The Serbian League will be finished on Wednesday.
Novi Beograd defeated Radnicki (14:11) in the second match of the final, it equalized the score in the series (best-of-three), so the third, decisive game will be played in Kragujevac on Wednesday.
The first match of the final was a defensive battle (7:7 in regular time, Radnicki recorded a win in a penalty shootout). Today’s encounter was something completely different. Shortly after the first whistle, the match turned into a festival of goals.
Novi Beograd – Radnicki 14:11 (4:4, 4:3, 4:4, 2:0) – score in the series 1:1
Novi Beograd: Shushiashvili 5, Gogov 3, Avramovic 2, Cuk 1, Radanovic 1, Gardasevic 1, Martinovic 1.
Radnicki: Lukic 3, Ukropina 2, Milicic 1, Toholj 1, Jankovic 1, Stanojevic 1, Radulovic 1, Krug 1.
The defenses were far from good, especially in the opening minutes, so the game turned into the festival of goals. Even seven goals were scored by the middle of the first quarter. Novi Beograd took the lead three times. Radnicki equalized immediately after – until 3:3. The visitors had no response after Novi Beograd’s fourth goal (4:3). Georgia’s Nika Shushiashvili scored all four goals for Novi Beograd. Still, after the first quarter, the sides were tied (4:4), as Milos Milicic scored from a distance just eight seconds before the buzzer.
Midway through the second period, Radnicki went in front (6:5 and 7:6), but the hosts scored the two last goals in the quarter and had an 8:7 lead at halftime.
Drasko Gogov gave the home team a 2-goal advantage (9:7) in the 17th minute, by converting a penalty shot. Shortly after, Novi Beograd stretched the margin (11:8, 12:9), but Radnicki reduced the gap before the final eight minutes (11:12)
Early in the fourth quarter, Novi Beograd re-built a 3-goal lead (14:11). After that, the home team tightened its defense. Radnicki couldn’t find the net in the last eight minutes. Novi Beograd’s goalie Risticevic posted several excellent saves in the crucial moments and the hosts kept a 3-goal distance.
The second game of the final was this season’s first water polo match in Serbia that was played in front of the spectators. The venue was the pool of the Sports center “11 April”. The Final Eight of the Champions League will be held in the same pool between June 3 and 6, but without spectators.