Visiting teams recorded wins in two crucial games of the 12th round of the Serbian League (Group for places 1st – 6th).
Radnicki beat Partizan in Belgrade (12:9), while Crvena Zvezda edged out Sabac in a hard-fought battle (6:5). The Serbian Cup winner was two goals down in the fourth period in the game in Sabac, but it managed to come back and bag all three points.
Partizan – Radnicki 9:12 (2:4, 3:3, 2:3, 2:2)
Partizan: Trtovic 7, Gak 1, Dimitrijevic 1.
Radnicki: Ukropina 4, Jankovic 2, Cuk 2, Draskovic 2, Poznanovic 1, Vrlic 1.
Sabac – Crvena Zvezda 5:6 (1:1, 3:2, 0:0, 1:3)
Sabac: Stojanovic 2, Maras 1, Repanovic 1, Barac 1.
Crvena Zvezda: Vukicevic 3, Tankosic 1, Vasic 1, Radovic 1.
Novi Beograd – Valis 20:8 (4:0, 7:2, 4:2, 5:4)
Novi Beograd: Drasovic 3, Skoumpakis 3, Martinovic 2, Mandic 2, Vucinic 2,Shushiashvili 2, Cetkovic 2, Granados 1, Perkovic 1, Vlachopoulos 1, V.Rasovic 1.
Valis: Nikolov 3, Sofranac 1, Bursac 1, Obradovic 1, Radanovic 1, Baucalo 1.
Radnicki arrived in Belgrade without its best scorer Nikola Lukic (due to suspension in the match against Novi Beograd last week) and injured center-forward Bogdan Gavrilovic. As for Partizan, one of the best scorers, Petar Smiljevic, missed the game.
The teams were tied until 2:2. Radnicki jumped to 4:2 with two goals at the finish of the first quarter. Radnicki was always in front in the next three quarters. The visitors went to 6:3 in the second period. However, Partizan cut the deficit (5:6). Still, Radnicki entered the second half with a 2-goal advantage (7:5). In the third quarter, the Kragujevac-based side went to 10:6. Midway through the fourth quarter, Milos Cuk stretched the margin to five (12:7) and ruined Partizan’s last hope. Aleksa Ukropina led Radnicki’s attack with four goals, but the best scorer was Partizan’s Dusan Trtovic (seven goals).
Crvena Zvezda emerged as a winner in a very close battle in Sabac and mathematically secured at least 3rd place before the playoffs. It was a hard defensive battle. Sabac, encouraged by a 12:4 victory over Partizan in the previous round, hoped it could beat Crvena Zvezda and climb to 4th place.
Sabac was a slightly better team in the first half and had a 4:3 lead at the middle break. After a goalless third period, Sabac doubled its advantage in the 26th minute (5:3). However, the finish belonged to Crvena Zvezda, which was led by center-forward Milos Vukicevic. The visitors scored the last three goals in the game. Veljko Tankosic hit the back of the net with 03:39 minutes left on the clock to give Crvena Zvezda a 6:5 lead. It turned out that it was a winning goal.
Novi Beograd, which was without head coach Zivko Gocic (who was ill), ran over Valis in the overture for the Champions League match against Sabadell.
The remaining two rounds of the regular season in the playoffs group will be played in April. In the meantime, the clubs will play in the Regional League, and the national team of Serbia will have short preparations and participate in the World Cup qualifications (in the group in Podgorica).
1.Novi Beograd 8 games – 21 points
2. Radnicki 8 – 19
3.Crvena Zvezda 8 – 16
4. Partizan 8 – 9
5. Sabac 8 – 6
6. Valis 8 – 0
*The teams carried the results recorded in the mutual encounters from the 1st phase to the 2nd stage of the league