After yesterday’s action-packed Day 11 in the Champions League Group B, there were no thrills in today’s matches of Round 11 in Group A.
But something like that was expected. Favorites recorded more or less convincing wins.
An encounter between Vouliagmeni and Pro Recco was exciting. Vouliagmeni kept up with the European champion for three quarters, but the European champion recorded a 13:7 victory. A six-goal difference doesn’t mirror a real difference between the two teams’ performances in this game. The Italians secured the win only in the final eight minutes.
Unlike in the match Vouliagmeni – Recco, the first quarter was crucial for the outcome of the game between Radnicki and Barceloneta. The group leader Barceloneta opened the match against Radnicki very well, which put the Spaniards on the right track. The hosts fought hard after the first quarter, but Barceloneta collected three points in Kragujevac with a 14:10 win.
Olympiacos trashed Waspo 98 Hannover in Piraeus (15:8).
Jadran kept its chances to reach the Final Eight by beating Dinamo in Tbilisi by five goals (12:7).
There were no ups and downs in the standings. Barceloneta is in the top spot. Pro Recco is three, and Olympiacos is five points behind the Spaniards. Vouliagmeni and Jadran are tied in points, but Vouliagmeni is in 4th and Jadran in 5th place due to a better score in their encounters. Radnicki, Dinamo and Hannover are between 6th and 8th place.
2022/23 Champions League, Group A, Day 11
Vouliagmeni – Pro Recco 7:13 (1:2, 2:4, 3:2, 1:5)
Vouliagmeni: Andreadis, Chalyvopoulos 1, Kastrinakis, Kalogeropoulos 2, Troulos, Nikolaidis 1, Konstantopoulos, Almyras, Alafragkis 2, Kapotsis 1, Kourovanis, Farmer, Tzortzatos. Head coach: Vujasinovic.
Pro Recco: Del Lungo, Di FUlvio 1, Zalanki 4, Figlioli 1, Younger 1, Cannella, N.Presciutti 1, Echenique 3, Ivovic 1, Velotto, Loncar, Hallock 1, Negri. Head coach: Sukno.
Vouliagmeni displayed excellent performance. Still, the Greeks ran out of energy for the last quarter. Pro Recco proved it was a better rival than the Greek team, but Vouliagmeni should be praised for what it showed today.
Some believed that Recco would record an easy win because it broke Vouliagmeni’s resistance quickly in the first match (Recco led 11:5 at halftime of the game in Italy and recorded a 14:7 win).
However, the European champion had to dig deep to earn three points. Vouliagmeni’s defense was excellent from the beginning. Recco built a 2:0 lead in the first quarter, but both goals came after personal fouls (one from a penalty and the other from a man-up). In the last second of the first period, Nikolaidis converted a man-up and put the hosts on the scoreboard (1:2).
Recco controlled the game in the second period. It managed to earn a 3-goal advantage (5:2). Vouliagmeni came close (3:5). Still, the visitors regained a 3-goal lead as Aaron Younger found the net in the last second to make it 6:3. Ben Hallock found the net for 7:3 in Recco’s first possession in the second half. However, Recco was still far from three points.
Vouliagmeni played excellently in defense after Hallock’s goal. Young goalkeeper Emmanouil Andredis, who was between the posts for all 32 minutes, posted a few great saves. The hosts even killed one Recco’s double man-up. The Greeks, who had great support from their fans, were coming back step by step. They scored three goals in a row and cut the deficit to 6:7 in the 21st minute. They had a few chances to equalize but failed (Chalyvopoulos hit the post from a 6 on 5). At the finish of the quarter, Recco’s captain Aleksandar Ivovic ended his team’s goalless phase that lasted for more than seven minutes. Nine seconds before the buzzer, he scored from a counterattack for 8:6.
Echenique stretched the margin to three (9:6) in the 25th minute. Recco kept Vouliagmeni far from its goal with an intense pressing defense in the fourth quarter. The Italians’ attack, led by Hungarian star Gergo Zalanki, worked well. In the 30th minute, Francesco Di Fulvio converted a 6 on 5, after a long pass from Echenique to make it 11:6, and the contest was over.
But, as we said, Vouliagmeni has to be praised.
Sandro Sukno, Recco’s coach, said:
“Vouliagmeni played very well, much better and more aggressively than in our first encounter in Italy. Their goalkeeper did a good job, too. In the end, three points are the most important. We have to continue to improve our shape. There are three matches until the end of the group stage. We want to win nine points in these games.”
Vouliagmeni’s coach Vladimir Vujasinovic, who left a strong mark in Recco as a player and a coach, commented:
“ I feel happy like we won the game because we played really well against the team that is, in my opinion, the best in Europe at the moment. Recco has excellent players in each position. I am satisfied with how we played. I hope we will keep going this way and keep the spirit. Our next game is against Dinamo in Tbilisi. If we continue playing like we did today, we will be very close to qualifying for the Final Eight.”
Radnicki – Barceloneta 10:14 (1:4, 2:2, 2:3, 5:5)
Radnicki: Dobozanov,Brankovic, Stanojevic, 2 Jankovic, Cuk 2, Gavrilovic 2, Ukropina 1, Kojic 1, Pljevancic, Antic, Lukic 2, Vrlic, Milutinovic. Head coach: Stevanovic.
Barceloneta: Aguirre, Famera, Matkovic, Munarriz 1, De Toro, Larumbe 2, Pavilard 2, Paul 3, Tahull 1, Perrone 3, Biel 2, Bustos, Porter. Head coach: Fatovic.
Barceloneta made a crucial difference at the finish of the first quarter. There were no goals until the 4th minute when Larumbe gave Barceloneta a 1:0 lead. Stanojevic leveled immediately with a man-up. Then, Barceloneta netted three goals in less than two minutes (two from counterattacks and one with an extra player) to build a 4:1 lead.
In the following three periods, the hosts displayed they could be an equal opponent to the favorites. Still, Barceloneta controlled the result and held off the rival’s comeback attempts.
Radnicki fought bravely, but it couldn’t come closer than two goals in the second quarter (2:4, 3:5). Barceloneta had a 3-goal advantage at the middle break (6:3).
The Spaniards extended the margin to four (7:3, 8:4) in the third quarter Radnicki struggled in the attack and wasted a few opportunities with an extra player. Finally, after three missed man-ups in a row, the Serbs scored from a 6 on 5. Stanojevic scored for 5:8 in the 24th minute, but Larumbe closed the third quarter with a goal in the dying seconds. Barceloneta entered the final quarter with a safe 9:5 advantage.
The fourth period was similar to the previous two. The teams were in a neck-and-neck race. Radnicki chased the rival. The hosts reduced the gap to three goals five times, but the visitors responded on each occasion and maintained a 4-goal difference.
Radnicki proved it had the potential for good results, but due to big ups and downs throughout the season, it has been out of the race for the F8. At least the Serbs didn’t let Barcelona run over them as it did in Barcelona (18:9). They lost the game, but their performance didn’t disappoint their fans.
Olympiacos – Hannover 15:8 (5:1, 1:1, 4:2, 5:4)
Olympiacos: Bijac, Gkillas 1, Vamos 2, Genidounias 4, Fountoulis 2, Gouvis, Dervisis 3, Buslje, Mourikis, Filipovic, Dimou 1, Papanastasiou 2, Zerdevas. Head coach: Milanovic.
Waspo 98 Hannover: Goetz, Corusic, Schipper 1, Froreich, Schutze 2, Hulshoff, Lozina 1, Macan, Kubiscg, Gansen, Benic 1, Basic 3, Bock. Head coach: Seehafer.
Nothing but Olympiacos’ win was expected in the match in Piraeus. The Greeks didn’t need much time to prove who the favorite was.
The hosts opened the match with a 5:0 explosion. After that, Hannover never got into the race for points. The hosts started making mistakes in the second quarter, they missed several man-ups, scoring only one goal (Genidounias from a penalty). Still, they didn’t pay for missed chances because they played well in defense and didn’t let the Germans, who played without captain Radovic, create a lot of opportunities to score.
After the middle break, Olympiacos refound its rhythm from the first quarter. In the middle of the fourth quarter, the Greeks earned an eight-goal lead (12:8) and kept that advantage for a long, even though their defense weakened. At the game’s finish, it stood 15:7. Andrija Basic closed the match with a power-play goal in the very last second.
The statistics can lie if you don’t have a good view. The teams had similar percentages of shots in this match – Olympiacos 43% and Hannover 40%. But, the piece of data that Olympiacos had almost double more attempts to score than Hannover gives the right image and shows how Olympiacos played in defense. Olympiacos had 35 shots, and Hannover 20.
Dinamo T – Jadran S 7:12 (2:4, 1:4, 1:2, 3:2)
Dinamo Tbilisi: Razmadze, Kiriakidi, Akhvlediani 1, Dzikhtsiarenka, Tkeshelashvili 3, Vlahovic, Jakhaia, Saric, Imnaishvili 1, Magrakvelidze, Malyshau, Pjesivac 2, Gvetadze. Head coach: Stanojevic.
Jadran Split: Marcelic, Buric 3, Marinic Kragic 3, Cagalj, Butic 2, Pejkovic, Bukic 1, Zovic 1, Delic 1, Tomasovic, Setka, Duzevic 1, Anic. Head coach: Marelja.
Last season, Dinamo beat Jadran in Tbilisi. But, the Croats arrived in Georgia quite disappointed and without big ambitions since they had lost all chances to qualify for the F8.
Today, the situation was different. Jadran is still among the contenders for the F8 berths and it entered the match with victorious ambitions.
The Croats, who played without its most experienced player Niksa Dobud, scored two goals in the first two minutes and showed they wouldn’t let themselves fail a relatively easy exam. They maintained a 2-goal difference until the first break (4:2). By the middle of the second quarter, Jadran doubled its advantage (6:2), while they went to 8:3 at the finish of the first half.
The Croats’ power play advantage was far from good (1/7). Still, it didn’t bother them. They scored enough action goals, and the defense was up to the task, so their win wasn’t in danger. Early in the third quarter, Rino Buric made it 9:3, and it was clear who would win. Jadran slowed in the last quarter and a half but kept a big advantage. Moreover, the visitors went to +7 in the 30th minute after Jerko Marinic Kragic scored for 12:5 from a counterattack. The Georgians reduced the gap in the remaining time.
Jadran caught up with Vouliagmeni in points, but the Greeks are still ahead of the Split based-side because of a better score in head-to-head encounters. Jadran will play against Olympiacos in the next round, while Vouliagmeni goes to Tbilisi.
1. Barceloneta 11 – 30
2. Pro Recco 11 – 27
3. Olympiacos 11 – 25
4. Vouliagmeni 11 – 14*
5. Jadran 11 – 14*
6. Radnicki 11 – 9
7. Dinamo T 11 – 6
8. Waspo 98 Hannover 11 – 3
*Head to head: Vouliagmeni 4, Jadran 1 point
Group A (April 25): Spandau – OSC Budapest, Marseille – Ferencvaros, Sabadell – Brescia, Jug – Novi Beograd
Group B (April 26): Olympiacos – Jadran, Waspo 8 Hannover – Barceloneta, Dinamo – Vouliagmeni, Radnicki – Pro Recco.
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