Ferencvaros and Barceloneta kept rolling in the Champions League groups C and D and became the first two teams to qualify for the quarterfinal stage.
Ferencvaros defeated Jadran Herceg Novi in Trebinje 17:10 in the fourth round of Group C and secured a spot among the top 8 teams. In the second match in this group, Crvena Zvezda edged out Jadran Split 12:11. The Serbs recorded their first win in the season and remained in the race for the 2nd place. However, Jadran Split is still the team with the biggest chance to join Ferencvaros in the quarterfinals from this group. But, Crvena Zvezda and Jadran HN have enough points and the right to hope.
Barceloneta cruised to a 13:6 win over Spandau in Berlin and secured at least 2nd place in Group B. The visitors collected the points in both today’s matches in this group. Marseille defeated Vouliagmeni in Athens 12:9. It’s clear now that Vouliagmeni will continue the season in the LEN Euro Cup, while Marseille and Spandau are in the battle for the 2nd place and the quarterfinal stage.
2024 Champions League, Day 4
Jadran Herceg Novi – Ferencvaros 10:17 (1:4, 4:5, 2:4, 3:4)
Jadran Herceg Novi: Da. Radovic 2, Sladovic 2, Kholod 1, Vucurovic 1, Nagaev 1, L.Vukicevic 1, Caraj 1, V.Radovic 1.
Ferencvaros: Ven.Vigvari 5, Mandic 2, Fekete 2, A.Nagy 2, D.Varga 2, Damonte 2, Merkulov 1, Argyropoulos 1.
Ferencvaros made a crucial difference practically already in the first quarter. Jadran HN scored the first goal in the game. Kholod converted a penalty. But Ferencvaros’ answer was powerful. The Hungarians scored four goals within 02:16 minutes. An excellent defensive play gave the visitors the opportunities for fast attacks. Fekete leveled at 1:1. Vendel Vigvari netted two from counterattacks, and Mandic scored from a 6 on 5, so Ferencvaros entered the second quarter leading 4:1.
The hosts reduced the gap to two goals three times during the second period. Still, in the 15th minute, Ferencvaros earned a 4-goal lead for the first time. Fekete made it 8:4 from a counterattack. The Hungarians’ defense weakened in the second half. Still, the attack, led by Vendel Vigvari, did its job well. Therefore Jadran couldn’t come close.
Crvena Zvezda – Jadran Split 12:11 (3:2, 3:3, 3:3, 3:3)
Crvena Zvezda: Vasic 2, Gogov 2, Basara 2, M. Radovic 2, Bursac 1, Markovic 1, Subotic 1, Seman 1.
Jadran Split: Kharkov 5, Marinic Kragic 2, Dj.Radovic 1, Vrlic 1, Fatovic 1, Anic 1.
Crvena Zvezda and Jadran played an exciting game with several twists and turns. Crvena Zvezda emerged victorious in a big battle and recorded its first win in the season.
The Serbian club played well in away matches against both Jadrans, but they couldn’t keep the same rhythm until the end. Today’s encounter produced a different storyline. The Serbs were very focused and played well at the match’s finish. Precisely, they were making the difference at the end of each quarter.
Crvena Zvezda had a 2:0 and 4:2 advantage in the first half. Jadran made a 3:0 run in a minute and a half. In the 15th minute, the visitors went in front for the first time – 5:4. However, the Croats didn’t keep an advantage for long. Drasko Gogov closed the first half with two goals in the last 70 seconds. First, he converted a penalty shot. Seventeen seconds before the middle break, Gogov found the net from the deep left for 6:5.
Jadran opened the second half excellently, with a new 3:0 run. This time in three minutes. Two lefties hit the back of the net (Kharkov and Dj. Radovic) hit the back of the net. Marinic Kragic added a goal from a penalty shot, and the Croatian champion had an 8:6 lead in the 27th minute. However, the finish of the quarter was similar to the previous one. Crvena Zvezda netted thrice in the final two and a half minutes and regained a lead. At 00:30, Dusan Markovic scored a nice goal – 9:8.
Jadran’s goalkeeper Mate Anic shook the hosts’ self-confidence at the start of the fourth period. After Crvena Zvezda lost the ball in the attack, it went to Mate Anic. Jadran’s goalie noticed that his colleague in Crvena Zvezda, Vladimir Misovic, was several meters in front of the hosts’ net and scored a goal with a lob over the entire field.
Still, that mistake by Misovic, one of the best in the winning team today, didn’t disturb the Serbs significantly. Marko Radovic scored from the 5m line – 10:9. However, Kharkov (with his 5th goal) and Vrlic gave Jadran an 11:10 lead with 04:25 minutes remaining on the clock. But, after that, Jadran couldn’t outsmart Crvena Zvezda’s defense. Basara leveled. Dusan Vasic, who did a great job at both ends of the pool, made it 12:11 in the 30th minute. The home side managed to keep that advantage and three points. Misovic posted two saves in the final minute, and the Serbs could celebrate.
Anyway, Jadran is still closer than Crvena Zvezda and Jadra HN to 2nd place in the group. In the remaining two rounds, it will host Jadran Herceg Novi and Ferencvaros. Crvena Zvezda will play an away match against Ferencvaros and welcome Jadran HN.
Standings: 1. Ferencvaros 12, 2. Jadran Split 6, 3. Crvena Zvezda 4, 4. Jadran Herceg Novi 2.
Spandau 04 – Barceloneta 6:13 (0:4, 2:3, 3:2, 1:4)
Spandau 04: Abramson 2, Gbadamassi 1, Chiru 1, Tomasovic 1, Sedlmayer 1.
Barceloneta:Paul 3, Tahull 3, Biel 2, Sanahuja 2, Perrone 1, Pavillard 1,Larumbe 1.
The match in Berlin became a one-sided contest shortly after the first whistle. Barceloneta demonstrated that it wouldn’t let Spandau cause a surprise and achieve the 3rd win in a row. The Spaniards’ defense was superb in the opening minutes. Goalkeeper Unai Aguirre was up to the task. He posted one save after another. The Spaniards’ attack took a furious start and earned a 6:0 lead, and it was clear that Spandau had no chance against the favorite for the top spot.
Barceloneta is six points ahead of Spandau and Marseille. Spandau can’t catch up with the Spaniards, because it lost twice to them. Marseille has slim chances to finish the group stage ahead of Barceloneta. The Spanish champion needs only one point in the remaining two matches (against Vouliagmeni at home and Marseille in France) to cement 1st place.
Vouliagmeni – Marseille 9:12 (4:3, 3:4, 0:2, 2:3)
Vouliagmeni: Ubovic 3, Spahits 2, Kalogeropoulos 1, Almyras 1, Papasifakis 1, Kastrinakis 1.
Marseille: Vernoux 4, Manhercz 3, Crousillat 1, Prlainovic 1, Velotto 1, Bodegas 1, Vukicevic 1.
Vouliagmeni entered the match without two important players – captain Marios Kapotsis is injured, while Dylan Woodhead is with Team USA at the Pan American Games.
Still, the hosts started very well. Marseille took an opening 1:0 and 2:1. The Greek side responded with a 3:0 run and went to 4:2. In the 12th minute, Vouliagmeni led by three goals (7:4).
The home team dictated the pace until its seventh goal, but its good play started falling apart soon. A young home team made too many mistakes and lost concentration, and Marseille, which improved its defense and man-up attacks, made the most of it. The visitors scored three goals by the middle break. Manhercz leveled at 7:7 from a long-distance shot. Andrija Prlainovic put Marseille in front from a counterattack early in the third period – 8:7. But, that wasn’t the end of the French’s series. Vernoux opened the fourth quarter by converting a man-up for 10:7. Vouliagmeni, which was without a goal for 14 minutes, couldn’t recover from Marseille’s 6:0 strike. A slim hope appeared after Spahitcs ended Vouliagmeni’s long goalless phase (8:10), but Marseille controlled the match until the end.
Vouliagmeni lost the chance to qualify for the quarterfinals and will probably finish in 4th place. Marseille is tied in points with the second-placed Spandau. The Germans are still ahead of the French because they beat Marseille 13:10.
Standings: 1. Barceloneta 12, 2. Spandau 04 6, 3. Marseille 6, 4. Vouliagmeni 0.