The first competition day of the LEN Euro League qualifications has been marked by three derby matches and one disqualification.
Olympic Nice has been disqualified before the start of the competition. Olympic was supposed to play in Group C in the swimming center in Ostia near Rome. According to available unofficial information, LEN excluded the French team from the tournament due to the violation of the Covid protocol. During their journey from Nice to Rome, the French stopped in Bogliasco near Genoa because of a training session with Bogliasco. According to the protocol, a team is not allowed to play games in a period between the coronavirus testing, made at home within 48 hours before the traveling day (but not exceeding 72 hours prior to the tournament), and the first match at a tournament.
When it comes to derbies, Russian Kinef (champion in 2017 and 2018) defeated Mataro 10:8, while Mediterrani beat CSS Verona 13:11 in Group B. Olympiacos, the runner-up in 2019, beat Plebiscito Padova 10:7 in the match of Group C.
Day 1, results – Group A: Lille – Orizzonte 4:13, UVSE – Sant Andreu 20:5, Group B: Kinef – Mataro 10:8, Verona – Mediterrani 11:13, Group C: Olympiacos – Plebiscito 10:7, SIS Roma – Olympic Nice 10:0 (technical score).
2020/21 LEN Euro League Qualifications, Day 1
Group A (Budapest)
Lille – Orizzonte 4:13 (1:3, 1:4,1:2, 1:4)
Lille: Katsimpiri 2, Hardy 1, Dhalluin 1.
Ekipe Orizzonte: Marletta 4, Palmieri 3, Garibotti 2, R. Aiello 1, Emmolo 1, Leone 1.
UVSE – Sant Andreu 20:5 (5:2, 4:0, 5:1, 6:2)
UVSE Hunguest Hotel: Abel-Antal 3, Farago 3, Rybanska 3, Parkes 2, Keszthelyi 2, Baksa 2, Telek 2, Peresztegi-Nagy 2, Aubeli 1.
Sant Andreu: Mora 3, Guiral 1, Rubio 1.
Dynamo Uralochka bye.
Two one-sided contests opened the tournament in Budapest. Orizzonte Catania, the eight-time Euro League winner, was too strong for Lille, while host UVSE showed no mercy to Sant Andreu.
Group B (Verona)
Kinef Kirishi – Mataro 10:8 (4:2, 2:2, 3:3, 1:1)
Kinef-Surgutneftegas Kirishi: Markoch 5, Krimer 3, Glyzina 1, Ivanova 1.
Mataro: Lloret 2, Jackovich 1, Gual 1, Bonamusa 1, Cambray 1, Bach 1, Espar 1.
CSS Verona – Mediterrani 11:13 (2:5, 4:3, 3:2, 2:3)
Vetrocar CSS Verona: Zanetta 4, Alogbo 2, Bianconi 2, Borg 1, Marcialis 1, Gragnolati 1.
Mediterrani: Tarrago 4, Wolves 3, Lizotte 2, Toha 1, C.Espar 1, Seto 1, Crespi 1.
Kinef led for most of the time of the match against Mataro. Early in the second period, the Russians had a 3-goal advantage (5:2). Shortly after the middle break, Kinef stretched the margin to four (8:4), but Mataro didn’t give in and climbed back. The Spaniards reduced the gap to one goal two times (7:8 and 8:9). Four and a half minutes before the end, Kinef, which was led by Bella Markoch (5 goals), gained a 10:8 lead and there were no goals in the remaining time.
Mediterrani opened the game against CSS Verona very well. The Spaniards had a 5:2 advantage after the first period. The Italians started coming back step-by-step and they equalized – 9:9 in the 23rd minute. Clara Espar gave Mediterrani a 10:9 lead 11 seconds before the last break. The Spaniards opened the fourth quarter with a goal for 11:9. Verona managed to cut the deficit twice (10:11, 11:12), but Mediterrani recorded a 13:11 victory.
Group C (Roma, Ostia)
Olympiacos – Plebiscito 10:7 (3:3, 2:2, 2:0, 3:2)
Olympiacos Piraeus: Eleftheriadou 4, Myriokefalitaki 2, Benekou 1, Avramidou 1, M.Plevritou 1, Tornarou 1, Tsoukala 1.
Plebiscito Padova: Millo 3, Savioli 1, Gottardo 1, Dario 1, Cocchiere 1.
SIS Roma – Olympic Nice 10:0 (technical score)
Olympiacos, one of the favorites for 1st place in the group in Ostia near Rome, earned very valuable points by beating Plebiscito Padova. There were a few turns in the first half. Three minutes before the middle break, Plebiscito led 5:4. But, after that, the Greeks kept the Italians goalless for more than 13 minutes, while they scored three goals in a row and earned a 7:5 lead. In the third minute of the final quarter, Plebiscito cut the deficit (6:7). However, Olympiacos responded with a new 3:0 series and jumped to a safe 10:6 lead.
Group D (Verona)
Group D starts tommorow. Participalnts: Sabadell, Vouliagmeni, Dunaujvaros.