The second qualification round of the LEN Euro Cup has started today. Eight teams are split into two groups in Sibenik (Croatia) and Mataro (Spain).
The top two ranked teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals. Besides these four teams, the four losing teams from the Champions League Qualification Round 3 will play in the quarterfinals of the LEN Euro Cup: Brescia (Italy), Vouliagmeni (Greece), Oradea (Romania) and Strasbourg (France).
LEN Euro Cup, Qualification Round II, Day 1
Group E (Sibenik)
Solaris – Ortigia 10:12 (2:3, 3:2, 1:4, 4:3)
Solaris: Herceg 3, Vlahovic 3, Koprcina 2, Mudrazija 1, Kovacic 1.
Ortigia: Gallo 5, Rossi 3, Napolitano 2, Vidovic 1, Di Luciano 1.
Mediterrani – Miskolc 12:15 (6:4, 3:2, 1:3, 2:6)
Mediterrani: Minguell 3, Roca 3, Stevenson 2, Galeev 2,Gorria 1, Garcia 1.
Miskolc: Manzi 7, Nagy 2, Lorincz 2, Stojanovic 2, Milicic 1, Vadovics 1.
Host Solaris was very close to a surprise in the match against favourite Ortigia. The visitors from Sicily were leading most of the time. But the home side kept up with the Italians until the end. At halftime, the teams were tied at 5:5. Ortigia, led by Valentino Gallo (5 goals) entered the last period with a 3-goal lead (9:6). However, the Croats were able to come back and to reduce the gap to one (8:9, 9:10,10:11). Just 70 seconds before the end, Gallo converted a man-up for the final score and Ortigia’s 12:10 victory.
Miskolc defeated Mediterrani in a flood of goals. The spectators saw 10 goals in the first quarter. After the first eight minutes, Mediterrani had a 6:4 advantage. The Spaniards gained a 3-goal lead (9:6) by halftime. Early in the third period, Mediterrani went 10:6 up. After that, the Hungarians tightened their defence and cut the deficit to 1 (9:10) before the final quarter. The Spaniards took an 11:9 lead in the first attack in the fourth period. Miskolc responded with 4 straight goals and went 13:11 up with 01:21 to go. Just 22 seconds later, Mediterrani‘s Benjamin Stevenson hit the back of the net for 12:13. But, Miskolc netted two goals in the last 39 seconds to secure a 3-goal win 15:12. Italian Edoardo Manzi, who scored 7 goals for Miskolc (4 in the last quarter) was the man of the match.
Ranking: 1. Miskolc (HUN) 3, 2. Ortigia (ITA) 3, 3. Solaris (CRO) 0, 4. Mediterrani (ESP) 0.
Group F (Mataro)
Eger – Noisy-le-Sec 14:7 (3:2, 3:3, 5:2, 3:0)
Eger: S. Rasovic 4, Hosnyanszky 4, Murisic 2, Baksa 2, Csacsovszky 1, Vlachopoulos 1.
Noisy-le-Sec: Pesteric 3, Peisson 2, A. Petkovic 1, Marzouki 1.
Mataro – Montpellier 8:6 (1:1, 1:1,1:2, 5:2)
Quadis CN Mataro: Yanez 3, Codina 2, Bertran 2, Guimaraes 1.
Montpellier WP: Mustur 3, Ivankovic 1, Kalinic 1, D. Zivkovic 1.
As it was expected, Eger opened the tournament with a win, but the Hungarians had to work hard to break Noisy-le-Sec. It was an even encounter until 6:6 (17th minute). Then Eger produced a 3:0 rush and jumped to a 9:6 lead. Noisy scored its 7th goal two and a half minutes from the last break (7:9). But, Eger kept the French scoreless in the remaining time and recorded a convincing 14:7 win.
The other French club in the group Montpellier also suffered a loss on Day 1, despite it controlled the match against home side Mataro for three quarters. Before the last eight minutes, Montpellier had a slim 4:3 lead. Mataro dominated the fourth quarter. The Spaniards scored three goals in a row to gain a 6:4 advantage in the middle of the last quarter and managed to maintain the difference – 8:6.
Ranking: 1. Eger (HUN) 3, 2. Mataro (ESP) 3, 3. Montpellier (FRA) 0, 4. Noisy-le-Sec (FRA) 0.