European champion Pro Recco beat Olympiacos narrowly 12:11 in the big derby of the Champions League third round.
Olympiacos opened the match played in Chavari excellently, with a 3:0 lead. Recco was behind for most of the first half. In the dying seconds of the second period, the Italians took the lead for the first time (8:7). After the middle break, they never had an advantage bigger than two goals, but Olympiacos leveled just once.
Sabadell shocked Novi Beograd, beating the Serbian champion 12:10 in Belgrade. The Spaniards produced a 5:0 series in the last ten minutes.
There were no surprises in the other two games. Jug and Brescia recorded convincing wins over Dinamo Tbilisi and Steaua Bucharest, respectively.
2024 Champions League, Day 3
Novi Beograd – Sabadell 10:12 (4:2, 3:2, 3:4, 0:4)
Novi Begrad: Granados 4, Drasovic 3, Vlachopoulos 2, Jaksic 1.
Sabadell: Valera 3, Barroso 3, Van Ijperen 3, Averka 2, Mallarach 1
The hosts’ opening 3:0 run seemed to put them on the right track. Novi Beograd scored the first three goals and went to 3:0 in the fifth minute. Novi Beograd dictated the pace in the first half. The home team lost its rhythm in the second half. But, thanks to a good start, the Serbian champion controlled everything in the pool until the fourth quarter.
Sabadell cut the deficit to one goal for the first time. Van Ijperen found the net for 7:8. However, Novi Beograd replied with two immediately (Granados and Drasovic) to rebuild a 3-goal lead (10:7).
But after those two, Novi Beograd didn’t score a goal in the last 09:52 minutes. The Spaniards made the most of it and recorded a surprising win. Sabadell leveled in the 28th minute (Van Ijperen from a penalty). Shortly after, Barroso made it 10:11. The hosts made too many mistakes in both halves of the field. They lost too many balls in the attack, wasted several good chances, and paid for it. Barroso ended the contest with a long-distance goal with 42 seconds left on the clock.
This result can make a battle for the top spots in Group A very interesting, but there are a lot of games until the end.
Steaua: Neamtu 2, Tepelus 2, Vuskovic 1, Fulea 1, Antipa 1, Oanta 1.
Brescia: Del Basso 4, Alesiani 3, F.Faraglia 3, Dolce 2, Lazic 2, Irving 2, Gitto 1.
The first quarter indicated that the game could be very interesting. Steaua led 1:0 and 3:2. Nine seconds before the first break, Alesiani leveled at 3:3. Brescia ruled the field in the second half, it netted five goals – most of them were from quick attacks. Mario Del Basso stretched the margin to six from a counterattack in the 19th minute (9:3). Steaua couldn’t get back into the match.
Standings: 1. Sabadell 7, 2. Novi Beograd 6, 3. Brescia 5, 4. Steaua 0.
Pro Recco – Olympiacos 12:11 (3:3, 5:4, 3:3, 1:1)
Pro recco: Condemi 3, Zalanki 2, Fondelli 2, Hallock 2, Di Fulvio 1, Cannella 1, Younger 1,
Olympiacos: Gkillas 2, Genidounias 2, Dervsis 1, Buslje 1, Alafragkis 1, Nikolaidis 1, Fountoulis 1Loncar 1.
The two giants of the European water polo weren’t complete in the derby. As we mentioned in yesterday’s preview, Recco couldn’t count on Aleksandar Ivovic, while Marton Vamos still hasn’t returned to the Olympiacos after an injury suffered 20 days ago. But, even without two greats, the game in Chiavari was spectacular.
Olympiacos got off to a dream start. The Greeks needed less than five minutes to earn a 3:0 lead. However, Recco caught up with the visitors quickly – with a 3:0 run in the last 147 seconds of the first quarter.
Olympiacos opened the second period similarly to the first one, with two goals, and went to 5:3. Recco leveled, but Olympiacos rebuilt a 2-goal advantage midway through the second quarter. Nikolaidis and Fountoulis scored action goals within 36 seconds for 5:7. Then came Recco’s another 3:0 series in almost precisely the same period as in the first quarter. The hosts scored three unanswered goals in the last 125 seconds of the period. Zalanki opened the series with a goal from a distance for 6:7. Di Fulvio leveled at 7:7. Francesco Condemi escaped Olympiacos’ defense at the left side and gave the hosts an 8:7 lead with just three seconds left on the clock.
Cannella prolonged the hosts’ series to the fourth consecutive goal, scoring for 9:7 in Recco’s first possession in the second half. The Greeks leveled at 9:9. Recco replied with two but couldn’t build a big advantage. Olympiacos trailed 10:11 before the final eight minutes. Everything was still open.
After 21 goals in the first three periods, defenses dominated in the final quarter, or the attackers got tired. There were a lot of misses. Posts and crossbars saved the goalkeepers at both ends of the pool a few times. Ben Hallock was the one who opened the scoring in the fourth quarter – 12:10. Recco kept that advantage for a long. Genidounias ended a long silence with a 6-meter goal with 01:32 minutes left on the clock. Recco lost the ball in its next possession. Besides, Olympiacos got a 6 on 5 and a chance to equalize. However, Fountoulis hit the crossbar with 25 seconds remaining and Recco kept the ball in the remaining time.
Dinamo T – Jug 5:12 (0:2, 0:3, 1:4, 4:3)
Dinamo T: Tankosic 2, Vapenski 1, Pjesivac 1, Vlahovic 1.
Jug Dubrovnik: Daube 5, Buric 2, Zuvela 2, Lazic 1, Jokovic 1, Krzic 1.
Even though Dinamo suffered convincing losses to Pro Recco and Olympiacos, it was expected that the Georgians could offer a stronger resistance to Jug. However, the visitors cruised to a win. Dinamo’s attack was harmless in the first two quarters. Jug’s defense was up to the task, but it didn’t have a lot of job to do. Dinamo got on the scoreboard only in the 22nd minute. Until then, Jug already found the net eight times. In the fourth quarter, Dinamo avoided a bigger catastrophe.
Standings: 1. Pro Recco 9, 2. Olympiacos 5, 3. Jug 4, 4. Dinamo Tbilisi 0.