Pro Recco defeated Olympiacos convincingly (14:8) in the derby of Day 4 of the Champions League Group A.
The second “bubble” tournament of this extraordinary season started in Ostia today, with three games of Group A.
The other two matches offered more excitement. The encounter between Marseille and Spandau ended with no winner (7:7), while Jug beat Ortigia (8:6).
A big derby will be played in Ostia on Tuesday. Pro Recco and Jug, which have perfect records, will face off.
Group A, Day 4: Marseille – Spandau 7:7, Jug – Ortigia 8:6, Olympiacos – Pro Recco 8:14. Standings after four rounds: 1. Pro Recco 12, 2. Jug 12, 3. Olympiacos 6, 4. Ortigia 3, 5. Marseille 1, 6. Spandau 0.
The second tournament of Group B will start in Budapest tomorrow.
2020/21 Champions League, “Bubble” 2
Group A (Ostia), Day 4
Spandau – Marseille 7:7 (3:1, 2:2, 1:2, 1:2)
Spandau 04: Kholod 3, Cuk 2, Cagalj 1, Juengling 1 (Baksa 11 saves)
CN Marseille: Spaic 1, Prlainovic 1, Vernoux 1, Crousillat 1, Djurdjic 1, Kovacevic 1, Vukicevic 1 (Lazovic 9 saves)
Extra player shots: Spandao 2/4, Marselle 2/5. Penalty shots: Spandau 1/1, Marseille 1/1.
The second “bubble” was opened by a low-scoring battle between Spandau and Marseille. Both teams had no points after the first three days. Spandau suffered three big defeats at the first tournament, while Marseille offered good performances in the first three rounds. Because of that, Marseille was the favorite in today’s encounter.
But, the German side dictated the pace for most of the time. Spandau had a 3-goal lead a few times. Spandau, led by Dmitri Kholod, earned a 4:1 lead early in the second period. Two minutes before halftime, the Germans had a 5:2 advantage. In the finish of the first quarter, the 2019 LEN Euro Cup winner started coming back. The French scored three goals in a row and caught up with Spandau in the 18th minute (5:5). Still, in the middle of this quarter, Dmitri Kholod scored his 3rd goal for 6:5.
Vladan Spaic opened the final quarter with a nice goal to level at 6:6. After that, Marseille missed a few chances to go in front. And, Mateo Cuk gave Spandau a 7:6 lead by converting a man-up with 04:31 minutes remaining on the clock. However, Marseille avoided a defeat, as Ugo Crousillat found the net with an excellent shot from a distance 63 seconds before the end for 7:7.
Jug – Ortigia 8:6 (3:1, 2:1, 2:4, 1:0)
Jug AO: Fatovic 2, Garcia 1, Tomasovic 1, Papanastasiou 1, Zuvela 1, Benic 1, Obradovic 1 (Popadic 9 saves)
Ortigia: Cassia 1, Condemi 1, Di Luciano 1, Ferrero 1, Gallo 1, Mirarchi 1 (Tempesti 13 saves)
Extra player shot: Jug 4/11, Ortigia 4/7.Penalty shots:-
Jug started brilliantly. The Croats rushed to a 3:0 lead. Ortigia didn’t make many chances to score in the opening minutes. The Sicilians started waking up late into the first period, and they were on equal terms with the favorite in the remaining time. Ortigia came very close in the 10th minute (2:3), but Jug rebuilt a 3-goal advantage before the middle break (5:2).
Ortigia cut the deficit to one goal three times in the third quarter (4:5, 5:6, 6:7). Still, they couldn’t equalize. Jug controlled the match, but the Croats’ lead was constantly in danger. Defenses dominated the last period. Both goalkeepers did their job well, especially a 42-year-old -Stefano Tempesti, who posted some excellent saves. But, Tempesti couldn’t block a very good shot from Loren Fatovic in the 31st minute. Fatovic converted a man-up for 8:6 with 107 seconds remaining. Jug managed to keep the 2-goal distance until the end and to record the 4th win.
Olympiacos – Pro Recco 8:14 (0:1, 3:4, 3:5, 2:4)
Olympiacos: Daube 3, Argyropoulos 3, Irving 1, Kapotsis 1 (Zerdevas 6 saves, Galanopoulos 3 saves)
Pro Recco: Velotto 3, Luongo 3, Di Fulvio 2, Mandic 2, Figlioli 1, Echenique 1, N.Presciutti 1,Aicardi 1 (Bijac 10 saves)
Extra player shots: Olympiacos 3/5, Pro Recco 5/13. Penalty shots: Olympiacos 0/1, Pro Recco –
Pro Recco was the favorite today, but nobody expected a big winning margin. The Greeks kept up with Pro Recco for two quarters and were coming back from time to time. But, Recco dominated after the middle break and even had an 8-goal lead in the last quarter.
There were no goals in the derby game for a while. Recco’s Matteo Aicardi broke the deadlock in the fifth minute. The clash with Olympiacos was Aicardi’s first game in the 2020/21 Champions League. He missed the first “bubble” because he was still recovering after shoulder surgery.
Recco doubled an advantage (2:0) early in the second quarter. Olympiacos finally got on the scoreboard in the 11th minute (Daube 1:2). Soon the Italians jumped to a 4:1 lead. But, the Greeks cut the deficit again (3:4). Still, a “bomb” by Dusan Mandic closed this period, and Recco had a 5:3 lead at halftime.
Velloto stretched the margin to 6:3 in Recco’s first possession in the third quarter. Immediately after, the same player committed a penalty foul. But, Marko Bijac, who played very well today, blocked a shot by Genidounias from the 5m line. After that, Recco continued rolling. In the next attack, Velloto scored his 2nd goal in the match. Echenique found the net for a huge 8:3 lead in the 19th minute. It seemed that Olympiacos couldn’t come back.
But, the Greeks keep fighting. They scored three goals in a row (Arguropoulos 2 and Daube) and reduced the gap (6:8) two minutes before the last break. However, Pro Recco responded with two quick goals and entered the final quarter with a solid 10:6 advantage.
Recco dominated the final quarter. The Italians jumped to a 14:6 lead, while the Greeks scored two consolation goals in the last 90 seconds.
Tuesday, March 2
Group A (Day 5)
15:15 Marseille – Olympiacos
17:45 Spandau 04 – Ortigia
20:15 Pro Recco – Jug
Group B (Day 4)
14:00 Ferencvaros – Barceloneta
16:30 Waspo 98 Hannover – Dinamo Tbilisi
19:00 Jadran Herceg Novi – Brescia