Ferencvaros and Verona on their way to the semis
Title-holder Ferencvaros (HUN) and Verona (ITA) claimed big away wins and seem to secure their respective berths in the Euro Cup semi-finals already. Miskolc (HUN) and Marseille (FRA) are also in a good position to join them.
The fiercest clash was staged in Split where Jadran (CRO) faced Marseille and the Croats fought hard to save a slim hope for the return leg. The French kept the game under firm control for most of the time, led 2-7 late in the second period but the home side didn’t give in. With a 3-0 rush in the third Jadran closed the gap and even though Marseille rebuilt a three-goal cushion with 1:14 to go, it was reduced to one by the end as the Croatians netted two goals in 40 seconds.
The other matches were less balanced. The two Hungarian v Russian duels saw the unbeaten Magyar teams marching. Ferencvaros crashed Sintez in Kazan: the title-holders jumped to a 0-5 lead in the second period and never let the Russians back to the match. The visitors won by eight goals, securing a comfortable return leg (on a side-note: they managed to bury three penalties in Kazan, a calming outcome after they lost the European Super Cup in a shootout on Saturday).
Miskolc was also on verge to gain a decisive victory over Spartak Volgograd. They opened with a 4-0 blast, went 7-1 up in the second and held a 12-6 lead late in the fourth. Then they missed three 6 on 5s and a penalty while the Russians netted two – the last one in the last second – and escaped a bad beating. Still, the four-goal margin favours the Hungarians before the second leg, due in one month.
Crvena Zvezda (SRB) was able to hold on against Verona for three periods, it stood 5-5 in the third before Pietro Figlioli’s last second goal gave back the lead to the Italians. And they took control in the fourth: when they netted two from action in a span of 35 seconds to extend their lead to 5-9 the young Serbian side broke down. They missed a 6 on 4, three more man-ups before Edoardo di Somma put away an extra for Verona, securing a fine give-goal win and an almost secure spot in the semis.
Euro Cup, Quarter-finals, 1st leg
Sintez Kazan (RUS) v PQS-Ferencvaros Budapest (HUN)
Miskolc (HUN) v Spartak Volgograd (RUS)
Jadran Split (CRO) v Marseille (FRA)
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade (SRB) v SM Verona (ITA)
Return leg: 9 December