Russian Kinef Kirishi and Mataro (Spain) will play in the final of the LEN Trophy in Barcelona tomorrow.
The Final Four started with the semifinal matches in the Sant Jordi pool today. Mataro defeated SIS Roma (Italy) 9:6. Kinef beat Sabadell (Spain) easier than expected – 18:12.
LEN Trophy, Final Four (Barcelona)
Mataro – SIS Roma 9:6 (1:1, 2:1, 3:2, 3:2)
Mataro: A.Espar 6, Lloret 1, Bonamusa 1, Aznar 1.
Lifebrain SIS Roma: Picozzi 2, Galardi 1, Nardini 1, Storai 1.
Mataro, led by Anni Espar, defeated SIS Roma in the first semifinal. After a balanced 1:1 first period, Anna Espar opened the second quarter with two goals to give Mataro a 3:1 lead. Early in the third quarter, the Italians equalized (3:3). Mataro, the winner of the 2016 LEN Trophy, responded with three goals. Midway through this quarter, the Spaniards earned a 6:3 advantage and controlled the match until the end. Mataro had a 4-goal advantage in the fourth quarter (8:4 and 9:5). Roma’s Domitilla Picozzi closed the match with a consolation goal for the Italian side 21 seconds before the end.
Sabadell – Kinef 12:18 (2:4, 3:4, 3:5, 4:5)
Astralpool Sabadell: Keuning 6, Forca 4, Garcia 2.
Kinef-Surgutneftegas Kirishi: Prokofyeva 3, Simanovich 3, Glyzina 3, Zubkova 2, Krimer 2, Ivanova 2, Ryzhkova 2, Domankhina 1.
The encounter between Sabadell and Kinef, the teams that won the previous four editions of the Euro League (Sabadell in 2016 and 2019, Kinef in 2017 and 2018) was the derby of the semifinals. But the match lacked excitement. Kinef led throughout the game and secured the win before the fourth quarter.
Kinef grabbed an early 2:0 advantage, while it jumped to a 4:1 lead in the middle of the first period. Sabadell reduced the gap to one goal in the 9th minute (3:4) and kept up with the Russians until 5:6 (12th minute). Kinef kept Sabadell goalless in the following six minutes and scored three unanswered goals to earn a 4-goal advantage (9:5). Shortly after, the Russians increased the margin to five (11:6) and maintained the difference until the last break – 13:8.
The defenses slacked off in the final eight minutes. But, Kinef continued dominating and even built a seven-goal advantage (17:10) and cruised to an 18:12 victory.
Eight field players of Kinef found the net in this match. Ekaterina Prokofyeva, Anastasia Simanovich, and Nadezhda Glyzina scored three goals each. Three players scored all 12 goals for Sabadell. Maarthe Keuning was unstoppable with six goals, but it is a slim consolation after a 6-goal loss.
Sunday, April 18
3rd-place match: SIS Roma – Sabadell (11:30)
FINAL: Mataro – Kinef (14:00)