The visiting teams were very successful in the first leg of the Euro League quarterfinals, held today.
The big game of the day was an encounter between title-holder Sabadell (Spain) and Orizzonte (Italy), the LEN Trophy winner last season. The Italian club recorded an important away win – 13:12, just like it did it in November when it beat Sabadell in the LEN Super Cup (13:11).
Olympiacos defeated Vouliagmeni in the Greek derby (10:8). The match between Dunajvaros (Hungary) and Dynamo Uralocka (Russia) ended in an 11:11 draw. Russian Kinef was the only home team that recorded the win. Kinef ran over UZSC Utrecht – 20:6.
LEN Euro League, quarterfinals
Sabadell – Orizzonte 12:13 (1:4, 5:4, 4:2, 2:3)
Astralpool Sabadell: Forca 5, Cordobes 2, Eggens 2, Sohi 1, Arino 1, Garcia 1.
Orizzonte Catania: Garibotti 5, Viacava 2, Aeillo 2, Emmolo 2, Bekhazi 1, Marletta 1.
Orizzonte, led by Arianna Garibotti, jumped to a 5:1 lead early in the second quarter, but Sabadell was able to return into the game very quickly. The Spaniards trailed just by a goal (4:5) in the middle of the second period. Still, at halftime, Orizzonte had a 2-goal advantage (8:6).
Sabadell’s superstar Judith Forca opened the third period with two goals and equalized – 8:8, while Arino gave the hosts a 9:8 lead. Before the final period, the sides were tied – 10:10. The fourth quarter offered a lot of thrills. Sabadell took an 11:10 lead, but the Italians responded with two goals in a span of 40 seconds to go ahead again (12:11). Judith Forca leveled the score (12:12) with her 5th goal in the 27th minute. After that, there were no goals for a while, until Giulia Emmolo netted a winner 81 seconds before the end – 13:12.
Kinef – UZSC Utrecht 20:6 (4:2, 5:2, 3:1, 8:1)
Kinef-Surgutneftegas: Krimer 5, Prokofyeva 3, Glyzina 3, Ivanova 3, Shiriaeva 2, Markoch 2, Simanovich 1, Soboleva 1.
UZSC: Van der Weijden 3, Genne 1, Drewes 1, Bas 1.
Kinef left no chance to UZSC Utrecht. The Russians dominated from the beginning and didn’t slow down until the final buzzer. So, Kinef can already start to prepare for the Final Four.
Vouliagmeni – Olympiacos 8:10 (3:2, 2:2, 1:3, 2:3)
Vouliagmeni:Protopapas 2, Ninou 2, Elliniadi 1, Giannopoulou 1, Kontoni 1, Patra 1.
Olympiacos Piraeus: Christmas 4, E. Plevritou 2, Avramidou 1, Asimaki 1, M. Plevritou 1, V. Plevritou 1.
The Greek clubs produced a thrilling battle. Vouliagmeni earned a slim 5:4 advantage before the middle break (5:4), but Olympiacos took control in the third period and scored three straight goals for a 7:5 lead. Vouliagmeni responded in the same manner – with a 3:0 series. In the middle of the last period, Vouliagmeni was in front – 8:7. But, Olympiacos scored the last three goals in the match for a sweet 10:8 victory.
Dunajvaros – Dynamo Uralochka 11:11 (2:2, 3:2, 3:5, 3:2)
Dunajvaros: Mahieu 5, Garda 4, Valyi 2.
Dynamo: Bersneva 3, Karimova 3, Panfilova 2, Popova 1, Zaplatina 1, Vorontsova 1.
The encounter between Dunajvaros and Dynamo Uralochka offered a lot of twists and turns. The hosts were leading throughout the first two quarters, but after 5:3, Dynamo scored three unanswered goals and went in front for the first time – 6:5 in the 17th minute. The Hungarians turned around a deficit to a 7:6 lead in the middle of the quarter, but after the 3rd period, the visitors had a minimal 9:8 advantage.
Just 99 seconds from the end, Dunajvaros regained a lead (11:10). Still, the hosts couldn’t save their net in the last Russians’ possession. Natalia Vorontsova leveled the score – 11:11 with 21 seconds to go, and Dynamo could be more satisfied with the outcome.
The return leg will be played on March 28th.