Italy, Hungary, and Croatia will have two clubs each in the Champions League Qualification Round 3. Besides the teams from these three countries, a Serbian and a Spanish club advanced to the next round.
Teams that qualified for the playoffs (October 16 and 20): Szolnok, OSC Budapest (both Hungary), Brescia, Savona (both Italy), Jadran Split, Mladost (both Croatia), Crvena Zvezda (Serbia), and Barcelona (Spain).
The very interesting second qualification round has been finished today. There haven’t been big surprises, but there have been a lot of exciting games in the last three days.
Savona didn’t record a win this weekend, but it will continue its European journey. On the other side, Greek Apollon was eliminated, although it finished the tournament in Group D with a 2-1 record.
Tiny details were decisive in groups in Szolnok and Zagreb.
Group C in Szolnok was very balanced. Szolnok finished 1st, while Savona secured a spot in the second round thanks to a last-gasp goal. Mladost finished 2nd in Group D in Zagreb after securing a narrow win over Crvena Zvezda with a goal scored 28 seconds from the end. Crvena Zvezda remained 1st here.
Two favorites in Group E, Brescia and OSC, secured their quarterfinal berths, but they didn’t have easy tasks.
Jadran Split is the only team that recorded three wins in Round 2 and finished atop Group F. Barcelona won 2nd place in this group.
Day 3, results -Group C: Savona – Jadran Herceg Novi 11:11, Szolnok – Vouliagmeni 13:12, Group D: Montpellier – Apollon Smyrnis 14:15, Mladost – Crvena Zvezda 9:8, Group E: Terrassa – Brescia 7:9, Noisy-le-Sec – OSC Budapest 7:10, Group F: Barcelona – Primorac 14:10, Oradea – Jadran Split 6:13
Savona – Jadran HN 11:11 (1:2, 3:3, 4:4, 3:2)
Savona: Vuskovic 3, Rocchi 2, Molina 2, Rizzo 1, Bruni 1, Campopiano 1, Iocchi Gratta 1.
Jadran Herceg Novi: Da. Radovic 5, Vucurovic 1, Obradovic 1, Vujovic 1, Murisic 1, Gardasevic 1, Sladovic 1.
Szolnok – Vouliagmeni 13:12 (6:4, 2:2, 3:3, 2:3)
Szolnok: Konarik 3, Angyal 3, Milakovic 2, Szeghalmi 2, Jansik 2,Zovic 1.
Vouliagmeni: Kapotsis 2, Mylonakis 2, Alafragkis 2, Gkiouvetsis 2, Troulos 2, Paparic 1, Kalogeropoulos 1.
Jadran Herceg Novi, the youngest team of the tournament, failed to win all three points despite having a 2-goal lead in the finish. That happened two times in less than 24 hours. Yesterday, Jadran led 11;9 in the fourth quarter against Vouliagmeni, but the match ended in an 11:11 draw.
Today’s game was even more thrilling. Savona scored an equalizer in the last second of the match
Jadran dictated the pace in the first two periods. The Montenegrins had a one-goal or a two-goal advantage until 6:5. In the 19th minute, the Italians equalized for the first time (6:6) and shortly after, they went ahead (7:6). But, Jadran regained an advantage before the final period (9:8). Five and a half minutes before the end, Obradovic doubled Jadran’s lead (10:8). But, Savona came back again and leveled at 10:10 in the 30th minute. Danilo Radovic scored his fifth goal and put the Montenegrins in front (11:10) with 77 seconds remaining on the clock. The Montenegrins were very close to a win. But, eleven seconds before the end, the Italians earned a man-up. Niccolo Rocchi beat the buzzer, he found the net in the last second for 11:11.
That draw suited Szolnok because it was clear that Hungarians would go through even in a case of loss to Vouliagmeni in the last match. If the teams had shared the points in this match both Szolnok and Vouliagmeni would have qualified.
Szolnok recorded a win, but the Hungarians had to work hard to collect all three points. Vouliagmeni led only twice (1:0 and 4:3), but the game was open until the very end. In the third period, Szolnok built a 3-goal lead (9:6, 10:7, 11:8). The hosts kept the distance until 13:10. Five minutes before the end, Vouliagmeni’s Gkiouvetsis found the net on extra for 11:13. After that, there were no goals for a while. Mylonakis netted for 12:13 with 48 seconds to go. He boosted the Greeks’ hope, but Vouliagmeni didn’t equalize. Szolnok kept the win, and 1st place, while Savona finished 2nd.
Szolnok is the only team that recorded a win in this group. It beat Jadran on Day 1 (11:9) and Vouliagmeni today. All other matches ended with no winner.
1 Szolnok (HUN) 3 – 7
2 Savona (ITA) 3 – 3
3 Vouliagmeni (GRE) 3 – 2 (-1)
4 Jadran HN (MNE) 3 – 2 (-2)
Montpellier – Apollon Smyrnis 14:15 (3:4, 2:4, 5:5, 4:2)
Montpellier:Kalinic 3, Mustur 2, Ivankovic 2, Alfonso Pozo 2, D.Zivkovic 2, Piot 1, Vilcot 1, Delas 1.
Apollon Smyrnis: Solanakis 4, Gusarov 3, Chondrokoukis 3, Viskovic 2, Gounas 2, Alamanos 1.
Mladost – Crvena Zvezda 9:8 (1:1, 3:3, 3:3,2:1)
HAVK Mladost: Dasic 5, Rakovac 2, Lazic 1, Vrbnjak 1.
Crvena Zvezda: Basara 2, Tankosic 1, Djurdjic 1, Subotic 1, Milojevic 1, Pjesivac 1, Radovic 1.
Apollon defeated Montpellier in a high-scoring match. Only one goal separated the rivals at the end of the game, but Apollon was almost always in the lead. Montpellier leveled the score twice in the early stage of the match (2:2, 3:3). In the second period, Apollon built a 3-goal lead (8:5) and extended the margin to four early in the third (9:5). The French tried to come back, but the Greeks controlled the game. Four minutes before the end, Apollon had a 4-goal advantage (15:11). Montpellier scored three unanswered goals in the last three minutes. The French cut the deficit to one (14:15) when it was too late – 16 seconds before the final buzzer.
Still, Apollon didn’t advance to the 3rd round, because Mladost beat Crvena Zvezda in the last match and climbed to 2nd place.
Since Crvena Zvezda defeated Apollon convincingly yesterday (14:8), the Serbs practically qualified for the playoffs after the second day. Only a 12-goal loss to Mladost would end Crvena Zvezda’s campaign.
The Serbs had no big pressure. Still, they didn’t enter the game relaxed. Mladost scored the first goal, but the Serbs replied with three and gained a 3:1 lead. They had a 4:2 advantage. However, Mladost equalized scoring two goals in the last minute of the second period (4:4). Marin Dasic scored all four goals in the first half. Crvena Zvezda lost its captain Milos Vukicevic at the end of the second quarter, as he was red-carded (exclusion with substitution)
Dasic’s one-man show continued in the second half. In the middle of the third quarter, he put Mladost in front (5:4). After Mladost’s 3:0 run, Crvena Zvezda scored two quick goals for a 6:5 lead. Still, before the final period, the rivals were tied at 7:7. Both defenses worked well in the fourth quarter. Goalkeepers Ivan Marcelic (Mladost) and Vladimir Misovic (Crvena Zvezda) posted several excellent saves. Mladost’s center forward, Pliskevich, broke the deadlock in the 30th minute. He converted a man-up to put Mladost in the lead (8:7). Veljko Tankosic leveled at 8:8 with 58 seconds remaining on the clock.
The thriller was reaching its culmination. Just 28 seconds before the end, the referees awarded a penalty shot for Mladost, because Crvena Zvezda’s player, who had already committed three personal fouls, returned to the field after Mladost failed to convert an extra man. Dario Rakovac took responsibility. He sent the ball into the net for 9:8. Crvena Zvezda had a man-up in the last 16 seconds, but it didn’t score and Mladost celebrated a minimal but valuable victory.
1 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) 3 -6*
2 Mladost (CRO) 3 – 6*
3 Apollon Smyrnis (GRE)3 – 6*
4 Montpellier (FRA) 3 – 0
*Head to head: Crvena zvezda – Apollon 14:8, Apollon – Mladost 9:8, Mladost – Crvena Zvezda 9:8. Standings: 1. Crvena Zvezda 3 (+5), 2. Mladost 3 (0), 3. Apollon 3 (-5)
Terrassa – Brescia 7:9 (4:2, 1:3, 1:3, 1:1)
Terrassa: Barroso 4, carillo 1, De Lera 1, Rodriguez 1.
Brescia: Luongo 3, Vapenski 2, Lazic 1, Renzuto 1, ALesiani 1, Di Somma 1.
Noisy-le-Sec – OSC Budapest 7:10 (1:1, 0:1, 2:3, 4:5)
Noisy-le-Sec: Petkovic 3, Saudadier 1, Prioteasa 1, Krapic 1, Guerin 1.
OSC Budapest: Harai 3, Manhercz 2, Toth 2, Salamon 1,Csacsovszky 1, Bundschuh 1.
Terrassa had nothing to lose or get in the game against Brescia. The Spaniards lost all chances of reaching the third round yesterday. Still, Terrassa stunned Brescia in the opening minutes earning a 3:0 lead. Brescia’s coach Alessandro Bovo called a time-out after Terrassa’s third goal. The Italian champions regrouped themselves during this break and started coming back. In the middle of the second period, Brescia gained a lead for the first time (Vapenski for 5:4). Still, Terrassa leveled at 5:5. Deep into the third quarter, Brescia earned a 2-goal advantage (7:5). The rest of the game was balanced and Brescia maintained a 2-goal lead.
OSC didn’t let Noisy-le-Sec surprise in the last match of the tournament. The Hungarians’ defense was superb in the first three quarters. Three and a half minutes before the last pause, OSC led 5:1. But, the hosts were able to come back. By the end of the quarter, they halved the distance (3:5). The Parisians found their rhythm and caught up with OSC – 6:6 (28th minute). The Hungarians answered with two goals for 8:6. Noisy cut the deficit (7:8) with 02:22 minutes to go, but OSC scored two goals in the remaining time and advanced to the playoffs.
1 Brescia (ITA) 3 – 7 (+7)
2 OSC Budapest (HUN) 3 – 7 (+4)
3 Noisy-le-Sec (FRA) 3 – 3
4 Terrassa (ESP) 3 – 0
Barcelona – Primorac 14:10 (3:1, 3:2, 5:3, 3:4)
Barcelona:Mallarach 3, Delgado 2, Goma 2, Ramon 2, Valls 1, Garcia 1, Durik 1, Tahull 1, Estrany 1.
Primorac: Macic 3, Matkovic 2, Gopcevic 2, Draskovic 1, Paunovic 1, Vuksic 1.
Oradea – Jadran S 8:18 (1:4, 2:4, 3:5, 2:5)
Oradea:Asanovic 2, Czenk 2, Kovats 1, Popoviciu 1, Shakenov 1, Colodrovschi 1.
Jadran Split: Delic 6, Marinic Kragic 2, Cagalj 2, Pejkovic 2, Buric 1, Bukic 1, Jankovic 1, Stojanac 1, Setka 1, Duzevic 1.
Barcelona and Primorac met in the crucial encounter in the battle for 2nd place in Group F. Barcelona was the better rival from the beginning. The Spaniards built an early 3:0 lead and maintained the difference until the middle break (6:3). They stretched the margin to five with two goals in the first two minutes of the third period (8:3). After that, their win wasn’t in danger.
Jadran Split cemented 1st place in the group after the first two competition days, but it wanted to say goodbye to home fans with another good performance. The hosts finished the tournament the same way they started the second qualification round – with a convincing victory. Jadran’s 18:8 win over Oradea is the victory with the biggest margin in the second qualification phase.
1 Jadran S (CRO) 3 – 9
2 Barcelona (ESP) 3 – 6
3 Primorac (MNE) 3 – 3
4 Oradea (ROU) 3 – 0