Brescia completed the list of the clubs that will participate in the 2020/21 Champions League. The Italians defeated Radnicki 13:9 in the final match of the Qualification Group B in Budapest. They took the last remaining ticket for the best water polo competition for the clubs in the world.
Italian water polo had a very successful week. Both Italian teams qualified for the Champions League. Ortigia finished atop of Group A in Syracuse. Italy will be the only country with three clubs in the Champions League. Brescia and Ortigia joined Pro Recco, which is one of ten wildcard-holders.
Brescia returns to the Champions League after one season of absence. Last year, the 2nd-best Italian club failed to qualify for the CL and played in the LEN Euro Cup. From 2017 to 2019, Brescia was a regular participant of the Final Eight (Final Six in 2017), but it was eliminated in the quarterfinals at each of the three tournaments.
After a series of surprises in Subgroup B1, Radnicki ran out of gas for the final match. Besides, the Serbs played this match without head coach Uros Stevanovic who was red-carded in yesterday’s match against OSC (two yellow cards). He was replaced by his assistant Dragan Kozomora. However, the Serbian club fought bravely in the final and didn’t surrender until the end. The 2nd place is a significant success for a young team of Radnicki.
Brescia won the first place in Group B quite convincingly. The Italians played only three matches. In the first round, Brescia demolished Oradea (18:1). After that, they recorded a 10:6 win over Vouliagmeni in the match that decided the subgroup winner. Today, they achieved another 4-goal victory. After all, Brescia was the biggest favorite in Group B, and the outcome of the tournament isn’t surprising.
2020/21 Champions League Qualifications, Day 5
Group B, Budapest
Radnicki – Brescia 9:13 (2:5, 1:3, 3:1, 3:4)
Radnicki: Radulovic 3, Stanojevic 2,Rasovic 1, Toholj 1, Krug 1, Lukic 1.
Brescia: Di Somma 3, C. Presciutti 2, Renzuto 2, Vlachopoulos 2, Lazic 1, Cannella 1, Dolce 1, Nikolaidis 1.
OSC – Vouliagmeni 11:7 (3:2, 3:0, 2:3, 3:2)
OSC Budapest: Toth 3, Manhercz 2, Csacsovszky 2, Varnai 1, Salamon 1, Erdelyi 1, Bundschuh 1.
Vouliagmeni: Kalogeropoulos 2, Alafragkis 1, Gkiouvetsis 1, Afroudakis 1, Chalyvopoulos 1.
Sintez – Oradea 13:8 (4:3, 2:0, 1:1, 6:4)
Sintez Kazan: Andryukov 3, Latypov 3, Zinnurov 1, Suchkov 1, Dereviankin 1, Bychkov 1, Ryzhov-Alenichev 1, Lisunov 1, Shepelev 1.
Oradea: Rogac 5, Adachi 1, V. Georgescu 1, Colodrovschi 1.
Brescia opened the final game with a 4:0 blast. At the finish of the first period, Radnicki halved the distance (2:4). Still, Italy’s Edoardo di Somma found the net in the last second of the quarter, and Brescia entered the 2nd period with a 5:2 advantage. The second quarter belonged to the Italians, who increased the advantage to five (8:3) by the middle break.
Although they were five goals behind the rival, the players of Radnicki didn’t lack motivation and did everything to come back. Brescia maintained a 5-goal distance until the 24th minute, but Radnicki scored two quick goals in the last 50 seconds of the third period, and it trailed 6:9 before the final quarter.
The teams fought a balanced battle in the last four minutes, but the Italians dictated the pace and didn’t let the Serbs come back.
There was a lot of exclusion in the final match – 34 (14 for Radnicki and 20 for Brescia). Brescia finished the game with nine players because four were sent off because of three exclusion fouls. On the other side, one player of Radnicki finished the match with three exclusions. One of the Serbian team’s best scorers Aleksa Ukropina was sent off already in the 10th minute (exclusion with substitution).
Besides, Brescia coach Alessandro Bovo was excluded in the finish of the game.
After a disappointing performance in the group stage, host OSC Budapest easily beat Vouliagmeni in the 3rd-place match. The opening minutes saw a balanced battle. It was 2:2 in the 8th minute. Twelve seconds before the end of the first period, OSC Kristof Varnai found the net for 3:2. Then OSC kept the Greeks goalless for almost 12 minutes, while they continued the series of goals to jump to a 7:2 lead, and Vouliagmeni couldn’t come back.
Sintez finished 5th after a 13:8 victory over Oradea. The Russians were ahead most of the time, but the Romanians didn’t give in. Sintez built a 5-goal lead in the middle of the final quarter (10:5) and maintained the distance until the end.
3. OSC Budapest (HUN)
4. Vouliagmeni (GRE)
5. Sintez Kazan (RUS)
6. Oradea (ROU)
7. Terrassa (ESP)
8. Tourcoing (FRA)
Enka (TUR) dsq
2020/21 Champions League Main Round
Group A: Olympiacos (Greece), Pro Recco (Italy), Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia), Spandau 04 Berlin (Germany), Marseille (France),
Group B: Ferencvaros Budapest (Hungary), Barceloneta (Spain), Waspo Hannover (Germany), Jadran Herceg Novi (Montenegro), Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia), Brescia (Italy).
The first two “bubble” tournament of the Champions League Main Round will be held in Ostia, Italy (Group A) and Budapest (Group B) in mid-December (full calendar).
The 14 teams which didn’t qualify for the Champions League will continue the European season in the 2nd round of the LEN Euro Cup (1st round has been canceled) in the first week of December (4 – 6). The draw for the LEN Euro Cup is scheduled for November 17.