An action-packed Day 3 of the 2021 Champions League brought two big derbies.
Jug Dubrovnik defeated Olympiacos after a great comeback in Group A in Ostia and finished the tournament with a perfect record – 3/3. Brescia upset titleholder Ferencvaros in Group B in Budapest. Without any doubt, Ferencvaros’ loss is a surprise, but this isn’t a big upset, because Brescia composed an excellent team during the transfer window.
Pro Recco collected all nine points at the tournament in Ostia, as well as Jug, after it beat Spandau easily. Ortigia achieved its first-ever Champions League victory, by defeating Marseille.
Barcelona leads the race in Group B. Jadran took the points in the match against Hannover.
Group A (Day 3): Marseille – Ortigia 10:11, Olympiacos – Jug 8:9, Pro Recco – Spandau 19:6
Standings after three rounds: 1. Pro Recco 9, 2. Jug 9, 3. Olympiacos 6, 4. Ortigia 3, 5. Marseille 0, 6. Spandau 0.
Group B (Day 2): Barceloneta – Dinamo T 17:5, Ferencvaros – Brescia 7:10, Jadran HN – Hannover 12:11.
Standings after two rounds: 1.Barceloneta 6, 2. Brescia 6, 3. Ferencvaros 3, 4. Jadran 3, 5. Hannover 0, 6. Dinamo 0.
Marseille – Ortigia 10:11 (1:3, 3:2, 4:3, 2:3)
Marseille:Cuckovic 2, Prlainovic 2, Vernoux 2, Crousillat 1, Djurdjic 1, Kovacevic 1, Vukicevic 1.
Ortigia: Gallo 3, Napolitano 3, Giacoppo 2, Cassia 1, Rocchi 1, Rossi 1.
Although it played very well in all three matches, Marseille goes home empty-handed. Ortigia recorded its historic victory, the first one in the Champions League.
The French team had 12 players on the roster. Reserve goalkeeper Hovhannsiyan missed the match because of the positive coronavirus test. Ortigia was the better team in the first half of the game. The Sicilians had a 2-goal advantage on two occasions (3:1, 4:2). Marseille equalized (4:4), but Ortigia was in front before the third quarter (5:4).
The second quarter offered a lot of twists and turns. Marseille took control after the middle break and turned around the 4:5 deficit to a 2-goal lead (7:5). But, they didn’t manage to keep that advantage. The sides were tied after the third quarter of the game (8:8).
Ortigia went ahead early in the fourth (9:8). In the next possession, the French leveled the score (9:9), but midway through the final period Valentino Gallo scored two nice goals and Ortigia was 11:9 up. Vernoux cut Marseille’s deficit. The French did everything to equalize, but without success. They even had a man-up in the last eight seconds, but Ortigia’s experienced goalkeeper Stefano Tempesti, who was one of the best players today (15 saves), blocked Vernoux’s shot.
Olympiacos – Jug 8:9 (1:0, 4:2, 0:3, 3:4)
Olympiacos: Kapotsis 3, Gendiounias 2, Kakaris 1, Mourikis 1, Irving 1.
Jug AO: Obradovic 4, Fatovic 2, Garcia 1, Tomasovic 1, Merkulov 1.
The first quarter was a formidable defensive battle. Konstantin Kakaris broke the deadlock. In the last second of the period, he hit the back of the net from a counter-attack for 1:0. Olympiacos dictated the pace in the second quarter, earned a 2:0 lead . Paolo Obradovic converted a man-up for Jug’s first goal in the 12th minute (1:2). At the finish of the quarter Jug trailed by just a goal (2:3). But, 27 seconds before the middle break, Olympiacos forced a penalty shot, and Genidounias didn’t make a mistake, scored for 4:2. Just 22 seconds later, the same player found the net after a counter-attack and Olympiacos had a substantial 5:2 advantage before the third period.
After less than 30 seconds of play, Olympiacos had a great chance to build a 4-goal lead. The Greeks earned another penalty shot, but Jug’s goalie Toni Popadic saved a shot from Argyropoulos. And that was the turning point. Jug started coming back to the game. By the end of the quarter, the Croats equalized (5:5). Jug opened the fourth quarter with an action goal (Tomasovic) and went in front for the first time (6:5). Shortly after, Kapotsis leveled the score 6:6. That was followed by two goals on both sides of the pool, Fatovic converted a penalty to give Jug a 7:6 lead, but immediately after Irving responded from 6 on 5. Five minutes before the end, the score was 7:7. Elvis Fatovic gave Jug an 8:7 lead with 03:07 remaining on the clock. A minute later, Paulo Obradovic, the best player of the game, ruined Olympiacos’ last hope, by converting a man-up for 9:7. The Greeks scored the consolation goal in their last possession.
After the third win, Jug coach, Vjekoslav Kobescak emphasized:
“Our games against Olympiacos are always very tough and today’s match was no exception to that either. The way it started I had doubts whether we could come back in time but we did and I am extremely proud of my team and especially our young players. We came back thanks to Paolo Obradovic’s head and muscles. The rhythm here is ruthless, there are no easy games. I hope Loncar’s injury is not as bad as it looks like at first and if nothing is broken it should look better in a couple of days. All in all I am satisfied with the first half of our season so far.”
Theodoros Vlachos, Olympiacos coach:
“Jug is an excellent team, one of the best in the last few years. We really enjoy playing against them and I really believed we could beat them this time. The third quarter was decisive. We started off very good but then for a period of time we could not score and Jug is too experienced not to take advantage of that. They closed the gap and turned around the game in the last quarter. We lost and we must learn from this and try to beat them next time.”
(Quotes source – LEN Press Release)
Pro Recco – Spandau 19:6 (4:0, 5:3, 5:0, 5:3)
Pro Recco: Younger 3, Dobud 3, Di Fulvio 2, Mandic 2, Figlioli 2, Ivovic 2, Velotto 1, N. Presciutti 1, Hallock 1, Figari 1, Luongo 1.
Spandau 04: Kholod 3, Pjesivac 2, Gielen 1.
Pro Recco cruised to a win over Spandau in the last match of the tournament in Ostia. After 10 minutes, the Italians had a 5:0 advantage and it was clear who would take the points. Recco water polo players didn’t slow after the middle break, despite the fact that they had already secured the win. They wanted to improve goal-difference. Each of Recco’s 11 field players found the net this evening.
The first tournament in Group A is over, the next one is in March (four competition days, March 1 – 5).
1 Pro Recco (ITA) 3 – 9 (+18)
2 Jug (CRO) 3 – 9 (+8)
3 Olympiacos (GRE) 3 – 6
4 Ortigia (ITA) 3 – 3
5 Marseille (FRA) 3 – 0 ( – 4)
6 Spandau (GER) 2 – 0 (-23)
Barceloneta – Dinamo 17:5 (5:0, 4:2, 5:3, 3:0)
Barceloneta: Granados 5, Bodegas 3, Perrone 3, De Toro 2, Famera 1, Munarriz 1, Mallarach 1, Bustos 1.
Dinamo: Jelaca 2, Meskhi 1, Vasic 1, Vapenski 1.
Barceloneta recorded a new convincing and easy victory, after beating Hannover yesterday. The Spaniards opened the match with a 6:0 lead. Dinamo got on the scoreboard in the middle of the second period (1:6). The last goal by the Georgians came in the 21st minute for 5:9. In the remaining time, Barceloneta increased the margin of its win to 12 and warmed out for tomorrow’s match against Brescia.
Ferencvaros – Brescia 7:10 (1:3, 1:2, 4:4, 1:1)
Ferencvaros: Fountoulis 2, Jaksic 1, Varga 1, Jansik, Constantin-Bicari 1, Zalanki 1.
Brescia: Canella 3, Renzuto 1, C. Presciutti 1, Lazic 1, Jokovic 1, Alesiani 1, Vlachopoulos 1, Gitto 1.
Ferencvaros still hasn’t got into good shape and after the match, the European champion had to congratulate Brescia for a well-deserved win. The Italians played an excellent game and proved that they could battle for the Champions League trophy.
Brescia was ahead almost from the first whistle until the end. The Italians scored an opener in the second minute, Ferencvaros equalized in the 5th. Then Brescia produced an excellent 4:0 run and took a 5:1 lead in the middle of the second quarter. In the remaining time, Ferencvaros was coming back from time to time, but the Hungarians couldn’t recover from an opening shock.
Brescia, led by Giacomo Canella regained a 4-goal advantage in the third period (6:2, 7:3). However, Ferencvaros found its rhythm and managed to reduce the gap with three straight goals. A minute before the last break Jaksic scored for 6:7. But, Brescia responded quickly, with two goals in the last 23 seconds of the quarter (Vlachopoulos from an extra and Gitto from a counter-attack), and entered the fourth period leading 9:6. Jansik found the net for 7:9 early in the fourth period, but Brescia controlled the match and celebrated a win.
The percentage of efficiency in man-up situations was one of the crucial factors that made the difference. Ferencvaros didn’t score a goal with an extra player (0/7), while Brescia was much better (4/10).
Zsolt Varga, Ferencvaros’ head coach, said:
“This game just put light on our weaknesses again, that in recent weeks we had issues with injuries, sickness which did not make our job easy to pull everything together. I mean, when you miss three such great offensive players as Denes Varga, Gergo Zalanki and Marton Vamos for long weeks, you barely have the chance to shape your game properly. We need more time to reach the level we are supposed to, we have a lot of work to do. This team is not the same which won the Champions League in 2019, this is a new one, and all new teams need time to be built. For several reasons, we are at the beginning of the real process so we have to be patient and work really hard to be ready for the spring.”
On the other side, Alessandro Bovo, the head coach of Brescia, was happy:
“I’m absolutely satisfied with today’s game since we only played ten games this season so it’s not easy to be ready for a match like this. I was even surprised how well we played against Ferencvaros which is a great team. But this is only one game, tomorrow we will face another challenge.”
(Quotes source – LEN Press Release)
Jadran HN – Hannover 12:11 (3:1, 3:4, 3:5, 3:1)
Jadran Herceg Novi: Averka 5, Dj Radovic 3, Vujovic 2, Vucurovic 1, Banicevic 1.
Waspo 98 Hannover : A. Radovic 4, Nagaev 4, Macan 1, Preuss 1, Winkelhorst 1.
Jadran and Hannover suffered big defeats on Day 1, and both teams had a lot of motives to improve after (expected) losses. The final score mirrors the happenings in the pool. A young team of Jadran and an experienced German side fought a hard battle, the details decided the outcome. Jadran led for most of the time. In the second quarter, Jadran had a 3-goal advantage (5:2, 6:3), but the Germans managed tut un the score. In the 22nd minute, Hannover took a lead for the first time (10:8). Shortly after, the Germans doubled an advantage, but before the final quarter, Jadran trailed by a goal (9:10).
The Montenegrins scored three goals in a row to jump to a 12:10 lead with 02:28 minutes to go. Just 38 seconds before the final buzzer, Nagaev found the net for 11:12. Hannover had the last possession in the match and a chance to equalize, but Jadran saved its net and all three points.
1 Barceloneta (ESP) 2 – 6 (+20)
2 Brescia (ITA) 2 – 6 (+9)
3 Ferencvaros (HUN) 2 – 3 (+5)
4 Jadran HN (MNE) 2 – 3 (-8)
5 Hannover (GER) 2 – 0 (-9)
6 Dinamo T (GEO) 2 – 0 (-18)
Group B (Budapest)
14.00: Dinamo – Jadran
16.30: Hannover – Ferencvaros
19.00: Brescia – Barceloneta