After five rounds of the Champions League Group A, Barceloneta is lonely atop the table.
The Spanish champion beat Olympiacos 9:7 in the big derby in Piraeus. It continued its winning streak while the Greeks suffered their first loss in the season. It was an even contest until the middle of the fourth quarter. Barceloneta’s defense was outstanding in crucial moments. Olympiacos scored only one goal in the last 13:43 minutes of the game. The Spaniards secured the win with three quick goals within 86 seconds in the fourth quarter.
The other Greek club, Vouliagmeni, was successful today. Vouliagmeni earned three valuable points defeating Jadran Split (13:12).
European champion Pro Recco didn’t shine, but it earned an away victory over Hannover (11:8).
Radnicki struggled against Dinamo Tbilisi, but recorded a narrow 11:10 win.
2022/23 Champions League, Group A Day 5
Olympiacos – Barceloneta 7:9 (2:2, 2:2, 2:2, 1:3)
Olympiacos: Bijac, Gkillas 1, Vamos 2, Genidounias 1, Fountoulis 2, Gouvis, Dervisis, Buslje 1, Mourikis, Filipovic, Kolomvos, Papanastasiou, Zerdevas. Head coach: Milanovic.
Barceloneta: Aguirre, Famera 1, Matkovic 1, Munarriz 2, De Toro, Larumbe, Pavillard, Paul, Tahull 2, Perrone 3, Biel, Bustos, Porter. Head coach: Fatovic.
Barceloneta was more aggressive and had more opportunities to score in the first quarter. The Spaniards led 1:0, 2:1, but they couldn’t make a bigger difference, mostly because Olympiacos’ goalkeeper Marko Bijac was outstanding in the first quarter.
Marton Vamos opened the second quarter with a nice goal to put Olympiacos in front (3:2), and the teams switched roles. Olympiacos was a team that was taking the lead, and Barceloneta chased the rival. Despite the fact that Filip Filipovic didn’t spend much time in the water (he was ill in the past few days), Olympiacos dictated the pace for a while. In the 19th minute, the hosts went ahead for the last time. Andro Buslje netted a nice goal for 6:5. But, after that, Olympiacos’ long goalless phase started.
Munarizz leveled at 6:6 in the 21st minute. After the shot, Munarriz accidentally hit Konstantinos Mourikis in the face. The experienced Greek center-forward got injured and had to leave the water. However, he returned to the game in the fourth quarter, but his return didn’t help Olympiacos win.
The hosts missed a few fine chances, including two man-ups, in the opening minutes of the fourth period. They paid for it. Barceloneta earned a 6 on 4 in the 29th minute. Felipe Perrone took responsibility and converted a double man up for 7:6. Shortly after, Barceloneta’s goalie Aguirre posted an excellent save, and his team started a counterattack. Perrone added his third goal, and two goals separated the rivals for the first time (8:6). Olympiacos continued missing its chances. After Barceloneta’s eighth goal, they wasted another two chances with a power play advantage. A minute and 58 seconds before the end, Dusan Matkovic made it 9:6 from a counter. Barceloneta netted three unanswered goals in 01:26 minutes, and everything was decided. Gkillas scored a consolation goal for the hosts four seconds before the end.
Barceloneta is the only Champions League club that opened the season with five wins. None of the teams in Group B has a perfect record.
Elvis Fatovic, Barceloneta’s coach, commented:
“ Defense is always important and makes a difference in the games like this. We improved the defensive play in the second half of the match. Our defense with a man-down was the key to success. We were patient in the attack, which led us to victory.”
Igor Milanovic, Olympiacos head coach, said:
“We had a lot of chances, we led by a goal several times, but we didn’t realize our chances with a man-up. On the other side, Barceloneta realized its opportunities and recorded the win. I feel sorry.”
Vouliagmeni – Jadran S 13:12 (3:2, 4:3, 2:3, 4:4)
Vouliagmeni: Tzortzatos, Chalyvopoulos 3, Kastrinakis, Kalogeropoulos 3, Troulos 2, Nikolaidis 1, Papasifakis 2, Woodhead 1, Alafragkis 1, Almyras, Kourovanis, Farmer, Andreadis. Head coach: Vujasinovic.
Jadran Split: Marcelic, Buric 2, Marinic Kragic 1, Cagalj 1, Butic 2, Pejkovic 1, Bukic 1, Zovic 1, Delic 1, Dobud 3, Setka, Tomasovic, Anic. Head coach: Marelja.
Vouliagmeni beat Jadran in one of the crucial matches in the battle for 4th place in the group. The final score mirrors the difference in the performances of both teams. Vouliagmeni was a slightly better rival today and deserved a slim win.
The Greeks led throughout the match. They built a 3-goal lead in the second quarter, which was vital for their win. Jadran caught up with the hosts in the second half, and leveled the score a few times, but it didn’t earn a point.
Jadran equalized just once in the first half (1:1). At the first break, it stood 3:2. A good opening of the second period, put Vouliagmeni on the right track. The hosts scored two action goals in the first two minutes of the second quarter (between these goals, they killed Jadran’s man-up ) to go to 5:2. Vouliagmeni maintained a 3-goal difference until 7:4, but Jadran’s Butic closed the first half with a man-up goal and reduced the gap to two (5:7).
Jadran kept the momentum and leveled at 7:7 in the middle of the third period and again at 8:8. However, Vouliagmeni entered the final quarter with a slim 9:8 advantage since Chalyvopoulos found the net 38 seconds before the last break. Early in the fourth period, Woodhead doubled the home team’s advantage (10:8). In the remaining time, the teams exchanged goals. At 00:56, Nikolaidis scored for 13:11. Marinic Kragic halved the deficit with 15 seconds to go, and after that, Vouliagmeni kept the ball and the win.
Waspo 98 Hannover – Pro Recco 8:11 (3:5, 1:1, 1:2, 3:3)
Waspo 98 Hannover: Benke, Corusic, Schipper, Froreich 1, Schutze 1, Radovic, Lozina 1, Macan 1, Kubisch 1, Gansen, Benic 1, Basic 3, Goetz. Head coach: Seehafer.
Pro Recco: Del Lungo, Di Fulvio 1, Zalanki 1, Figlioli, Younger, Fondelli 1, Presciutti, Cannella 1, Ivovic 3, Iocchi Gratta 1, Aicardi 2, Loncar 1, Negri. Head coach: Sukno.
Pro Recco was far from its best. Hannover was highly motivated, but it couldn’t surprise the European champion. The statistics say Hannover had more opportunities to score than the Italians (28 shots from Hannover and 25 from Recco). Still, the Germans were never in front. They equalized three times in the first quarter (1:1, 2:2, 3:3). After that, Recco didn’t shine, but it controlled the game. Compared to the last Recco’s match in 2022, Nicholas Presciutti returned to the team, while Echenique, Hallock and Velotto missed the game.
After a 5:3 first period, Hannover’s goalkeeper Felix Benke posted several saves, which encouraged his teammates. In the 12th minute, Hrvoje Benic converted a man-up for 4:5. Hannover trailed by a goal for a while. Still, just 39 seconds before the middle break, Giacomo Cannella fired a “rocket” from eight meters to double the Italians’ advantage – 6:4.
At the beginning of the third period, Aicardi made it 7:4. Ivovic converted a 6 on 5 from a close-range shot for 8:4. In the following minutes, Hannover reduced the gap to two (6:8, 7:9). But, Recco, rebuilt a 4-goal lead with two quick goals at the finish of the match (11:7) and secured the victory.
Radnicki – Dinamo 11:10 (2:3, 4:3, 3:2, 2:2)
Radnicki: Dobozanov, Brankovic 1, Stanojevic 1, Jankovic, Cuk 1, Vico 1, Ukropina 1, Gavrilovic, Poznanovic, Radulovic 3, Lukic 3, Vrlic, Milutinovic. Head coach: Stevanovic.
Dinamo Tbilisi: Gyapjas, Chkeidze, Akhveldiani, Dzikhtsiarenka 1, Tkeshelashvili 1, Vlahovic 2, Jakhaia, Saric 2, Imnaishvili, Magrakvelidze 3, Meskhi, Pjesivac 1, Razmadze. Head coach: Stanojevic.
Dinamo didn’t arrive in Kragujevac with a white flag. The Serbs were the favorites, but the game was open until the end.
The Georgians were a better rival in the first half. Dinamo took a 4:2 lead in the 10th minute. After that, the Serbs, who played without Luka Pljevancic, produced a 4:1 run, they went ahead (6:5 in the 15th minute). It seemed that the Serbs had control, but Tkeshelashvili leveled at 6:6 five seconds before the end of the first half.
Dinamo kept with the favorite until 7:7. Then, Radnicki scored two goals in 38 seconds (Lukic and Cuk) and earned a 2-goal lead (22nd minute). Still, Dinamo came close before the final eight minutes (8:9), converting its third penalty in the match.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Radnicki missed a penalty shot and a man-up, and Dinamo leveled the score again (9:9). Radnicki went to 11:9, but Dinamo halved the distance shortly after – 10:11 (29th minute). After that both teams missed their chances. Dinamo could earn a point. But, Dobozanov saved a shot fromImnashvili with eight seconds to go and Radnicki survived and won three points. However, the Serbian club still isn’t in shape.
1.Barceloneta 5 – 15
2.Olympiacos 5 – 12
3. Pro Recco 5 – 12
4. Vouliagmeni 5 – 7
5. Radnicki 5 – 7
6. Jadran S 5 – 6
7. Waspo 98 5 – 0
8. Dinamo 5 – 0
Group B, Day 5, Wednesday, January 11
Jug – Sabadell (19:00)
Spandau 04 – Ferencvaros (19:30)
Marseille – Novi Beograd (20:00)
Brescia – OSC Budapest (20:30)
All times are local (CET)
Follow the scores and statistics on Total Waterpolo Arena
Standings: 1. Novi Beograd 10, 2. Brescia 9 (+10), 3. Ferencvaros 9 (+2), 4. OSC Budapest 5, 5. Marseille 4, 6.Jug 4, 7. Spandau 04 2, 8. Sabadell 1