Marseille continues to prove that it is the best French water polo club at the moment.
The team from one of the biggest European port cities won the French Cup by beating Strasbourg (18:11) in the final played in Aix-en-Provence today. Seven goals separated the rivals, but Marseille needed a lot of time to secure a convincing victory. The first three quarters were quite balanced. Strasbourg fought hard and was very close to the favorite. Moreover, it had a lead a few times. Still, Marseille was dominant in the final eight minutes.
Marseille defended the trophy clinched last year. The French Cup, named after Pierre Garsau, was re-established last year. In 2021, the final was held in Abbeville. Last year, Marseille beat Noisy-le-Sec in the final.
Noisy-le-Sec won the bronze medal with a convincing 14:6 victory over the LEN Euro Cup quarterfinalist Tourcoing.
Other matches for the final standings – 5th-place match: Montpellier – Sete 8:14, 7th-place match: Pays d’Aix – Reims 8:9.
2022/23 French Men’s Cup, “Trophy Pierre Garsau”, Day 3
Strasbourg – Marseille 11:18 (2:2, 4:5, 2:4, 3:7)
Strasbourg: Fontani, Chion, Bachelier 2, Mehdi, Canovas 1, Popadic 1, Vitrant 2, Buha, Denix, Misic 3, I.Zivkovic, Petkovic 2,Dorn, Mazmaniani. Head coach: Amardeilh.
Marseille: Lazovic, Cuckovic, Crousillat 2, Daube 3, Prlainovic 2, Vernoux 2, Olivon, Izdinsky 4, Marion-Vernoux 3, Bodegas, De Nardi, Bouet 1, Hovhannisyan, Vanpeperstraete 1. Head coach: Scepanovic.
Marseille’s American Hannes Daube opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Still, Strasbourg leveled shortly after (1:1) and again at 2:2. Sasa Misic converted a man-up in Strasbourg’s first possession in the second quarter for 3:2, and Marseille became the team that had to chase the rival. The reigning champion leveled at 3:3 and 4:4. Pierre-Frederic Vanpeperstraete put Marseille in front in the 14th minute, but Marko Petkovic responded immediately after for 5:5.
Still, at the finish of the second half, Marseille built a 2-goal lead for the first time. Prlainovic netted from a counter-attack, and Vernoux made it 7:5 with an extra player. However, Strasbourg earned a penalty in the very last second. Popadic sent the ball into the net from the 5m line and Strasbourg trailed by a goal (6:7) at halftime.
Marseille controlled the game in the third quarter and regained a 2-goal advantage (8:6, 9:7, 10:8). The French champion had several excellent chances to widen the distance to three. Still, they missed a few chances with a man-up. Strasbourg’s goalkeeper Hugo Fontani posted some excellent saves, and his team kept up with Marseille. Still, 33 seconds before the last break, Marseille gained a 3-goal advantage -Izdinsky found the net with an extra player for 11:8.
Strasbourg couldn’t follow the rhythm imposed by Marseille in the fourth quarter. Roman Marion Vernoux opened the scoring in the final period to stretch the margin to four (12:8). Sasa Misic replied with a man-up (9:12). But then Marseille scored four goals in two and a half minutes (Izdinsky 2, Prlainovic and Marion-Vernoux), went to 16:9 and that was the end of the contest.
Noisy-le-Sec – Tourcoing 14:6 (3:0, 4:2, 0:2, 7:2)
Noisy-le-Sec (Cercle 93): Do Carmo 3, Petkovic 3, Gogov 2, Bowen 2, Dino 1, Bjorch 1, Caumette 1, Nardon 1.
Tourcoing: Draskovic 2, Gagulic 2, Canonne 2.
Noisy-le-Sec ran over Tourcoing in the first 12 minutes. The Parisians earned a 6:0 lead, which determined the rest of the encounter. Tourcoing started waking up midway through the second quarter. It halved the deficit by the end of the third quarter (4:7), but there was no way back for the team coached by Petar Kovacevic. At the last break, Noisy-le-Sec’s coach Stefan Ciric shook things. His team re-called its rhythm from the first half and demolished the rival with a 14:6 victory.
Montpellier – Sete 8:14 (0:1, 3:4, 4:2, 1:7)
Montpellier: Dory 2, Mustur 1, Ivankovic 1, Vasin 1, Kalinic 1, Ben Romdhane 1, Spilliaert 1.
Sete: Furman 4, Hertaux 2, Tomic 2, Bofill 2, Sauton 1, Lopinot 1, Vujovic 1, Randjic 1.
Sete dictated the pace in the first half of the 5th-place match. It had a 5:2 lead. Still, Montpellier managed to come back and level the score twice in the third quarter (5:5, 7:7). The sides were tied before the final quarter. Still, Montpellier ran out of gas for the fourth period. Sete produced a 6:0 run to jump to a 13:7 lead with 40 seconds left on the clock. In the remaining time both teams scored a goal apiece.
Pays d’Aix – Reims 8:9 (1:2, 1:0, 2:3, 4:4)
Pays d’Aix: Bakircilar 3, Vrdoljak 2, Drahe 1, Peisson 1, Rocchietta 1.
Reims: Babic 3, Culina 3, Solje 1, Vix 1, Bulat 1
Host Pays d’Aix is the only team that didn’t record a win in the “Trophy Pierre Garsau”. Reims defeated the home team narrowly in the 7th-place match. The rivals were in a neck-and-neck race throughout the game. Pays d’Aix scored an opening goal, but Reims responded with two, and took a 2:1 lead. From that point on, the teams traded goals. Reims took a one-goal lead and Pays d’Aix leveled several times. The decision came in the dying minutes. In the 30th minute, Bulat gave Reims an 8:6 lead, and two goals separated the rivals for the first time. After that, Aix didn’t equalize. It just halved the deficit and suffered an 8:9 loss.