki 9 – 9
7. Hannover 9 – 3
8. Dinamo 9 – 3
Group B (March 21): Ferencvaros – Spandau 04, OSC Budapest – Brescia, Novi Beograd – Marseille, Sabadell – Jug AO.
Group A (March 22): Barceloneta – Olympiacos, Jadran Split – Vouliagmeni, Pro Recco – Hannover, Dinamo Tbilisi – Radnicki.
Follow the live scores on Total Waterpolo Arena