The first day of the LEN Euro Cup Round 1 was very successful for Serbian and Hungarian clubs.
All three Serbian clubs – Crvena Zvezda, Valis and Partizan recorded wins. Crvena Zvezda’s and Valis’ victories were more or less expected, but Partizan surprised many with a convincing 20:11 victory over French Pays d’Aix.
Two Hungarian clubs played today. Honved earned a significant victory over Terrassa (11:7), while BVSC defeated Apollon 15:12, thanks to an excellent finish. Szolnok will start in the Euro Cup tomorrow.
The French clubs had a pretty good day. Only Pays d’Aix lost its game. Strasbourg beat Telimar, silver-medalist in the 2022 LEN Euro Cup (16:13), in one of the crucial matches of the day. Montpellier collected three points,too.
Telimar is the only Italian club that lost today. Trieste and Ortigia started with wins as well as the only Croatian club in this stage – Solaris.
Unlike the Serbs and the Hungarians, the Greeks and the Spaniards didn’t open their European campaigns well.
Three Greek clubs left the pools empty-handed. Apollon, Ydraikos, and PAOK suffered losses. PAOK’s defeat can be considered surprising. The Thessaloniki-based team lost to ZV De Zaan at home (6:7).
None of the three Spanish clubs – Terrassa, Echeyde Tenerife and Mediterrani won today. All three teams failed to pass high hurdles.
Day 1, results – Group A (Thessaloniki): Solaris – Ludwigsburg 11:5, Montpellier – Echeyde 15:7, PAOK – ZV De Zaan 6:7, Group B (Syracuse): Ydraikos – Ortigia 10:22, Partizan – Pays d’Aix 20:11. Szolnok bye. Group C (Kranj): Honved – Terrassa 11:7, Triglav – Valis 6:8, Telimar Palermo – Strasbourg 13:16. Group D (Barcelona): Crvena Zvezda – Kosice 24:4, Apollon Smyrnis – BVSC Zuglo 12:15, Trieste – Mediterrani 9:6.
The top four teams from each group will qualify for Round 2.
Solaris – Ludwigsburg 11:5 (0:3, 4:1, 3:1, 4:0)
Solaris: Erak 2, Condic Kadmenovic 2, D. Butic 2, Penava 2, Krekovic 1, Radan 1, Burburan 1.
Ludwigsburg 08: Pavicic-Capucho 2, Bauer 1, Blazevic 1, Kutchuashvili 1.
Montpellier – Echeyde Tenerife 15:7 (4:2, 2:0,6:3, 3:2)
Montpellier: Ivankovic 4, Mustur 3, Vasseur 2, Kalinic 2, Dory 1, Vasin 1, Ben Romadhane 1, Spillaert 1.
Echeyde Tenerife: Alegre 3, Espinosa 1, Keuning 1, Espanol 1, Salvador 1.
PAOK – ZV De Zaan 6:7 (1:2, 0:1, 4:4, 1:0)
PAOK: Tsolakoudis 2, Koopman 2, Prosiniklis 1, Milradovic 1.
ZV De Zaan: Meijn 3, Branthes 2, Bakker 1, Lucas 1.
Solaris, the only Croatian club in the 1st round of the Euro Cup, had a terrible start in the match against Ludwigsburg. Still, the Croats found their rhythm in time and avoided a surprise. There were no goals for a while. Ludwigsburg netted three straight goals in the last 121 seconds of the first quarter and gained a 3:0 lead. Solaris started recovering from an opening shock, but the Germans had a 4:1 advantage in the middle of the second period. However, Solaris managed to catch up with Ludwigsburg before the middle break (4:4) and played very well in the second half.
Tenerife, a debutant in the LEN competitions, started quite well into the match against Montpellier. The Spaniards had a 2:1 advantage in the 6th minute. However, Montpellier kept Tenerife goalless in the next 15 minutes, while it scored eight goals and went to a safe 9:2 lead, which was vital for the French’s victory.
PAOK disappointed its fans on the opening day of the tournament in Thessaloniki. A good start put the Dutch o the right track. Only four goals were scored in the first quarter. (the Dutch had a 3:1 lead). PAOK cut the deficit to one goal in the 22nd minute (3:4), but the Dutch replied with three goals in a minute and a half and earned a 4-goal advantage for the first time (7:3). PAOK started coming back. The Greeks reduced the gap to one with 01:23 minutes left on the clock (6:7). They had a man-up in the last attack but failed to score, and ZV De Zaan won all three points.
Ydraikos – Ortigia 10:22 (2:3, 4:7, 1:6, 3:6)
Ydraikos: Takata 3, T. Suzuki 2, Blanis 2, Rompopoulos 2, DImakopoulos 2, Gkaranis 1.
Ortigia: Condemi 5, Rossi 3, Vidovic 3, Velkic 3, Condemi 2, Di Luciano 2, Napolitano 2, Ferrero 1, Gorria Puga 1.
Partizan – Pays d’Aix 20:11 (6:4, 5:2, 5:4, 4:1)
Partizan: Smiljevic 5, Dimitrijevic 4, Gladovic 2, Trtovic 2, Krstic 2,Jaksic 2, Milos 2,Gak 1.
Pays d’Aix: Khasz 4, Rocchietta 3, Peisson 1, Dino 1, Bakircilar 1, Drahe 1.
The first two games at the tournament in Syracuse produced a total of 63 goals.
Host Ortigia beat Greek Ydraikos. After a 3:2 first quarter, the home team opened the second quarter with three goals within 01:06 minutes, and went to 6:2. The Greeks halved the gap to two twice (4:6, 5:7). But, Ortigia produced a 7:1 series after that, and gained a 14:6 (22nd minute) advantage and never looked back.
A young team of Partizan surprised Pays d’Aix, which has high ambitions in the Euro Cup. Neither of the teams was a favorite. However, nobody could expect such a big difference at the end of the match. Partizan was almost always in front. The French equalized just once (1:1). Already in the 7th minute, the Serbian team had a 3-goal advantage (6:3). From that point on, the difference was never smaller than two goals. Partizan entered the final period leading 16:10. Early in the final quarter, Gladovic converted a double man-up for 17:10 and there was no way back for the French.
Honved – Terrassa 11:7 (3:1, 2:1, 3:2, 3:3)
Honved: Ekler 3, Kevi 2, Hessels 2, Hosnyanszky 2, Ekler 1, Nyiri 1.
Terrassa: Alarcon 2, Flores 2, Diaz 1, Rodriguez 1, Chico 1.
Triglav – Valis 6:8 (1:2, 2:2, 1:3, 2:1)
AVK Triglav: Justin 2, D.Gostic 1, Rajlic 1, M.Gostic 1, Paunovic 1.
Valis: Andjelic 3, Bursac 2, Radanovic 2, Baucalo 1.
Telimar – Strasbourg 13:16 (5:5 3:5, 2:3, 3:3)
Telimar Palermo: Hooper 6, Del Basso 4, Vitale 1, Pericas 1, Irving 1.
Strasbourg: I.Zivkovic 4, Vitrant 3, Buha 3, Misic 3, Petkovic 2, Chion 1
Honved and Terrassa faced off in the first derby in the group in Kranj. But, the Hungarians dominated throughout the match and built a big lead in the early stage of the second half. At halftime, Honved was three goals ahead of Terrassa (5:2). By the middle of the third period, the Hungarians went to 7:2 and didn’t let Terrassa come back.
Host Triglav did its best, but it couldn’t surprise Valis Valjevo. The visitors from Serbia opened the match with a 2:0 lead. Triglav came close to the rival a few times (1:2, 2:3, 3:4), but they couldn’t equalize. Valis secured the win with three goals in three minutes of the third period. The Serbs built a 7:3 advantage (23rd minute) and controlled the match in the remaining time.
As expected, the last duel of the day in Kranj, Telimar – Strasbourg, was exciting. Both teams have changed significantly since the last season. But, Telimar, the finalist of the 2022 LEN Euro Cup, lost a few key players during the transfer window. On the other side, Strasbourg is stronger than the last season. Still, neither of the teams was a favorite. The game was an even contest until 7:7. Then, Strasbourg made a 3:0 series, and three goals separated the rivals for the first time – 10:7. However, Telimar came back and leveled at 10:10 midway through the third period. But, shortly after the equalizer, Strasbourg retook control and produced a new 3:0 rush to earn a 13:10 advantage before the final period. The French maintained the difference until the final buzzer.
Crvena Zvezda – SKP Kosice 24:4 (7:2, 5:1, 5:1, 7:0)
Crvena Zvezda: Tankosic 4, Gajic 4, Radovic 4, Vasic 3, Gavrilovic 2, Banicevic 2, Vukicevic 2, Fustic 1, Markovic 1, Milojevic 1.
SKP Kosice: Juhasz 3, Grivalsky 1.
Apollon Smyrnis – BVSC Zuglo 12:15 (4:3, 2:2, 3:5, 3:5)
Apollon Smyrnis: Bogdanovic 3, Gardikas 3, Vickovic 2, Solanakis 2, Goniotakis 1, Chondrokoukis 1.
BVSC Zuglo: Gyarfas 4, Meszaros 3, Tatrai 2, Csapo 2, A.Csacsovszky 2,Kovacs 1, Gal 1.
Trieste -Mediterrani 9:6 (2:2, 3:2, 2:0, 2:2)
Trieste: Mezzarobba 3, M.Vrlic 2, Mladossich 2, Podgornik 1, Petronio .
Mediterrani: A.Garcia 3, Corres 2, Prat 1.
Crvena Zvezda, coached by Dejan Savic, left no chance to Kosice. The Belgrade-based team played without one of its best scorers Gavril Subotic, but that wasn’t a big problem this time. Ten field players of Crvena Zvezda got on the scoresheet in a huge win.
For more than two periods of the game Apollon – BVSC, the Greeks dictated the pace. They led 2:0, 4:2, 6:4. Three minutes before the end of the third period, the Greeks were still in front (8:7). BVSC scored three goals in 01:18 minutes and gained a 10:8 advantage. Apollon halved the difference at the finish of the third period (9:10), but BVSC responded with a new 3:0 series to jump to 13:9. After that, the Hungarians’ victory wasn’t in danger.
The host of the tournament, Mediterrani, completed an unsuccessful day for Spanish water polo. Mediterrani had a 2:1, 3:2 and 4:3 advantage in the frst half. Trieste closed the second quarter with two goals in the last two minutes and was 5:4 up at halftime. The Italians streched the margin to three in the third period (7:4). Mediterrani couldn’t recover from a shocking 0:4 series.
Day 2 (October 14)
Group A (Thessaloniki): Solaris – ZV De Zaan (18:00), Ludwigsburg – Montpellier (19:15), PAOK – Echeyde (20:30)
Group B (Syracuse): Szolnok – Partizan (09:30), Pays d’Aix – Ydraikos (11:00), Partizan – Ortigia (16:00), Pays d’Aix – Szolnok (17:30)
Group C (Kranj): Telimar – Valis (10:00), Triglav – Terrassa (11:40), Strasbourg – Honved (13:20), Terrassa – Valis (17:00), Triglav – Strasbourg (18:40), Telimar – Honved (20:20)
Group D (Barcelona): Kosice – BVSC Zuglo (17:30), Crvena Zvezda – Trieste (19:10), Apollon – Mediterrani (20:50).