Very exciting games have been played in the ex-Yu countries this week.
Jug edged out Mladost in the big Croatian derby. Montenegrin champion Jadran opened the national championship with two losses in two derbies. The quarterfinals of the Serbian Cup also offered a lot of excitement.
Croatian League, Day 8
Jug – Mladost 16:15 (2:3, 4:4, 4:5, 6:3)
KPK Korcula – Jadran S postponed
POSK – Mornar 3:10
Medvescak – Primorje 9:18
Zadar 1952 – Solaris 8:22
Only one game was played in Croatia this weekend, but that was a Croatian water polo classic – an encounter between former European champions. Titleholder Jug hosted Regional League winner Mladost. The home team celebrated the narrow win.
Mladost was ahead for most of the time. In the 20th minute, the visitors had a 10:8 advantage. But, shortly after Jug equalized (10:10). Mladost struck back strongly – with three consecutive goals and jumped to a 13:10 lead early in the fourth quarter. Jug leveled the score in the 29th minute (14:14), but Andro Buslje put Mladost in front with 02:46 remaining on the clock (14:15). Luka Loncar scored for 15:15 shortly after. Loren Fatovic found the net 57 seconds before the end for the final score – 16:15.
Loren Fatovic and Luka Loncar led the winning team with 3 goals each, but Mladost’s superstar Andro Buslje (4 goals) was the match’s top scorer. Luka Bukic and Konstantin Kharkov scored three goals each for Mladost.
All three of Jug’s coaches were excluded in the final minutes – head coach Vjekoslav Kobescak and his assistants Miho Bobic and Djani Pecotic.
1 Jug AO 8 – 24
2 HAVK Mladost 7 – 18
3 Mornar BS 8 – 18
4 Jadran S 6 – 12
5 Primorje EB 7 – 12
6 Solaris 7 – 9
7 POSK 8 – 9
8 Medvescak 7 – 6
9 KPK 7 – 6
10 Galeb 7 – 6
11 Zadar 1952 8 – 0
Croatian Cup, ladies
ZAVK Mladost – Jadran S 11:10 (3:1, 2:3, 3:3, 3:3)
Before the big male derby, the final of the Croatian Cup for ladies was held in Dubrovnik. After a hard-battle Mladost defeated Jadran Split and retained the trophy.
Montenegrin League, rounds 1 – 3
Budva – Jadran HN 9:8 (2:2, 3:1, 3:3, 1:2)
Jadran HN – Cattaro 12:6 (6:1, 0:0, 2:2, 4:3)
Primorac – Cattaro 9:6 (3:0, 3:1, 1:5, 2:0)
Primorac – Jadran HN 14:12 (2:2, 5:5, 2:4, 5:1)
Cattaro – Budva 12:14 (3:3, 2:2, 3:4, 4:5)
Budva – Primorac 8:12 (3:2, 2:5, 2:3, 1:2)
Live scores, timelines of the Montenegrin league matches you can follow on our TOTAL WATERPOLO ARENA
The first quarter of the regular season of the Montenegrin League has been completed (three of 12 planned rounds). Primorac Kotor, which is coached by 2017 Total Player Sandro Sukno, is atop of the table with three wins in as many matches.
Jadran, which didn’t suffer a defeat in domestic competitions for five years, was beaten two times in the first week of the championship. Budva was better than Jadran in the opening match (9:8).
A few days later, Primorac beat Jadran in the second derby of the season. That game was a big drama. After two balanced quarters (it was 7:7 at halftime), Jadran earned a 2-goal with two early goals in the third quarter (9:7). Primorac equalized (9:9), but Jadran regained a lead by the end of the period (11:9).
In the middle of the final quarter, Jadran led 12:10. After that, Primorac produced a big comeback. The Kotor-based side leveled the score with two minutes to go (12:12). Damir Crepulja gave Primorac a 13:12 lead 59 seconds before the end. After two unsuccessful attacks on both sides of the pool, Jadran had possession in the last 11 seconds. Jadran goalkeeper Darko Djurovic joined his teammates in front of Primorac’s goal, and the reigning champion had a chance to equalize with a man-up (7 on 6). But they lost the ball two seconds from the end. Actually, Primorac’s Vuk Draskovic stole the ball. Then, he made a long-distance shot over the whole field and sent the ball into the unguarded net for the final score -14:12. He was the best scorer of the winning team with five goals. Left-handed Djuro Radovic scored five goals for Jadran.
There were no surprises in other matches.
1 Primorac 3 – 9
2 Budva 3 – 6
3 Jadran HN 3 – 3
4 Cattaro 3 – 0
Serbian Cup, quarterfinals
Nais – Partizan 10:12 (1:2,2:1,3:2,2:3-PSO 2:4)
Crvena Zvezda – Vojvodina 10:5 (4:0, 1:0, 1:1, 4:4)
Novi Beograd – Sabac 12:10 (3:1, 3:3, 5:3, 1:3)
Radnicki – Stari Grad 21:8 (3:4, 4:3, 7:0, 8:1)
Partizan has been the first team that qualified for the Serbian Cup Final Four (December 28-29), after it ousted Nais in the penalty shootout. Nais was very close to its first, historic win over Partizan. The hosts had a 2-goal advantage three times (5:3, 6:4, 8:6), but Partizan managed to equalize. The visitors had stronger nerves in the shootout.
The derby of the quarterfinals was a clash of Novi Beograd 011 and Serbian champion Sabac. Novi Beograd opened the match with a 3:0 lead, and Sabac couldn’t equalize. Deep into the third period, the hosts had an 11:6 advantage. Sabac started coming back after that and cut the deficit to one (10:11) 43 seconds before the end. But, Novi Beograd earned a penalty in the next possession. Drasko Gogov didn’t make mistake, he sent the ball into the net, scored his 6th goal for the final score – 12:10. Filip Gardasevic was the best scorer in Sabac (4 goals).
Radnicki, the 2019/20 Serbian Cup winner, ran over Stari Grad. Crvena Zvezda built a 5:0 lead in the first half f the match against Vojvodina and maintained the difference until the end.