Six goals secure big wins for both Italian teams.
Italian competitors Recco and Brescia only scored six goals each but this was enough to earn big wins in their respective groups: Recco won the rematch of last year F6 bronze medal contest 6-4 in Eger (HUN) while Brescia defeated 2014 winner Barceloneta (ESP) 6-5. OSC (HUN) came from behind to score the last three goals against Hannover (GER), the winner was decided in the last second.
The two big ones in group A won their respective matches with ease. Jug (CRO) left behind the bad memories of its shocking loss in Moscow and blew away Partizan’s young team – it was already 5-1 at halftime, the next eight minutes saw six Croatian goals and five more came in the fourth to secure a 16-5 win for last season’s runner-up.
2016 runner-up Olympiacos (GRE) didn’t let Dynamo (RUS) think of repeating its big performance against Jug. The Greeks opened the encounter with a 7-0 blast, leaving no questions open for the remaining three periods. They stopped at 17:9 to gain their first victory in the prelims after a draw in Barceloneta two weeks ago.
OSC (HUN) claimed a big win over Hannover (GER) – it was a thriller decided by a last-gasp goal. The lead exchanged from time to time, the Germans went ahead before the middle break with two fine goals in 38 seconds (3-4) but the hosts managed to level the score in the third (5-5). The fourth prolonged the clash of the Brguljan cousins, Darko put Hannover ahead once more with his 3rd goal, what’s more, they were 5-7 up with 3:09 to go. But Drasko Brguljan buried two 6 on 5s (he had 4 hits in the evening), so with 52 seconds of time left, it stood 7-7. Hannover missed its man-up after a time-out and Nemanja Ubovic managed to score the game-winner in the very last second (the ball got a wicked deflection on Darko Brguljan’s arm…) to give a really valuable 8:7 win for the home side.
Something similar happened in Brescia where the Italians won a huge battle against Barceloneta (ESP). It was 3-3 at halftime, the hosts scored the only goal of the third quarter and managed to double their lead early in the fourth (5-3). Barceloneta pulled one back but Nikola Vukcevic replied immediately for 6-4. After a series of missed man-ups, the visitors put away a penalty with 79 seconds to go (6-5) but they could regain the possession for only the last six seconds and, unlike against Olympiacos in the first round, could not net the equalizer.
Group B also offered thrilling duels. Eger and Recco met a lot of times in the past decades, sometimes the Italians had huge wins – like in last May when they crashed the Hungarians 15-6 in the bronze medal match of the Final Six – sometimes they entangled into enormous battles.
This evening saw a fantastic contest: Recco took a 1-3 lead in the first, thanks to two great action goals within 41 seconds after 1-1. Soon they were 2-5 up but Strahinja Rasovic pulled one back 23 seconds before the middle break – it was the first goal not scored from a penalty against Recco (the Italians conceded a single penalty goal against Alphen and the first two also came from the 5m line in Eger). Rasovic netted his 4th to keep the hosts in the game, it was 4-6 and 5:02 remained from the third – but that was the last goal of the match. The remaining 13 minutes brought a brilliant defensive battle but no one could hit the back of the net, perhaps Eger would have had a better chance more than one player would have been able to score in the entire match.
The other Hungarian, Szolnok rolled on as the title-holder : They captured the European Super Cup on Saturday and taught a lesson to newcomer Steaua (ROU). A 4-0 start put the hosts on the right track and even though the second period was balanced, the following two ended in a rout, after 6-2 Szolnok produced a 9-1 run. (15:3)
In Berlin, both sides targeted their first win, but in the end, Spandau (GER) managed to clinch it against Sabadell (ESP). The Germans quickly jumped to a 4-1 lead and never looked back. By halftime, they were 6-1 up and still held an 8-3 lead deep into the third. The Spaniards had a better spell while coming back to 9-6 with 5:34 to go but couldn’t come dangerously close to Spandau. (11:8)
Jadran (MNE) also did a clean job in Alphen (NED). The Dutch fought hard and could remain in ‘visible distance’ for two and a half periods but ran out of gas and the Montenegrins scored four goals in 2:28 minutes towards the end of the third, jumping from 4-6 to 4-10 which decided the outcome.
Champions League, Main Round, Day 02 Results
Jug Croatia Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v Partizan Belgrade (SRB) 16-5
Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Dynamo Moscow (RUS) 17-9
A Hid-OSC Budapest (HUN) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 8-7
AN Brescia (ITA) v Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) 6-5
ZF Eger (HUN) v Pro Recco (ITA) 4-6
Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) 11-8
Szolnoki Dozsa-Kozgep (HUN) v Steaua Bucharest (ROU) 15-3
AZC Alphen (NED) v Jadran Carine Herceg Novi (MNE) 7-14
For detailed match reports, visit LEN’s official site.
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Group Standings after Day 02
|3||Jug C.O. Dubrovnik||[flag=hr]||1||0||1||3|
|5||Waspo 98 Hannover||[flag=de]||1||0||1||3|
|3||Jadran Carine Herceg Novi||[flag=me]||2||0||0||6|
|5||Spandau 04 Berlin||[flag=de]||1||0||1||3|