The penultimate matchday in the Spanish Division de Honor was hugely significant for the title race this year, as Mataro ended Sabadell’s 20-game winning streak with a seismic 11-10 away win at Can Llong.
Astralpool Sabadell 10-11 CN Mataro (4-2, 3-2, 2-3, 1-4)
Sabadell: L. Ester, M. Ortiz, B. Games 1, S. Van der Sloot 1, M. Serrano 1, M. Steffens, I. Casado, M. Garcia Godoy 2, J. Forca Ariza 4, M. Bonet, N. Perez 1, I. Gonzalez, P. Carilla
Mataro: M. Sanchez, S. Morell 1, S. Van de Kraats 4, A. Gual, V. Sevenich 2, A. Timofeeva, C. Cambray, C. Nogue, M. Bach, Q. Bertran 1, A. Espar 3, B. Markoch, B. Colominas
At home, Sabadell perhaps looked the favourite, but as has happened on a number of occasions this season, they couldn’t ultimately find a way to beat their big rivals, Mataro.
As has been the case for much of the season, it was a battle of the left-handers for each side; Judith Forca scored four goals, but Simone Van de Kraats did the same – with her final goal ultimately proving to be the winner with just 49 seconds left in the contest.
The game looked like it might get away from Dani Ballart (who celebrated his birthday during the week) and his side – who trailed by 6 goals to 2 during the second period (Serrano, Forca, Perez, Van der Sloot and Garcia Godoy 2).
But little by little, the momentum began to sway from Sabadell, with the Dutch centre-forward, Vivian Sevenich began to grow into the game, as did her compatriot, Van de Kraats.
This result means everything will be settled on the last matchday – Mataro host Zaragoza while Sabadell ponder a trip to Madrid to face Boadilla. There is no doubt that Sabadell are still favourites to top the regular championship – they lead Mataro by two points and they know any win in East Madrid will take them a step closer to their 19th title. Mataro needed to win today to even have a chance of finishing 1st, and they have given themselves that. They will presumably defeat Zaragoza and hope Boadilla can cause a huge upset.
Elsewhere today, Terrassa and Mediterrani have guaranteed themselves European water polo for another season with victories over Sant Andreu and and Boadilla respectively. At one point this season, Sant Andreu looked like they may just squeeze into the top four at Mediterrani’s expense, but they dropped points at vital times to see them most likely finish 5th.
Rubi and Catalunya will both finish in the midfield with their wins today (Rubi beat Zaragoza and Catalunya saw off the relegated Concepcion). Rubi will be satisfied with where their young and growing side have finished, while Catalunya will hope they can get their recruitment a bit better before next season to fully challenge for a Euro League position.
CE Mediterrani 23-5 Natacion Boadilla (5-1, 5-2, 8-0, 5-2)
CN Atletic-Barceloneta 12-8 CN Sant Feliu (3-2, 4-1, 3-3, 2-2)
CN Catalunya 21-9 AR Concepcion (4-4, 5-2, 5-1, 7-2)
CN Sant Andreu 7-11 CN Terrassa (3-2, 1-4, 2-2, 1-3)
ESC Zaragoza 6-7 CN Rubi (1-1, 2-1, 1-3, 2-2)
* Qualified for the Euro League next season
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