The visiting teams have been very successful in the first leg of the LEN Euro Cup eighth-finals, which was held today.
Two of the eight matches ended with no winner, while the visiting sides recorded five victories. Radnicki was the only home side that beat its rival today.
Everything is still open in almost all encounters.
Hungarian clubs Szolnok and OSC recorded convincing wins and practically booked the tickets for the quarterfinals. But, the other six matches were very balanced. Mladost defeated Barcelona 11:9 in one of the highlights of this round, Radnicki defeated Strasbourg by a goal. Crvena Zvezda earned a solid 3-goal advantage in the first match against Tourcoing. Dynamo Moscow celebrated a win in a Russian derby. There were no winners in the matches Sabadell-Mediterrani, and Novi Beograd – Vouliagmeni.
Results: Barcelona – Mladost 9:11, Sabadell – Mediterrani 9:9, Sintez – Dinamo 12:14, Novi Beograd – Vouliagmeni 7:7, Primorac – Szolnok 8:18, Radnicki – Strasbourg 11:10, Pays d’Aix – OSC 6:22, Tourcoing – Crvena Zvezda 9:12.
Barcelona – Mladost 9:11 (1:2, 3:1, 2:4, 3:4)
Barcelona: Goma 2, Delgado 2, Flores 2, Durik 1,Tahull 1, Ramon 1.
HAVK Mladost: Kharkov 4, Bukic 3, Viskovic 1, Vrlic 1, Radu 1, Lazic 1.
Mladost made a big step towards the quarterfinals after a valuable victory over Barcelona. The encounter was an even contest for most of the time. Still, the hosts had a 4:3 advantage at halftime. After a 3-minute break, Mladost found its rhythm. The Croatian team, led by Konstantin Kharkov and Luka Bukic, who were the best and the third-best scorer of the Olympic qualifications in Rotterdam, gained a 7:5 lead late into the third quarter. For the first time, the difference between the sides was two goals.
Kharkov converted a penalty to give Mladost a 3-goal advantage (9:6) in the 26th minute. But, midway through this period, the hosts reduced the gap (8:9). Still, Mladost regained a 3-goal lead (11:8) in the 31st minute, but Lukas Durik set the final score with 39 seconds remaining. Mladost had a man-up in the last 14 seconds, but it failed to score.
The match was played in Girona, which is approximately 100 km far from Barcelona. The hosts couldn’t play with Mladost in their own pool, because they were penalized by LEN, because of the events, caused by the representatives of the club, after the chaotic third day of the Euro Cup qualifications.
Sabadell – Mediterrani 9:9 (1:2, 2:2, 5:3, 1:2)
Sabadell: Cabanas 4, F.Valera 2, Sanahuja 1, R. Valera 1, Ubovic 1.
Mediterrani: Corres 4, Gorria 2, Vujovic 1, G.Garcia 1, A. Garcia 1.
Sabadell, the Spanish Super Cup winner, entered the match as the favorite, but Mediterrani dictated the pace for most of the time. It stood 3:3 in the 15th minute. After that, Mediterrani scored three goals in less than three minutes to gain a 6:3 lead. But, the hosts responded with three quick goals to equalize – 6:6. Mediterrani went in front once more – 7:6, but the hosts finally took the lead after Canabas converted a penalty for 8:7 in the finish of this quarter. The fourth period started with a quick exchange of goals. Mediterrani equalized, but Sabadell’s center-forward Nemanja Ubovic put his team in front. The visitors remained unbeaten as Ubovic’s fellow countryman scored an equalizer in the 28th minute – 9:9.
Sintez – Dynamo 12:14 (2:2, 2:4, 4:4, 4:4)
Sintez Kazan: Zakirov 3, Bychkov 3, Latypov 2, Lazarev 2, Zinnurov 1, Lisunov 1.
Dynamo Moscow: Bugaychuk 4, Rustamov 2, Kuzmenkov 2, Vasilev 2, Jakhaia 1, Shein 1, Balakirev 1, Magomaev 1.
Both teams had their ups and downs in the Russian derby. Sintez grabbed an opening 2:0 lead, but Dynamo struck back strongly – with four goals in a row, and it had a 4:2 advantage in the middle of the second period. From that point on, Dynamo was always in front. Sintez reduced the gap twice in the second quarter (3:4, 4:5), but Dynamo controlled the match. The visitors even had a 4-goal lead three times (9:5, 12:8, 13:9), but Sintez avoided a big-margin defeat and kept its hopes alive.
Novi Beograd – Vouliagmeni 7:7 (2:3, 1:1, 1:1, 3:2)
Novi Beograd 011: Bursac 2, Gogov 2, Cuk 1, Nikolov 1, Asanovic 1.
Vouliagmeni: Afroudakis 2, Troulos 2, Gkiouvetsis 1, Kalogeropoulos1, Basic 1.
Newcomer to the LEN competitions Novi Beograd managed to come back after being three goals down and to earn a draw against Vouliagmeni. The score of 7:7 gives hope to both teams before the re-match next week.
Vouliagmeni led throughout the first three quarters of this low-scoring game. The Greeks had a 4:2 lead early in the second period. The hosts leveled the score in the third (4:4). Andrija Basic converted a man-up and put Vouliagmeni in front again (5:4) before the final quarter.
The visitors opened the fourth period excellently. In the first two minutes of the final quarter, Greek water polo legend Christos Afroudakis scored two goals, and Vouliagmeni increased the margin to three (7:4). Still, the Serbs didn’t give up, and they leveled the score – 7:7 with 01:42 minutes to go. They even had a great chance to win, they earned a man-up in their last attack, but Drasko Gogov hit the post six seconds before the end.
Primorac – Szolnok 8:18 (2:4, 1:4, 1:5, 4:5)
Primorac: Molthen 3, Draskovic 1, Gopcevic 1, Macic 1, Perkovic 1, Matkovic 1.
Szolnok: Filipovic 4, Drasovic 4, Pijetlovic 3, Szeghalmi 3, Angyal 1, A.Nagy 1, Ge.Kovacs 1, Konarik 1.
The young team of Primorac fought bravely, but Szolnok proved too strong for the Montenegrins. Primorac scored an opening goal. Szolnok earned went in front in the fifth minute (2:1). By halftime, the Hungarian side, led by Serbian trio Filipovic-Pijetlovic-Drasovic, jumped to an 8:3 lead, and the hosts couldn’t come back.
Radnicki – Strasbourg 11:10 (2:2, 3:2, 4:3, 2:3)
KVK Radnicki: Ukropina 4, Stanojevic 2, Rasovic 1, Toholj 1, Brankovic 1, Lukic 1, Radulovic 1.
Strasbourg: Babic 4, Markovic 3, Valentino 3.
Strasbourg had a slim 2:1 advantage in the first quarter, but after that, Radnicki was the team that dictated the pace. Still, the hosts’ advantage was never larger than two goals during the first three periods.
Strasbourg equalized (7:7) in the 23rd minute. After that, Radnicki managed to score two goals before the last break, while Aleksa
Aleksa Ukropina opened the final quarter with a goal from a counter-attack for 10:7. It seemed that the hosts were on the right way. But, the French champion answered with three goals in a row and leveled the score (10:10) with 02:20 minutes to go. Just 27 seconds from the end, Ukropina scored from 6 on 5 and the Serbian team took 11:10 lead. Five seconds before the final buzzer, the French hit the post, and the hosts recorded the victory.
Ukropina led the hosts with four goals. Three players scored all 10 goals for the visiting team. David Babic (the Croat with French citizenship, found the net four times for Strasbourg. Pavo Markovic, the former member of the Croatian national team, and Italian Giuseppe Valentino added three goals each.
Pays d’Aix – OSC 6:22 (2:7, 0:3, 3:5, 1:7)
Pays d’Aix: Monneret 2, Popadic 1, Khasz 1, Djerkovic 1, D’Souza 1.
OSC Budapest: Manhercz 6, Burian 4, Salamon 3, Csacsovszky 3, Harai 2, Toth 1, Erdelyi 1, Bundschuh 1. Varnai 1.
OSC ran over Pays d’Aix and beat the French easily than expected. The Hungarians opened the match with a 5:0 blast and the French didn’t recover from that shock. Early in the third period, OSC earned a double-digit lead (12:2), and after that only the margin of the Hungarians’ win was in question.
Tourcoing – Crvena Zvezda 9:12 (3:4, 0:0, 2:3, 4:5)
Tourcoing: Kujacic 3, Avena 1, Vincourt 1, Rocchietta 1, Canonne 1, Krizman 1, Randjic 1.
Crvena Zvezda: Tankosic 4, Subotic 3, Vukicevic 2, Basara 1, Radovic 1, Milojevic 1.
Tourcoing took an early 1:0 lead, but Crvena Zvezda responded with a 4:0 run for a 4:1 lead. The home team cut the deficit before the first break (3:4). After a goalless second quarter, Crvena Zvezda was the better rival in the third period, and the Serbs built a 3-goal lead (7:4). The French team managed to come close to the Belgrade-based side three times (6:7, 8:9, 9:10) during the final quarter. But Zvezda’s captain Milos Vukicevic scored two goals in the last 50 seconds to give his team a solid 3-goal advantage before the return leg.
The second leg is on March 6