Partizan earned a valuable victory in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Serbian League playoffs.
The Black Whites beat Sabac 9:6 in Belgrade and will go to Sabac to the return leg with a 3-goal advantage.
The favorites recorded convincing away wins in the other three encounters.
2022/23 Serbian League, Playoffs, Quarterfinals (best of two)
Partizan – Sabac 9:6 (1:2, 1:1, 3:2, 4:1)
Partizan: Gladovic 2, Trtovic 2, Smiljevic 2, Milos 1, Giga 1, Paparic 1.
Sabac: Stojanovic 2, Markovic 1, Stanic 1, Tubic 1, Šulc 1
Vojvodina – Novi Beograd 6:21 (1:3, 3:6, 1:5, 1:7)
Vojvodina: Boskovic 2, Blazevic 1, Tintor 1, Radovanlija 1, Rogac 1.
Novi Beograd: S. Rasovic 3, V.Rasovic 3, Martinovic 2, Vucinic 2, Vlachopoulos 2, Skoumpakis 2, Shushiashvili 2, Cetkovic 1, Jaksic 1, Perkovic 1.
Valis – Radnicki 5:13 (0:4, 2:2, 2:3, 1:4)
Valis: Radanovic 2, Kovacevic 2, Sofranac 1.
Radnicki: Gavrilovic 3, Brankovic 2, Draskovic 2, Lukic 2, Antic 1, Kojic 1, Pljevancic 1
NBG Vukovi – Crvena Zvezda 6:13 (1:3, 1:2, 3:2, 1:6)
NBG Vukovi: Bucan 3, Vitorović 1, Sofranac 1, Djordjević 1.
Crvena Zvezda: Subotic 5, Seman 2, Radovic 2, Markovic 1, Vasic 1, Basara 1, Milojevic 1.
Partizan finished 5th in the regular season, with the same number of points as Sabac, but 4th place belonged to Sabac due to a better score in head-to-head matches. Therefore, the encounter between the seven-time European champion and the team that won the Serbian title and Cup four years ago was the derby of the quarterfinals.
From the beginning, the duel in the Banjica pool in Belgrade was an even contest. Both teams were cautious in the first half and focused on defense. Sabac earned a slim lead in the first sixteen minutes (3:2). Partizan made a turn with two goals at the beginning of the third quarter (4:3). Later, it had a 5:4 advantage. Still, Sabac equalized (5:5) before the middle break. The fourth period started with a quick exchange of goals.Gladovic scored for Partizan (6:5). Stojanovic leveled. The visitors couldn’t find the net after that. Partizan netted three straight goals within three minutes (Giga, Trtovic, Smiljevic) and went to 9:6. There were no goals in the last two minutes and a half. Partizan did a good job, but Sabac still has a realistic chance of reaching the semifinals. A few months ago, Sabac defeated Partizan at home by eight goals (12:4) in the match of the regular season. So, everything is possible.
As for the other three duels, there are no open questions.
Novi Beograd, Radnicki and Crvena Zvezda are practically in the semifinals.
Novi Beograd, the 1st-placed team in the regular season, sank Vojvodina 21:6. Brothers Strahinja and Viktor Rasovic combined six goals for the Serbian champion.
Radnicki ended its losing streak. After six straight defeats in all competitions, the Kragujevac-based team beat Valis in Valjevo. The most experienced players of Radnicki, Milos Cuk and Josip Vrlic, missed the match, but a rejuvenated team recorded a 13:5 victory with three goals from Bogdan Gavrilovic. This was Radnicki’s first win after a month and a half and the game against Mornar in the Regional League (14:9) played in late February.
Gavril Subotic scored five goals to lead Crvena Zvezda to a 13:6 win over Novi Beograd’s development team NBG Vukovi.
The return matches are scheduled for the next week
Relegation playoffs (best-of-two)
Stari Grad – Proleter 9:11 (2:2, 2:3, 1:2, 4:4) – first leg 3:14
Stari Grad: Mitrovic 4, Marjanovic 3, Ilic 1, Radic 1.
Proleter: Cabrilo 5, Mitrović 3, Ilic 1, Coric 1, Matkovic 1.
Proleter beat Stari Grad in both games of the relegation playoffs and kept its place in the Serbian Super League.
The only newcomer is Tas Belgrade, the winner of the Serbian Second League. Tas will replace Nais, which finished 10th in the Super League.