Two Serbian derbies were the highlights of Day 2 of the Premier Regional League Second Stage.
The Champions League clubs and the finalists of the Serbian Cup, Radnički and Novi Beograd faced off in the group in Budva. Radnički recorded an 11:10 victory and beat Novi Beograd for the second time in less than a month (after a win in the Serbian Cup)
The big Belgrade-based rivals, Crvena Zvezda and Partizan, played each other in the opening round of the group in Belgrade. Crvena Zvezda, the host of the tournament, recorded a 13:11 victory.
A very exciting Croatian derby was played in Budva where Mladost and Solaris Šibenik shared the points (5:5).
There were no surprises in the other matches. Primorac demolished Budva 13:3 in today’s first match in Budva. As for the group in Belgrade, Jadran Split beat Šabac 14:8, while Jug demolished Mornar 15:5.
Primorac – Budva 13:3 (2:1, 3:2, 3:0, 5:0)
Primorac Kotor: Vukasović 3, Drašković 2, Paunović 2, Mršić 1, Stanojević 1, Baštrica 1, MAtković 1, Vujošević 1, Mačić 1.
Budva: Zhardan 2, P.Ćetković 1
Budva played well in the first half, but it couldn’t surprise Primorac. The hosts led 1:0 and 3:2. Budva scored its third goal in the 10th minute. After that, they couldna find the net until the end. Primorac netted 11 straight goals for a 13:3victory.
Solaris – Mladost 5:5 (1:1, 2:2, 1:2, 1:0)
Solaris: Pelicarić 2, Goreta 1, Penava 1, Koprcina 1.
Mladost: Dašić 2, Vrbnjak 1, Rakovac 1, Fabris 1.
Solaris and Mladost, the teams which are in a battle for 3rd place in the Croatian League, shared the points after a defensive battle. Solaris can be more satisfied with this score, as it secured a point with a last-gasp goal just 18 seconds before the end.
Mladost’s Dašić scored an opening goal in the third minute, but Pelicarić made it 1:1 shortly after. In the second quarter, Mladost took a one-goal lead twice (2:1, 3:2), but Solaris responded with an equalizer on both occasions. The game followed the same pattern after the middle break. Mladost was a team that was earning a one-goal lead, while Solaris was chasing the Zagreb-based side successfully.
Still, Solaris had no response after Dašić’s goal for 5:4 in the 22nd minute. Defenses dominated in the following ten minutes. Mladost’s goalie Ivan Marcelić did a great job (18 saves tonight). Both teams missed a lot of chances in the final period, and it seemed that Mladost would record a slim win. But, the “frogs” lost the ball 28 seconds from the end, Solaris got a chance to secure a point in its last attack. Koprcina scored for the final score (5:5) with 18 seconds to go.
Radnički – Novi Beograd 11:10 (3:3, 3:1, 2:3, 3:3)
Radnički: Lukić 3, Vrlić 2, Pljevančić 1, Toholj 1, Radulović 1, Janković 1, Ćuk 1
Novi Beograd: Mandić 4, Vučinić 2, Drašović 2, Martinović 1 , Vlachopoulos 1
Radnički got off to a better start in the Serbian derby in Budva. The Kragujevac-based side controlled the match in the first half, and didn’t let Novi Beograd take a lead. In the 13th minute, Radncki’s centre-forward Toholj converted a man-up and two goals separated the rivals for the first time (5:3). Vučinić answered immediately (4:5). However, 33 seconds before the end of the first half, Radnički regained a 2-goal lead after Pjevancic scored a power-play goal for 6:4.
Less than two minutes after the start of the third period, Radnički stretched the margin to three. The Kragujevac-based side earned a penalty shot, which Radulović converted to a 7:4 lead. Two minutes before the last break, Novi Beograd cut the deficit to one goal, after Mandić converted a man-up for 6:7. Rudnicki’s captain Jankovic made it 8:6 with 38 seconds remaining. But, that wasn’t the end of this period. Novi Beograd earned a power-play advantage in its last possession in the third period. Drasovic beat the buzzer, and found the net for 7:8 with six seconds remaining on the clock. So, everything was open before the final eight minutes.
Novi Beograd equalized twice in the fourth perod (8:8 and 9:9). Both goals were scored by Dušan Mandić. After Novi Beograd’s ninth goal, Miloš Čuk responded quickly for 10:9. Shortly after, Radnički forced another penalty foul. This time, Nikola Lukić took responsibility. He hit the back of the net for 11:9. Djordje Vučinić halved the distance from a counter-attack (10:11) with 01:51 left on the clock. However, Radnički kept a minimal advantage and the big win.
Jadran S – Šabac 14:8 (3:4, 3:1, 3:1, 5:2)
Jadran Split: Bukić 4, Delić 3,Šetka 2, Burić 2, Marinić Kragić 1, Butić 1, Dužević 1.
Šabac: Stojanović 4, S.Ćetković 4.
Šabac fought hard and kept up with Jadran for a while, but the Croatian Cup winner proved who the favorite was. Šabac, led by Ognjen Stojanović and center-forward Savo Ćetković, had a slim one-goal lead several times in the first half. In the 13th minute, Ćetković put Šabac in front for the last time (5:4). In the following nine minutes, Jadran kept Sabac goalless, while it produced a 4:0run, and earned an 8:5 advantage. That series proved vital for the Croats’ win. Šabac was trying to come back, but with no success. Jadran controlled the game and recorded a 14:8 victory.
Ognjen Stojanović and Savo Ćetković scored all eight goals for Šabac (four each), while Luka Bukić netted four for Jadran.
Crvena Zvezda – Partizan 13:11 (3:2, 4:2, 4:3, 2:3)
Crvena Zvezda: Basara 4, Milojević 2, Tankosić 1, Marković 1, Trtović 1, Subotić 1, Vukićević 1, Smiljević 1, Pješivac 1.
Partizan: Aleksić 4, Bowen 2, Barać 1, Nešić 1, Vico 1, Kojić 1, Vavić 1.
Partizan defeated Crvena Zvezda narrowly in their previous encounter this season, in the Serbian League (11:10). Since then, Partizan has been reinforced by two experienced players Lovre Miloš and Marko Vavić, who got the right playing in the Regional League meanwhile. But, the black whites weren’t complete today. A few players were missing due to injuries or illness, among them was captain Stefan Mitrović. On the other side, Crvena Zvezda’s new coach Mirko Vicevic had all of the team’s best players available for this match.
The hosts dictated the pace in the opening minutes, and led through the first quarter, but their advantage was never bigger than a goal in that period. Early in the second, an experienced Milan Aleksić leveled at 3:3. In the middle of the quarter, Nemanja Vico gave Partizan a 4:3 lead. The visitors went in front for the first time, but not for long. Crvena Zvezda scored four goals in the last 03:15 minutes of the first half and had a 7:4 advantage at halftime.
The hosts’ captain Milos Vukicevic opened the second half with a nice goal from a long distance. Shortly after, Basara converted a man-up and Crvena Zvezda went to 9:4. The hosts scored six unanswered goals in less than six minutes and that proved crucial for the outcome. Bowen broke Partizan’s silence, with an action goal for 5:9. Partizan started coming back, but it didn’t equalize. In the fourth period, the visitors cut the deficit to two goals several times (9:11, 10:12, 11:13). Still, Crvena Zvezda controlled the match. Fifty seconds before the end, Milan Aleksic hit the post, and that was the end. It was clear that Partizan couldn’t catch up with the hosts.
Crvena Zvezda’s captain Miloš Vukićević commented:
“I am very satisfied with our play. The game was a big battle, and the win came as a result of a team effort. I congratulate my teammates for what they displayed today. Recently, we got a new coach, who “woke up” us from monotony. This was one of our best games this season, but I hope that we will improve our play in the following matches. Our primary goal in this tournament is to do our best”.
Partizan’s goalkeeper Dimitrije Rističević was disappointed:
“We weren’t complete, several players are out of the team, but we don’t ask for an excuse. We didn’t play as we could and as we should. We were very bad today. Crvena Zvezda had bigger desire, and that was the crucial factor. After this loss, we have really slim chance of reaching the Regional League Final Four. However, we must fight until the end. We will try to play as best as we can in the following Regional League matches.”
Mornar – Jug 5:15 (1:3, 2:4, 1:5, 1:3)
Mornar: Akrap 3, Vrdoljak 1, Majić 1.
Jug AO: Joković 3, Papanastasiou 2, Fatović 2, Kržić 2, Benić 2, Argyropoulos 1, Kakaris 1, , Žuvela 1
As expected, the last match of the day in Belgrade was a one-sided contest. Jug proved too strong for Mornar. The team from Dubrovnik built an early 3:0 lead. By the end of the first half, the favorites jumped to a 7:3 lead. Jug killed all Mornar’s hopes with four goals in the first four minutes of the second half. It built an 11:3 advantage and there was no way back for Mornar.
Budva: Budva – Solaris (17), Jadran HN – Radnički (18.50), Primorac – Mladost (20.40)
Belgrade: Partizan – Mornar (17), Crvena Zvezda – Šabac (18.50), Jadran S – Jug (20.40)