There have been several exciting derbies in the leagues of the ex-Yu countries this weekend.
It’s hard to single out a match that was the most interesting.
Jadran Split and Jug, the teams which had had a perfect record in the Croatian League until this week, faced off in a postponed game. Jadran continued its winning streak defeating Jug 13:11.
Two great and thrilling duels were played in Serbia. Crvena Zvezda beat Novi Beograd 14:13. After 13 straight wins, Novi Beograd suffered the first loss in the national league this season. But, this club will enter the playoffs from 1st place as it secured the top spot earlier.
Radnicki beat Partizan 13:12 in an encounter between the teams that are in a hunt for 2nd place.
Both Serbian derbies were open until the end. Two last-gasp goals were decisive.
Jadran S – Jug 13:11 (4:4, 4:3, 2:2, 3:2)
The league game in Split was the third duel between Jadran Split and Jug this season. Jadran defeated Jug in the Croatian Cup final. Jug took three points in the Regional League.
The third match was an even contest. Jadran’s left-handed Konstantin Kharkov made the difference. He netted six goals.
After the first quarter, the score was 4:4 (Kharkov scored all four goals for Jadran). Jug took control in the fourth quarter. Midway through this period, the visitors earned a 7:5 advantage. But, Jadran responded with a 5:0 series and jumped to a 10:7 lead (21st minute). Jug reduced the gap (9:10) before the final quarter.
Jadran controlled the game in the fourth period. The home side didn’t let Jug equalize.
Besides Kharkov, four players scored for Jadran: Marinic Kragic (3), Bukic (2), Setka (1) and Butic (1). Fatovic and Kakaris scored three goals each for Jug, Papanastasiou added two, Jokovic, Benic and Zuvela one each.
1.Jadran S 11 – 33
2. Jug 10 – 27
3. Mladost 11 – 24
4. Solaris 10 – 16
5. Mornar 11 – 16
Crvena Zvezda – Novi Beograd 14:13 (4:2, 3:2, 4:5, 3:4)
Radnicki – Partizan 13:12 (4:3, 3:3, 2:5, 4:1)
Vojvodina – Sabac 11:13 (2:5, 3:1, 2:2, 4:5)
Novi Beograd had secured 1st place in the regular season before the 4th round. Still, the visitors’ goal was to finish the league unbeaten. Still, they failed to continue the series of wins.
Crvena Zvezda was coached by assistant coach Boris Popovic. Dejan Savic, who should take over the “red-whites “soon, watched the game from the stands.. Crvena Zvezda got off to an excellent start. The hosts led 7:4 at halftime. In the middle of the third period, Ivan Basara made it 8:4. Shortly after, Novi Beograd halved the distance (6:8). Crvena Zvezda maintained a 2-goal difference until the last break (11:9). The hosts continued dictating the pace and built a 13:10 goal in the fourth period. But, Novi Beograd managed to come back and equalize at 13:13. Still, Crvena Zvezda secured a win. Ivan Basara found the net with 34 seconds to go for the final score.
Gavril Subotic netted four goals for Crvena Zvezda, Bogdan Djurdjic added three. DusanMandic and Angelos Vlachopoulos netted three each for Novi Beograd.
Spectators weren’t allowed to enter the stands. The Water Polo Federation of Serbia punished Crvena Zvezda because of events at the game Crvena Zvezda – Sabac when fans insulted coach Mirko Vicevic, who resigned in meantime.
A very exciting game was played in Kragujevac. Radnicki entered the second period with a slim 4:3 lead, but Partizan’s Alex Bowen leveled at 4:4 early in the second period. At halftime, the hosts had a 7:6 lead. Milos Cuk doubled Radnicki’s advantage (8:6). Partizan didn’t need a lot of time to level at 8:8. Jankovic gave Radnicki a 9:8 lead. However, Partizan answered with three goals and went to 11:9 (23rd minute). Radnicki didn’t surrender. The hosts leveled at 12:12 in the middle of the fourth period. Milos Cuk scored a winner for 13:12 with just 29 left on the clock. Cuk was the best scorer of the match with four goals. Nemanja Stanojevic, Filip Jankovic and Nikola Lukic followed him with two goals each. Olympic champion Stefan Mitrovic led Partizan with three goals. Lovre Milos and Alex Bowen found the net twice.
Radnicki caught up with Partizan in points, but Partizan is still in 2nd place because of a better aggregate score in the head-to-head matches.
Radnicki will have a much easier task in the last round (March 12). It will play against 6th-placed Vojvodina. Partizan will face Crvena Zvezda in the Belgrade derby. Crvena Zvezda is currently in 4th place, but if it beats Partizan with a 2-goal difference, it will move to 3rd place (Partizan defeated Crvena Zvezda 11:10 in the first stage of the season).
1.Novi Beograd 9 – 24
2. Partizan 9 – 18*
3.Radnicki 9 – 18*
4. Crvena Zvezda 9 – 15
5. Sabac 9 – 6
6. Vojvodina 9 – 0
*Head-to-head: Partizan – Radnicki 13:11 and 12:13
Zemun – Nais 9:10 (3:1, 2:4, 2:4, 2:1)
Proleter – Valis on Sunday evening
7.Valis 4 – 12
8. Nais 5 – 7
9. Proleter 4 – 5
10. Zemun 5 – 1
Primorac – Budva 14:8 (3:2, 5:2, 2:3, 4:1) – play-by-play and statistics
Cattaro – Jadran on Tuesday (19:00) – follow live
Primorac easily beat Budva in the first match of the fifth round – 14:8, with five goals from Marko Mrsic.
The second match of this round, Jadran – Cattaro will be played on Tuesday.
1. Jadran HN 4 – 12
2. Primorac 5 – 12
3. Budva 5 – 3
4. Cattaro 4 – 0
For all results, live scores and the schedule visit the page 2021/22 Montenegrin Championship, Total Waterpolo Arena