Novi Beograd and Crvena Zvezda will play in the final of the Serbian Cup in Belgrade tomorrow.
Crvena Zvezda upset Radnicki, which won the Serbian Cup last season. Crvena Zvezda dictated the pace throughout the semifinal match. The Red Whites held back Radnicki’s late comeback attempt and recorded an 11:10 victory.
Novi Beograd beat Partizan (14:9) in the other semifinal. Still, the result doesn’t mirror the situation in the water. It wasn’t an easy win for Novi Beograd.
Yesterday, we wrote that the surprises were possible, considering the problems and changes on the rosters of the favorites, Novi Beograd and Radnicki. So far, one surprise has happened….
The final, Novi Beograd – Crvena Zvezda, is on Sunday at 20:00 CET at the “SC Milan Gale Muskatirovic – 25 May” pool
Novi Beograd – Partizan 14:9 (3:4, 2:2, 3:3, 6:0)
Novi Beograd: Drasovic 4, Granados 3, Mandic 2, S.Rasovic 1, Vucinic 1,Perkovic 1, Martinovic 1, Skoumpakis 1.
Partizan: Trtovic 2, Smiljevic 2, P.Jaksic 1, Milos 1, Gladovic 1, Giga 1, Paparic 1
Novi Beograd is still without a few key players who are missing due to injuries (Nikola Jaksic, goalkeeper Radoslav Filipovic, Angelos Vlachopoulos). Dusko Pijetlovic, Dimitrios Skoumpakis, Vasilije Martinovic and Nika Shushiashvili, who couldn’t play in the Champions League against Ferencvaros, returned to the team.
As the final score says, the first three quarters produced a balanced battle. However, Partizan ran out of gas for the final eight minutes. Novi Beograd was the heavy favorite, but Partizan played excellently in the first 24 minutes and was in front for most of the first three quarters.
Novi Beograd scored an opening goal, but Partizan was 4:3 up at the first break. Two minutes before the end of the first half, Novi Beograd left without its most experienced player Dusko Pijetlovic, who was red-carded. Partizan scored with that extra player and earned a 2-goal lead (6:4) for the first time. Still, in the last minute of the first half, Novi Beograd converted a triple man-up for 5:6.
The favorite leveled at 6:6 at the beginning of the third quarter, but the “Black Whites” rebuilt a 2-goal lead (8:6). The Regional League champion caught up with the rival at 8:8 again. Still, Partizan entered the final quarter with a slim advantage (9:8) as Nikola Giga found the net from a distance with seven seconds left on the clock.
However, the game turned into a one-sided contest after the last break. Novi Beograd produced a 6:0 run for a 14:9 victory.
Radnicki – Crvena Zvezda 10:11 (1:2, 4:5, 3:3, 2:1)
Radnicki: Lukic 4, Jankovic 2, Brankovic 2, Stanojevic 1, Ukropina 1.
Crvena Zvezda: Subotic 4, Radovic 3, Vukicevic 3, Seman 1.
We have to start the report about the second semifinals with information about rosters. As we reported yesterday, Marko Radulovic left Radnicki, while center-forward Nemanja Vico won’t be at the club for a while. But, at the last moment, a newcomer Vuk Draskovic, who arrived from Primorac to replace Radulovic, got the right to play for Radnicki in the Serbian League and Cup. Crvena Zvezda was without an experienced Dusan Vasic, who got injured.
Sudden changes on the roster affected Radnicki’s play undoubtedly. However, Crvena Zvezda was excellent today. It played its best match this season and deserved to win. To remind you, Crvena Zvezda is the only team that hasn’t suffered a loss to Radnicki in the Serbian League this season (their league encounter ended in a draw)
The Belgrade-based side had a 2:0 lead in the first quarter. Centre-forward Milos Vukicevic gave the “Red Whites” a 4:1 advantage early in the second and maintained the difference for a while. At the finish of the quarter, Vukicevic added his third goal for 7:4. But, Radnicki earned a man-up in its last possession. Stanojevic converted it to 5:7.
Leftie Marko Radovic opened the third quarter with an excellent goal from a distance. The Belgrade-based team rebuilt a 3-goal lead (8:5). After that, the teams exchanged goals, but the Kragujevac-based side scored the last one in the third period. Nikola Lukic closed the quarter by converting a penalty shot. Radnicki trailed 8:10 before the fourth period.
The Kragujevac-based side reduced the gap to one in the final quarter twice – 9:10 (the 25th minute) and 10:11 (the 28th minute). In the last two minutes, Radnicki had three fine chances to equalize, but they hit the post once, and Crvena Zvezda’s goalkeeper Vladimir Misovic posted two great saves (one with a man-down).
Misovic was one of the heroes of Crvena Zvezda’s win, along with Gavril Subotic, Milos Vukicevic, and Marko Radovic.