Title-holder Ferencvaros (HUN) and main challenger Verona (ITA) are a step closer to the ‘dream final’ in the Euro Cup after great wins in the first legs of the semis.
The all-Hungarian encounters brought brilliant battles in both cup competitions this Wednesday: while Eger handed a historic first-ever home defeat to Szolnok in the Champions League, visitor Miskolc kept favorite Ferencvaros under pressure for much longer than expected.
Only a last-gasp goal gave a slim 6-5 lead to the title-holders by half-time and Miskolc bettered them in the third as they managed to go 6-7 up with 1:47 to go. However, Ferencvaros scored twice in 56 seconds and to further boost its psychological advantage goalie Soma Vogel stopped a penalty with 0:03 before the last break.
And the Budapest based club really started to roll in the fourth, netting three straight goals for 11-7. Though the visitors scored twice later Ferencvaros also added two more to prove their status among the leading clubs of the continent. After netting eight in three periods, they scored five in the last one to earn a 13-9 win which put them in a really promising position for the return match.
The same applies to Verona which earned a valuable away win in Marseille. The Italians enjoyed two great rushes in the middle two periods and those brilliant spells ultimately decided the outcome. The French took the better start, then came the first four-goal run by Verona, from 3-2 to 3-6. Though early in the third the hosts came close once more at 5-6 but then another Italian storm stroke the pool and that blew the French away (5-10).
In the fourth the hosts staged a late surge narrowing their deficit to two goals (from 6-11 to 9-11), still, these goals might come way too late and saved just a slim hope for Marseille for the second leg.
PSQ-Ferencvaros (HUN) v PannErgy Miskolc (HUN)
CN Marseille (FRA) v SM Verona (ITA)
The second leg is due on 28 February.
Find all details, stats, and play-by-play descriptions here.