Two big derbies were the highlights of today’s action in the LEN Champions League.
The day was opened by an encounter between reigning European champion Ferencvaros and Barceloneta in Group B in Budapest. Ferencvaros edged out the Spaniards 11:10 and halted Barceloneta’s winning run. The Spanish champion is the only club which recorded 3 wins at the first “bubble” tournament in Budapest.
Pro Recco and Jug, the favorites in Group A, faced off in the last match of the day. But, that game didn’t offer excitements. Pro Recco ran over Jug – 18:3. Recco set the season record with this unbelievable win. Until today, the biggest win in this season was Recco’s 19:6 victory over Spandau on Day 3.
The German clubs had an excellent day. Spandau upset Ortigia with a comfortable 12:6 win in Group A. Hannover demolished Dinamo Tbilisi 10:3 in Group B. Hannover led 9:0 and didn’t concede a goal until the 31st minute of that match. Both German clubs moved from the last places in their respective groups.
Marseille defeated Olympiacos in Group A – 9:8 and proved that it can reach 4th place and a ticket for the Final Eight.
As expected, Brescia defeated Jadran Herceg Novi (11:6), so after four rounds, the first three clubs in Group B have nine points each, while each of the teams ranked 4th-6th has won three points.
Group A (Day 5): Spandau 04 – Ortigia 12:6, Marseille – Olympiacos 9:8, Pro Recco – Jug 18:3.
Standings: 1. Pro Recco 15, 2. Jug 12, 3. Olympiacos 6, 4. Marseille 4, 5. Spandau 4, 6. Ortigia 3.
Group B (Day 4): Ferencvaros – Barceloneta 11:10, Hannover – Dinamo T 10:3, Jadran HN – Brescia 6:11.
Standings: 1. Barceloneta 9, 2. Brescia 9, 3. Ferencvaros 9, 4. Hannover 3, 5. Jadran 3, 6. Dinamo 3.
Spandau – Ortigia 12:6 (4:2, 4:1, 2:3, 2:0)
Spandau 04: Gielen 2, Strelezkij 2, Dedovic 2, Restovic 2, Stamm 1,Cuk 1, Juengling 1, Kholod 1 (Baksa 12 saves)
Ortigia: Giacoppo 2, Gallo 2, Napolitano 1, Ferrero 1. (Tempesti 6 saves)
Extra player shots: Spandau 4/6, Ortigia 2/11. Penalty shots: Ortigia 1/1.
Spandau arrived at the second tournament as an underdog, since it suffered three big losses in the first “bubble” in Ostia in December. But, the Germans have improved their shape significantly in the past two and a half months. Obviously, the preparations with the national team and participation in the Olympic qualifications helped the Germans to compensate a lack of official matches (the German League hasn’t started yet), although Germany disappointed in the qualifications and left Rotterdam with no points. Dmitri Kholod also played in Rotterdam, and won 4th place with Russia.
Yesterday, Spandau played very well against Marseille and it was very close to a victory. Today, the Berliners demolished Ortigia. The Italians scored an opening goal. But, Spandau responded with a 3:0 run for a 3:1 lead. Massimo Giacoppo halved a distance in the 5th minute (2:3), but then Spandau produced a 4:0 series for a 7:2 lead (12th minute), and maintained a 5-goal difference until the middle break.
Spandau had almost a perfect percentage of shot in the first half – 8/10. Ortigia scored just three goals (from 12 shots), partly because of their mistakes in attack, and partly because of an excellent performance by Laszlo Baksa (7 saves in the first half). Ortigia’s veteran Stefano Tempesti, who played very well against Jug yesterday, didn’t post a single save in the first half!
The Sicilians reduced the gap two times during the third quarter (5:8, 6:9). But Spandau’s win wasn’t in danger. The Germans kept Ortigia goalless in the last 11 minutes of the match.
Marseille – Olympiacos 9:8 (0:0, 4:3, 3:4, 2:1)
Marseille: Spaic 2, Vukicevic 2, Prlainovic 1, Vernoux 1, Djurdjic 1, Kovacevic 1, Camarasa 1 (Lazovic 6 saves)
Olympiacos:Irving 3, Daube 2, Genidounias 1, Argyropoulos 1, Kakaris 1 (Zerdevas 10 saves).
Extra player shot: Marseille 3/6, Olympiacos 6/10
After three narrow losses at the first tournament in Ostia, and yesterday’s draw against Spandau, Marseille finally recorded the first victory in the season and climbed to 4th place in the group.
There were no goals in the first period. Marseille scored three goals in the first two and a half minutes of the second quarter to jump to a 3:0 lead. Olympiacos hit back slowly but strongly. The Greeks got on the scoreboard in the 13th minute, when Kakaris converted a man-up for 1:3. The Piraeus-based team equalized 31 seconds before the middle break – 3:3. Still, Vladan Spaic scored a nice goal 19 seconds later, and Marseille led 4:3 at halftime.
Spaic’s goal was the start of Marseille’s new 3:0 series. Kovacevic and Vukicevic opened the third period with goals for 6:3. But, Olympiacos, led by its Americans Irving and Daube, responded with three consecutive goals for 6:6. Vernoux gave Marseille a 7:6 lead in the 23rd minute- Still, Genidounias closed this quarter with a nice lob for 7:7.
In the opening minutes of the final period, Marseille scored two goals with a power-play advantage. Vukicevic and Prlainovic found the net for 9:7 and that proved vital for the French’s win. Olympiacos cut the deficit in the 31st minute (8:9), but it didn’t have a chance to equalize. They lost the ball in the last possession, and Marseille kept the win.
Pro Recco – Jug 18:3 (4:0, 4:1, 6:0,4:2)
Pro Recco: Figlioli 3, Mandic 2, Di Fulvio 2, Younger 2, Echenique 2, Dobud 2, Aicardi 1, Ivovic 1,Velotto 1 (Bijac 8 saves in three quarters, Negri 1 save)
Jug: Fatovic 2, Tomasovic 1 (Popadic 2 saves, Vukojevic 5 saves)
Extra player shots: Pro Recco 7/11, Jug 0/5. Penalty shots: Pro Recco 1/1, Jug 1/1.
Few could expect that the encounter between the unbeaten teams before Day 5, would turn into a one-sided contest. Yesterday, Recco convincingly defeated Olympiacos (14:8), while Jug struggled to beat Ortigia (8:6). Still, despite these facts, a big battle was expected today.
But, Recco quickly killed all the suspense. In the end, few can remember a game in which one of the best clubs in the world Jug scored only three goals and conceded 16.
Pro Recco got off to a perfect start. The Italians’ defense, commanded by Jug’s former captain Marko Bijac (6 saves in first 8 minutes) worked excelently.On the other side, Recco netted four goals and had a nice 4:0 lead at halftime. Niksa Dobud, who was the captain of Jug before Bijac, scored one of these four goals.
Dusan Mandic gave Pro Recco a 5:0 advantage. After that, Jug finally broke the deadlock. The Croats forced a penalty shot in the 10th minute, and Loren Fatovic made no mistake from the 5m line (1:5). Still, by the end of the second quarter, Pro Recco went up 8:1. In this quarter, a young Tomasovic replaced Popadic in front of Jug’s goal, but that move by coach Vjekoslav Kobescak didn’t change the rhythm of the game.
Recco’s domination was continued after a three-minute break. The Italians scored six unanswered goals in the third period for a huge 14:1 lead. Jug couldn’t find the right solution in the attack. On the other side, each mistake made in defense was punished by the Italians.
Before the final quarter, Recco’s coach Gabriel Hernandez replaced goalkeeper Bijac by Tomaso Negri, since everything was decided.
Recco earned a 16:1 lead early in the fourth period. And then, Jug scored its first goal in the second half, Elvis Fatovic finished a counterattack with a goal for 2:16. Jug scored one goal after that, but Recco answered with two, and Jug’s nightmare was ended with a 3:18 loss.
Jug was incomplete today. Alex Obert missed the match, Daniil Merkulov was injured during the game. But, Jug coach Vjekoslav Kobescak didn’t try to find excuses after the big loss. “If we play like this, we don’t deserve a place in the Champions League”, he said.
Ferencvaros – Barceloneta 11:10 (2:3, 3:3, 4:3, 2:1)
Ferencvaros: Zalanki 3, Fountoulis 3, Sedlmayer 2, Jaksic 2, Fekete 1 (Gardonyi 8 saves)
Barceloneta: Granados 3, Perrone 3, Munarriz 2, Bodegas 1, Larumbe 1 (Lopez 4 saves)
Extra player shots: Ferencvaros 6/8, Barceloneta 2/7. Penalty shots:-.
Ferencvaros still plays without Denes Varga and Marton Vamos. Besides, Canadian Nicolas Constantin Bicari missed today’s match, while the first goalkeeper Soma Vogel was on the bench today. Andras Gardonyi replaced Vogel very well.
Considering the absence of a few of Ferencvaros’ key players Barceloneta was the favorite. The Spaniards dictated the pace and were in front for most of the time, but the reigning champion managed to come back and achieve the win.
Ferencvaros managed to equalize just once in the first half (1:1). Afterward Barceloneta was constantly in front. Three times Barceloneta had a 2-goal advantage (3:1, 4:2, 5:3). The Hungarians cut the deficit on each occasion, but they couldn’t equalize before the middle break.
The third quarter started in the same way as the previous two, with an early goal by Barceloneta. Bodegas scored for 7:5. Ferencvaros, finally, equalized in the middle of this quarter – 7:7. However, the Spaniards responded with two quick goals and went up 9:7 (22nd minute). But, the hosts scored two goals in the last 84 seconds of the third period, and the sides were tied before the final eight minutes (9:9).
Both teams missed a few nice chances in the opening minutes of the fourth period. Alberto Munarriz found the net from a distance in the 29th minute, and Barceloneta went ahead again (10:9). But, Gergo Zalanki replied immediately in the same way for 10:10. Tamas Sedlmayer converted a man-up two minutes before the end, and the Budapest-based side took the lead for the first time in the match – 11:10. Ferencvaros kept the minimal advantage until the end and celebrated a well-deserved win.
Hannover – Dinamo 10:3 (2:0, 2:0, 3:0, 3:3)
Waspo 98 Hannover: Radovic 3, Da.Brguljan 2, Winkelhorst 2, Corusic 1, Macan 1, Nagaev 1 (Schenkel 18 saves)
Dinamo Tbilisi: Akhvlediani 1, Imnashvili 1, Vasic 1 (Razmadze 9 saves)
Extra player shots: Hannover 4/10, Dinamo 1/10. Penalty shots: Hannover 1/1.
Both teams had a lot of players at the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. It seems that Rotterdam had a positive impact on Hannover’s game, while the Georgians got tired after solid performances in the qualifications. Dejan Stanojevic debuted as a head coach of Georgia with 7th place in Rotterdam, while his debut on Dinamo’s bench was far from good.
Hanover completely outplayed Dinamo in each aspect of the water polo game. The defensive play was the key to success. The Germans almost kept a clean sheet. A minute and 35 seconds before the end, Dinamo scored its first goal (1:9). Until that moment, Moritz Schenkel posted 18 saves. After that, the Georgians added two goals. But everything was decided much before the end, and Hannover collected the first points in the season.
Jadran HN – Brescia 6:11 (1:4, 2:1, 0:2, 3:4)
Jadran HN: Da. Radovic 2, Averka 2, Gardasevic 1, Petkovic 1 (Tesanovic 15 saves).
Brescia: Jokovic 3, Di Somma 2, Dolce 1, Lazic 1, Renzuto Iodice 1, Canella 1, Alesiani 1, Gitto 1 (Del Luno 8 saves)
Extra player shots: Jadran 4/6, Brescia 4/6. Penalty shots: Brescia 2/3, Jadran –
Jadran, which arrived in Budapest without four regular members of the team (Dj.Radovic, D. Obradovic, D. Banicevic, Brkic), fought bravely, but it couldn’t surprise Brescia.
The Italians rushed to a 5:1 lead (11th minute), but, after that, Jadran kept Brescia goalless for ten minutes. Jadran cut the deficit (3:5) and played well in defense. Still, Nicollo’ Gitto ended Brescia’s scoreless phase in the middle of the third quarter for 6:3. By the middle of the fourth period, Brescia built a 6-goal lead (9:3) and everything was decided. Jadran’s first goal in the second half came in the 27th minute (Averka from an extra for 4:9). The Montenegrins added two goals to reduce the gap to 6:9. Still, Brescia controlled the match.
|2||Zodiac CNA Barceloneta||10||8||0||2||119:81||24|
|4||Waspo 98 Hannover||10||3||0||7||89:122||9|
|6||Jadran Herceg Novi||10||2||0||8||74:109||6|
Group A (Day 6)
15:15 Marseille – Pro Recco
17:45 Jug – Spandau 04
20:15 Ortigia – Olympiacos
Group B (Day 5)
14:00 Brescia – Waspo 98 Hannover
16:30 Dinamo T – Ferencvaros
19:00 Jadran HN – Barceloneta