Three favorites passed demanding tests and collected points in the 8th round of the Champions League Group B, while German Spandau 04 made another surprise.
There were no easy wins today.
Spandau 04 beat Jug in Dubrovnik (13:11), although it entered the match with a 12-player roster.
Ferencvaros defeated OSC, but the Hungarian derby wasn’t a lopsided contest, as it was in the 7th round. Today, Ferencvaros earned a narrow 12:11 win.
Quite an exciting game was played in Italy, where Brescia defeated Marseille (15:13) and kept top spot in the group. The result of the first match between these two teams in Marseille (Brescia won 13:5) didn’t indicate that Marseille could make trouble for Brescia, but the French played very well.
Novi Beograd made no mistake and defeated Sabadell (16:11). Novi Beograd had to work hard to beat its rival, as well as Ferencvaros and Brescia.
The Serbian champion is in 2nd place. Ferencvaros holds position 3.
The battle for 4th place has been becoming more and more exciting. Jug is 4th at the moment, but Spandau (which moved to 5th place), and OSC Budapest have realistic chances of reaching the F8 berth. Seventh-placed Sabadell and 8th-placed Marseille are seven points behind Jug. But, if the Spaniards and the French make some surprises they can enter the battle for the spots at the Final Eight in Belgrade.
2022/23 Champions League, Day 8, Group B
Ferencvaros – OSC Budapest 12:11 (3:3, 4:3, 3:2, 2:3)
Ferencvaros: Szakonyi., Molnar, Nagy, Merkulov 3, Argyropoulos 2, Ubovic 1, Fekete 1, Ven.Vigvari 1, Nemet, Varga 1, Jansik 2, Damonte 1, Vogel. Head coach: Zs.Varga.
OSC Budapest: Levai, Angyal 1, Manhercz 1, Varnai 1, Salamon, Csacsovszky 1, Dala 1, Toth 1, Vin. Vigvari, Burian 3, Bundschuh 2, Aranyi, Bisztritsanyi. Head coach: Da.Varga.
Ferencvaros continued its series of wins over OSC this season. Today’s match was the fourth encounter between the big rivals, and the Fradi celebrated the fourth win. But, the match significantly differed from the game in the 7th round of the Champions League, when Ferencvaros recorded a 16:12 win. It was very similar to the clashes in the Hungarian Cup and League – the match was open until the very end.
The first half was very balanced. The teams exchanged goals, and the difference was never bigger than one. Still, Ferencvaros was in front for most of the time. OSC took the lead just twice (1:0 at the Beginning of the match and 6:5 in the 13th minute). Ferencvaros took control after OSC’s sixth goal. Jansik leveled at 6:6. Just four seconds before the middle break, Daniil Merkulov gave the hosts a 7:6 lead.
The reigning Hungarian champion continued in the same rhythm after the middle break. The hosts scored three unanswered goals in the first four minutes of the third period and went to 10:6. Still, OSC managed to recover from that 0:5 series. OSC’s head coach Daniel Varga switched the goalkeepers. David Bisztritsanyi, who surprisingly started the match and did a good job in the first half, was replaced by Marton Levai. That change proved a good move. The visitors started coming back. OSC scored two powerplay goals by the end of the third period and trailed 8:10 before the final eight minutes.
Burian made it 9:10 in the 26th minute and OSC was back in the game. Still, Ferencvaros responded with two goals. Leftie Luca Damonte found the net for 11:9. Three minutes and 19 seconds before the end, Denes Varga finished a quick attack with a goal for 12:9 and it seemed that the contest was over. However, OSC scored two back-to-back goals in the 52 seconds and came very close again – 11:12 with 77 seconds remaining on the clock. Ferencvaros kept the slim advantage. OSC had the last attack in the match.The visitors earned a man-up 21 seconds before the end. Erik Csacsovszky tried to score an equalizer, but he sent the ball over the crossbar.
Ferencvaros’ first-pick goalkeeper Soma Vogel was on the roster for the first time after a long pause. He recovered from an injury, but he, obviously, still isn’t ready for big games, and he didn’t jump into the water today.
Zsolt Varga, Ferencvaros’ head coach, said:
“It was a good game, we played well. It was hard to win, but we played against a very good team. We have to fix mistakes in our play, but I am satisfied with the game.
Daniel Varga, OSC head coach:
“There is no difference if you lose the game by ten goals or in the last seconds – you don’t win a point. However, compared to the previous game against Ferencvaros, we were on the track on which I want to see my team. I am proud of my players.”
Jug – Spandau 04 11:13 (3:4, 2:1, 2:4, 4:4)
Jug AO: Popadic, Burdjelez 1, Fatovic 1, Zvono 1, Jokovic 3, Vukojevic, Mozara, Lazic 3, Krzic, Kakaris, Grgurevic, Zuvela 2, Jurisic. Head coach: Kobescak.
Spandau 04: Baksa, Gbadamassi 2, Prioteasa 1, Tkac 1, Bozic 1, Strelezkij 2, Marziali 1, Chiru, Kholod 5, Restovic, Shepelev, Schweimer. Head coach: Kechagias.
Before the match in Dubrovnik, Spandau had caused some surprises in the 2023 Champions League. Besides, the encounter between these two rivals in Berlin nine days ago was very close (Jug won 12:11). However, few expected the Germans to bag three points in Dubrovnik. Spandau 04 played with 12 players (because Mateo Cuk was red-carded in the 7th round). Despite that, the Germans earned a well-deserved win and ended their losing streak in the matches against Jug. Before today’s duel, these two teams met 10 times in the last 10 years, and Jug recorded 10 wins. But, each series can’t last forever. Spandau ended Jug’s winning run in a bad moment for the Croats.
There were a few twists and turns in the first half. Jug led 1:0 and 5:4. Spandau had a slim advantage three times (2:1, 3:2, 4:3). However, at halftime, the sides were tied at 5:5.
The teams were in a neck-and-neck race until the middle of the third period. Jug took the lead twice (6:5 and 7:6). But after the hosts’ seventh goal, Spandau started dictating the pace. Moreover, the Berliners, led by their captain Dmitri Kholod (5 goals), dominated. They scored three goals in a row before the last break and entered the final quarter with a 9:7 advantage.
Jug’s fans still had hopes that the home side could come back. But, Spandau killed that hope quickly after the last break. Bozic stretched the margin to three (10:7). Centre forward Bilal Gbadamassi found the net to make it 11:7 from a counterattack in the 27th minute. Jug reduced the gap to two in the 29th minute (10:12). The Croats had a nice chance to come even closer, but they lost the ball after a bad pass in a counterattack. And they paid for it immediately. Strelezkij finished the Germans’ quick attack with a goal for 13:10. The hosts closed the match with a consolation goal in the last minute.
“In the last two months, we have played worse and worse, which culminated in the match against Spandau. We made too many mistakes today. Spandau made the most of it and deserved the win. We are still in 4th place. But, after this loss, it will be very difficult for us to qualify for the Final Eight.”, Vjekoslav Kobescak, Jug’s coach, said.
Novi Beograd – Sabadell 16:11 (4:2, 4:5, 5:2, 3:2)
Novi Beograd: Filipovic, S.Rasovic 3, Mandic 2, Granados 3, Vucinic 1, Pijetlovic 1, Drasovic 1, Cetkovic 1, Perkovic, Vlachopoulos 2, Skoumpakis 2, V.Rasovic, Coimbra. Head coach: Gocic.
Sabadell:Lorrio, Sanahuja 2, Gil, Teclas 1, Veich, Valera 2, Bertran 1, Cabanas 2, Averka 2, Banicevic, Bonet 1, Bustos, Teclas. Head coach: Colet.
Novi Beograd recorded the most convincing win of the day. The hosts led throughout the match, but it wasn’t an easy win. They needed a lot of time to make a safe distance.
Bertran opened the match, converting a man-up in Sabadell’s first possession. But, Novi Beograd replied with three quick goals to earn a 3:1. In the following several minutes, until the middle of the second quarter, the teams traded the goals. Sabadell cut the deficit to one, but Novi Beograd regained a 2-goal lead. In the 13th minute, Novi Beograd built a 3-goal lead for the first time after Cetkovic scored from a 6 on 5 for 7:4. But, Sabadell didn’t surrender. The Spaniards produced a 3:0 run in less than two minutes. Kanstantin Averka equalized (7:7) just 29 seconds before the middle break. Still, Novi Beograd had a slim advantage at halftime, as Strahinja Rasovic scored from a quick attack (8:7).
Early in the third period, Granados doubled Novi Beograd’s advantage (9:7). Teclas halved the distance. In the 20th minute, Granados hit the back of the net with a nice long-distance shot for 10:8. Sabadell had no response after that. Granados stole the ball in the next Spaniards’ possession. At the other end of the pool, Dusko Pijetlovic made it 11:8 with a tricky lob shot. Novi Beograd started taking firm control. The hosts consolidated their defense and the attack worked well. At the beginning of the fourth period, Skoumpakis widened the gap to five for the first time – 14:9. Novi Beograd maintained the difference until the end.
“I am satisfied with three points, of course, but I am not satisfied with our performance. We didn’t play as we could in defense, especially in the first two quarters. Still, we controlled the match and improved the defense in the last quarter and a half, which made the difference”, Novi Beograd head coach Zivko Gocic said.
Brescia – Marseille 15:13 (3:4, 4:2, 5:3, 3:4)
Brescia:Tesanovic , Dolce 3, C.Presciutti, Gianazza, Lazic 1, Vapenski , Renzuto 2, Kharkov , Alesiani 3,Luongo 4, Di Somma, Gitto 2, Baggi Necchi. Head coach: Bovo.
Marseille: Lazovic, Cuckovic, Crousillat 2, Spaic 2, Prlainovic 3, Vernoux 4, Daube , Bouet 1, Marion Vernoux, Bodegas 1, Vukicevic, Vanpeperstraete, Hovhannysian. Head coach: Scepanovic.
Marseille is still at the bottom of the table with only four points. However, today, the French club proved that the results in the Champions League (including a 5:13 loss to Brescia on Day 7) didn’t mirror Marseille’s real quality.
Brescia earned a quick 2:0 lead just to see the French respond with a 4:0 run and build a 4:2 lead (7th minute). Brescia leveled at 4:4. Crousillat gave Marseille a new lead (5:4) in the 12th minute from a man-up. Shortly after, Marseille had a chance to double the advantage. But, one of the visitors’ key players, Andrija Prlainovic, didn’t convert a penalty shot. Petar Tesanovic, who had a very good performance today, posted a nice save (one of his 11 in the game). Lazic leveled at 5:5. Two minutes before the end of the first half, Bodegas put Marseille in front – 6:5, but it turned out that it was the visitors’ last lead in the match.
Brescia kept Marseille scoreless between the 14th and the 20th minute. In that interval, the hosts produced a 4:0 run and earned a 3-goal lead (9:6), which was vital for their victory. Marseille didn’t give in, but it couldn’t catch up with Brescia n the last quarter and a half. Late into the third quarter, the French cut the deficit to one goal (Vernoux for 9:10). However, Vincenzo Renzuto Iodice netted two almost identical power play goals from the same place in the last 54 seconds of the quarter and Brescia had a 12:9 advantage before the final eight minutes.
Marseille fought hard until the end, but Brescia controlled the game. Midway through the fourth period, Vincenzo Dolce made it 15:11. Four goals separated the rival for the first time and everything was decided. Marseille scored the last two goals in the match, but it was too late.
1.Brescia 8 – 21
2. Novi Beograd 8 – 19
3. Ferencvaros 8 – 18
4. Jug AO 8 – 11
5. Spandau 8 – 8
6. OSC Budapest 8 – 6
7. Sabadell 8 – 4
8. Marseille 8 – 4
GROUP A (FEBRUARY 18)
Barceloneta – Jadran Split (13:00)
Vouliagmeni – Waspo 98 Hannover (19:00 – 18:00 CET)
Radnicki – Olympiacos (20:30)
Pro Recco – Dinamo Tbilisi (20:30)
Standings: 1. Olympiacos 18 (+40), 2. Pro Recco 18 (+37), 3. Barceloneta 18 (+34), 4. Vouliagmeni 10, 5. Radnicki 8, 6. Jadran Split 7, 7. Waspo 98 Hannover 3, 8. Dinamo Tbilisi 0.
For the results and the schedule, visit Total Waterpolo Arena