The last matchday in the Champions League Group B in 2022 saw some great derbies and exciting matches.
The highlight of the day was a duel between the teams that were unbeaten after three matchdays. Novi Beograd hosted Brescia. The Serbs led throughout the match. Still, they couldn’t relax until the end. They recorded a 11:9 win and jumped to 1st place in the group.
Two goals separated the rivals in the other derby – Ferencvaros beat Jug 9:7. Still, this game wasn’t similar to the game in Belgrade. There were several twists and turns. In the end, Ferencvaros, which was without a few key players (including Denes Varga), managed to beat the Croats .
OSC and Marseille recorded their first wins in the season. OSC edged out Sabadell in a thrilling finish (9:8). Marseille posted a pretty comfortable victory over Spandau o4 (14:7).
Novi Beograd – Brescia 11:9 (3:2, 2:1, 4:3, 2:3)
Novi Beograd: Serra, S.Rasovic, Mandic, Granados 3, Vucinic 3, Pijetlovic, Drasovic 1, Jaksic 2, Perkovic 1, Vlachopoulos, Skoumpakis 1, V.Rasovic, Filipovic. Head coach: Gocic.
Brescia: Tesanovic,Dolce 2, C.Presciutti, Gianazza, Lazic 1, Vapenski 1, Renzuto 1, Kharkov 2, Alesiani, Luongo, E.Di Somma 1, Gitto, Baggi Necchi. Head coach: Bovo.
Brescia beat Ferencvaros and Sabadell in the previous two rounds primarily because of excellent defense. Ferencvaros scored only four goals in the game in Brescia. Sabadell’s attack had the same output in the away match at the Italians’ pool last week.
Today, the Italians conceded three goals in the first three minutes. Djordje Vucinic opened the match with two goals, Nikola Jaksic added one in the 5th minute for a 3:0 lead. Still, Brescia quickly recovered from a quite shocking start and reduced the gap to one before the first break (2:3), and the game entered the expected rhythm. An even contest between two great teams began.
Both teams tightened their defenses, and goalkeepers Pedro and Tesanovic posted a few nice saves each. Granados broke the deadlock in the 12th minute from a counterattack. Dolce replied immediately with a nice long-distance shot, but Novi Beograd regained a 2-goal advantage thanks to Dimitrios Skoumpakis.
At the beginning of the third period, Alvaro Granados sent “a bomb” into Brescia’s net from seven meters. The hosts were three goals ahead of the Italians again (6:3). The visiting side narrowed the gap three times (4:6, 5:7, 6:8). Still, they had no response after Vucinic handled well in the dying seconds of a powerplay attack to give Novi Beograd a 9:6 advantage in the 23rd minute.
Brescia had a lot of opportunities to score, but Novi Beogarad’s defense, and especially goalkeeper Joao Pedro Coimbra (who posted 16 saves) were up to the task.
Brescia cut the deficit to two goals twice in the fourth quarter (7:9 and 8:10). In the middle of the period, they had an excellent chance to come very close. They had a counterattack, but Coumbra saved a one-one-one shot from Alesiani. A few seconds after, Brescia earned a man-up but couldn’t score. The Brazilian goalkeeper proved his outstanding qualities once more, by blocking a shot from Presciutti. As usual, a team that misses great chances pays for it. That happened today. Novi Beograd regained a 3-goal lead in its next possession. Miroslav Perkovic found the net from a difficult position (from a 6 on 5) for 11:8. Brescia scored the last goal in the match but couldn’t come back.
One of the hosts’ aces Nikola Jaksic said:
“We learned from the mistakes we made in the previous match against Jug. We played at a high level throughout the game. An attack was very good as usual. But, unlike the match against Jug, we didn’t have downs in defense. We blocked a lot of shots. We improved our play in front of our goal compared to the match against Jug and that was a crucial factor for a victory.
Brescia’s goal getter Konstantin Khrakov, also, commented on defense:
“Our defense weakened in the second half, and that was the main reason why we couldn’t keep up with Novi Beograd after the middle break. Besides, we missed a few very good chances, Novi Beograd’s goalkeeper was outstanding. Still, I think the primary reason we lost was a wakened defense.
Ferencvaros – Jug 9:7 (3:1, 2:4, 1:1, 3:1)
Ferencvaros: Szakonyi, Molnar 1, Pohl 1, Merkulov 1, Argyropoulos 2, Ubovic 2,Fekete, Vadovics, Nemet, Nagy 1, Jansik 1, Damonte, Sipos. Head coach: Zs. Varga.
Jug: Popadic, Burdjelez,Fatovic, Mozara, Jokovic 2, Vukojevic, Biljaka 1, Zvono, Krzic 1, Kakaris 2, Grgurevic, Zuvela 1, Jurisic. Head coach: Kobescak.
Illnesses and injuries decimated Ferencvaros . A few key players missed the match – Denes Varga, goalkeeper Soma Vogel, Vendel Vigvari. Still, Jug didn’t profit from Ferencvaros’ problems.
A rejuvenated team of Ferencvaros got off to a great start and took a 3:0 lead (6th minute). But, the Budapest-based side couldn’t keep that excellent rhythm for a long time. Jug took control and scored five unanswered goals to go to 5:3 (15th minute). Adam Nagy ended Ferencvaros’ goalless phase that lasted more than nine minutes, making a 4:5 with 55 seconds left on the clock in the first half. Just five seconds before the buzzer, Argyropoulos converted a man-up, and the big rivals were on the same starting line before the second half – 5:5.
Defenses worked well in the third period, only two goals were scored. Former Jug’s ace Argyrropoulos gave the hosts a 6:5 advantage, while Zuvela equalized shortly after (6:6).
Ferencvaros dictated the pace in the final period, but everything was open until the end. The hosts went to 8:6 (27th minute). Three and a half minutes before the end, Konstantinos Kakaris boosted Jug’s hopes,with a goal from a counter attack for 7:8. Still, Ferencvaros’ center-forward Nemanja Ubovic answered with an action goal just 15 seconds after. There were no goals in the last three minutes, and Ferencvaros emerged as a winner.
OSC Budapest – Sabadell 9:8 (1:3, 4:2, 2:2, 2:1)
OSC Budapest: Levai, Angyal 1, K.Manhercz 3, Varnai 2, Salamon 1, E.Cscacsovszky, Dala, Toth 1, Vin.Vigvari 1, Burian, Bundschuh, Aranyi, Bisztrisanyi. Head coach: Da.Varga.
Sabadell: Lorrio, Sanahuja 3, Gil, M.Teclas, Veich 1, Valera 1, Bertran 2, Cabanas, Averka 1, D.Banicevic, Bonet, Bustos, X. Teclas. Head coach: Colet
The encounter between OSC and Sabadell was a real rollercoaster. Both teams had excellent intervals, but also the “black minutes”. Sabadell took a 2:0 lead already after two minutes of play. The Spaniards went to 3:0 in the 6th minute, while OSC got on the scoreboard after Salamon converted a man-up with 105 seconds left in the first quarter. That goal was a start of OSC’s storm. The hosts added four unanswered goals in the second quarter. Krisztian Manhercz made it 5:3. But, Sabadell netted two goals in the last 48 seconds of the second quarter, so the teams were tied at 5:5 at halftime.
The Spaniards took a one-goal lead twice in the third quarter, but the hosts caught up with the rival on both occasions, so nobody had an advantage before the final quarter.
OSC went ahead in the fourth period – 8:7, and Sanahuja leveled at 9:9. But, Manhercz closed the game with his third goal. He converted a man-up in the 31st minute – 9:8 and OSC earned its first win in the season.
Marseille – Spandau 04 14:7 (2:1, 2:1, 5:3, 5:2)
Marseile: Lazovic, Cuckovic 1, Crousillat 3, Spaic 1, Prlainovic 2, Vernoux 2, Olivon, Bouet 2, Marion-Vernoux 1, Bodegas, Vukicevic 2, Vanpeperstraete, Hovhannisyan Head coach: Scepanovic.
Spandau 04: Baksa, Gbadamassi, Prioteasa, Cuk, Tkac 1, Jungling 2, Strelezkij 1, Marziali, Chiru, Kholod 3, Restovic, Shepelev, Schweimer. Head coach: Kechagias.
Spandau surprised Sabadell and OSC in the previous two away games (both matches ended in a 9:9 draw). Still, the Germans couldn’t upset Marseille, which dictated the pace throughout the game.
The French missed a great chance to beat Ferencvaros in Budapest last week, when they started excellently, but finished very badly. However, today’s game produced a different storyline. Marseille was in front from the first whistle, but Spandau kept up with the hosts until the middle break. Two goals separated the rivals after 16 minutes (2:4). Marseille produced a 3:0 series in the middle of the third period and that rush determined the winner. The French netted three goals within 01:43 minutes (Crousillat, Bouet, Spaic) and jumped to 7:2 (20th minute). After that, there was no way back for Spandau. Marseille controlled the game and stretched the margin to seven by the end.
1.Novi Beograd 4 – 10
2. Brescia 4 – 9
3. Ferencvaros 4 – 9
4. OSC Budapest 4 – 5
6. Marseille 4 – 4
6. Jug AO 4 – 4
7. Spandau 04 4 – 2
8. Sabadell 4 – 1
The next games are on January 11.
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