As the end of regular seasons in the Serbian and Croatian League approaches, there are more and more exciting games.
This weekend, a big derby was played in Serbia – Novi Beograd defeated Radnicki in Kragujevac 12:10 and continued its unbeaten run in the national league. After the win in Kragujevac, Novi Beograd mathematically secured 1st place before the playoffs. It has 6 points more than 2nd-placed Partizan, two rounds before the end. Novi Beograd defeated Partizan in both encounters in the regular season.
The second part of the regular season in Croatia was opened by a classic – Mladost vs. Jug. The game was interesting, but Jug didn’t let Mladost surprise and recorded a 15:12 victory.
Radnicki – Novi Beograd 10:12 (2:4, 3:3, 3:2, 2:3)
Partizan – Vojvodina 20:8 (7:0, 3:4, 4:2, 6:2)
Crvena Zvezda – Sabac 13:6 (2:1, 5:2, 4:1,2:2)
Before the third round of the playoffs group, Radnicki and Novi Beograd faced four times. Novi Beograd recorded wins in two matches on home soil (Serbian Championships and Champions League). Radnicki was better than Novi Beograd in the Serbian Cup final and at the Regional League tournament in Budva.
The duel in Kragujevac was a big battle, as expected. Novi Beograd dictated the pace and led for most of the time. However, Radnicki was in the game, and had a chance to win until the end.
In the middle of the second period, Novi Beograd earned a 3-goal lead (6:3). Radnicki cut the deficit(5:6), but Dusan Mandic converted a man-up at the finish of the quarter and the visitors had a 7:5 advantage at halftime.
The hosts leveled at 7:7 in the third quarter, but they couldn’t take the lead. Novi Beograd had a minimal advantage before the final quarter (9:8).
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Radnicki missed a big chance to equalize from a penalty shot. The hosts paid for it. Immediately after that miss, Jaksic gave Novi Beograd a 10:8 lead. Still, Radnicki was able to equalize once more. Josip Vrlic and Filip Jankovic found the net, and the sides were tied at 10:10 with two minutes remaining. But, shortly after the equalizer, Novi Beograd’s Gogov scored with a power-play advantage for 11:10. Dusko Pijetlovic set the final score 70 seconds before the final buzzer.
Dusan Mandic and Nikola Jaksic led Novi Beograd with four goals each. S.Rasovic, D.Pijetlovic, Gogov, Shushiashvili scored one each. Scorers for Radnicki:Ukropina 3, Lukic 2, Jankovic 2, Stanojevic 1, Vrlic 1, Radulovic 1.
There were even 47 exclusions in the match (Novi Beograd committed 26 personal fouls, Radnicki – 21).
Partizan beat Vojvodina easily – 20:8. Milan Aleksic, Alex Bowen, Nemanja Vico and Nikola Vavic contributed to the win with three goals each. Nikola Bogdanovic scored four for Vojvodina.
At the moment, Partizan is in 2nd place, with three points more than Radnicki. The next round will bring a new derby in Kragujevac – Radnicki will welcome Partizan.
Crvena Zvezda defeated Sabac 13:6. Gavril Subotic (Crvena Zvezda) and Marko Tubic (Sabac) were the best scorers. Each found the net three times.
1.Novi Beograd 8 – 24
2.Partizan 8 – 18
3. Radnicki 8 – 15
4. Crvena Zvezda 8 – 12
5. Sabac 8 – 3
6. Vojvodina 8 – 0
Mladost – Jug 12:15 (3:3, 4:4, 3:5, 2:3)
Mornar – Jadran S 9:20 (3:2, 2:5, 4:5,0:8)
The second part of the regular season in Croatia has begun. The teams are split into two groups now. All points won in the first ten rounds have been carried to the second part, which will be a single round-robin competition with five rounds.
The highlight of the first round was the duel between Mladost and Jug, played in Zagreb.
Mladost and Jug are the most successful clubs in the history of Croatian water polo. These games are always derbies, even in the season like the current is. Mladost has been significantly weakened compared to the previous season. In addition, goalkeeper Ivan Marcelic left the club last week. However, water polo fans enjoyed an exciting game in Zagreb as Mladost played very well. The match was a neck-and-neck race for more than three quarters. After the first period, the score was 3:3. Mladost led 7:5 a minute before the middle break. But, Jug equalized with two goals in the last 39 seconds of the second quarter and added one goal early in the third to go in front– 8:7. Mladost caught up with the Dubrovnik-based side three times during the third quarter (8:8, 9:9, 10:10).
But, then came a new Jug’s 3:0 series. In the 27th minute, Alexandros Papanastasiou gave Jug a 13:10 lead. The favorite controlled the match in the remaining time.
Alex Papanastasiou scored four goals for Jug. Loren Fatovic and Marko Zuvela found the net three times each. Franko Lazic scored four, and Marin Dasic three goals for Mladost.
Mladost, which won the Croatian Championships and Cup last year, is still without a win over Jug in this season. The Dubrovnik-based team has beaten its archrival four times since the beginning of the season (twice in the Croatian League, in the Regional League, and in the semifinals of the Croatian Cup)
Jadran Split ran over Mornar in the Split derby. Mornar won the first quarter and kept up with the favorite until the middle of the second quarter (4:4). Jadran entered the final quarter with a solid 12:9 advantage, and it blew Mornar away in the last eight minutes. New goalkeeper Ivan Marcelic, who joined Jadran on Monday, was in front of the favorites’ goal in the third and the fourth period. At halftime, he replaced Mate Anic.
Luka Bukic, Konstantin Kharkov and Jerko Marinic Kragic scored four goals each for Jadran. Goran Solje was Mornar’s best scorer (3 goals).
1.Jadran S 9 – 27
2.Jug AO 9 – 27
3. Mladost 10 – 21
4. Solaris 9 – 16
5. Mornar 10 – 16
Primorje – Zadar 15:5 (6:1, 3:0, 2:2, 4:2)
Medvescak – KPK 17:8 (2:0, 5:2, 5:3, 5:3)
6. Primorje 10 – 15
7. KPK Korcula 10 – 9
8. Medvescak 10 – 6
9. POSK 9 – 4
10. Zadar 1952 10 – 1