One of the most successful clubs in the history of Hungarian and European water polo, Vasas, clinched its first-ever LEN Cup.
Vasas Budapest, a two–time European champion in the 1980s, put in a dominant performance to defeat Savona 15:7 in the second leg of the 2023 LEN Euro Cup final in Budapest, preventing the visitors from winning their fourth LEN Euro Cup title.
In yesterday’s preview, we wrote that, based on the first game in Savona that ended in an 8:8 draw, the man-up conversion would probably be crucial. And we weren’t wrong. Vasas scored 12 power-play goals with a great percentage of extra man shots (12/15). Savona scored three goals from a man-up (3/11) and one from a penalty (1/1). Vasas didn’t have a chance to find the net from penalty shots,
The hosts’ defense was superb , so the game turned into a one-sided contest.
2022/23 LEN Euro Cup, final, 2nd leg
Vasas – Savona 15:7 (5:1, 3:3, 4:0, 3:3) – first leg 8:8
Vasas: Mitrovic, Dr.Brguljan 2, Zernivary, Randjelovic 4, Konarik 1, Gabor 3, Nagaev, Erdelyi 1, Batori 2, Bedo, Sedlmayer 1, Miszei. Head coach: Nikic.
Savona:Nicosia, Rocchi 1, Patchaliev, Urbinati, Panerai 1, Rizzo 1, Caldieri, Bruni 2, Campopiano 1, Guidi, Djurdjic, Lanzoni 1, Da Rold. Head coach: Angelini.
Vasas started the return game in the same style as it played in Savona. A man-up conversion was the Hungarian’s main weapon. The Budapest-based club scored all of its 8 goals in the first match two weeks ago with an extra man. Today, the hosts scored eight power-play goals in the first half.
Vasas earned a power-play advantage six times in the first quarter and scored five goals from these opportunities. Sava Randjelovic made it 5:1 with 51 seconds left in the first quarter. After that, already in the first quarter, Savona’s head coach Alberto Angelini was forced to call the first time out. After that break, the Italians earned a 6 on 5 in their last attack in the first quarter but failed to score; Branislav Mitrovic posted a save.
Savona had four man-up attacks in the first eight minutes, but it scored only from one. Rocchi leveed at 1:1 in the third minute. Vasas’ defense was excellent. The hosts kept Savona far from their goal. There were a lot of blocked shots, a few nice Branislav Mitrovic’s saves…
I With a 15:7 win, Vasas equaled the record of the biggest win in the LEN Euro Cup finals. Ironically until today, the record-holder was Savona, with a 11:3 win in the return leg of the 2011 LEN Trophy
Sava Randjelovic opened the second period with another power-play goal for 6:1, and the game was practically decided after ten minutes. Savona’s Bruni responded immediately with a nice backhander (the first action goal in the match). But, there was no way back for the Italians. Vasas controlled the game. Midway through the second quarter, the Budapest-based side went to 8:2 (Gabor Lorinc from a man-up, of course).
By the middle break, Savona reduced the gap to four (4:8). However, the distance was still too big. As for the statistics, Vasas’ conversion of the man-up opportunities in the first 16 minutes was an amazing 8/10. Savona scored two goals with an extra player (2/6).
Vasas has won two Champions Leagues (1980, 1985), three Cup Winners’ Cups (1986, 1995, 2002), and one Super Cup (1985). After 21 years, Vasas won a new European trophy, by adding the first LEN Euro Cup to its treasury. Vasas became the seventh club to win trophies in four LEN competitions, after Ferencvaros, Partizan, Mladost Zagreb, Posillipo, Ujpest and Pescara
Two goals at the finish of the first half boosted the Italians’ slim hopes. But, after a few minutes of the second half, it was clear that their dream of the 4th LEN Euro Cup wouldn’t come true. Vasas scored two goals in the first 81 seconds of the third period (Brguljan and Erdelyi) -10;4. In the 21st minute, Brguljan found the net to stretch the margin to seven – 11:4. It was Vasas’ first goal from 6 on 6 in the 2023 LEN Euro Cup final after 18 goals with a power-play advantage.
Four seconds before the last break, Vasas’ captain Bence Batori got on the scoresheet – 12:4, so the fourth quarter was only a formality.
Vasas had a nine-goal lead at the finish (15:6). Savona’s Rizzo closed the match with a penalty shot goal in the last second.
Josip Varvodic, LEN Vice President awarded the trophy to Vasas’ captain Bence Batori.
1992/93: Ujpest Budapest (HUN)
1993/94: Racing Rome (ITA)
1994/95: Barcelona (ESP)
1995/96: Pescara (ITA)
1996/97: Ujpest Budapest (HUN)
1997/98: Partizan Beograd (YUG)
1998/99: Ujpest Budapest (HUN)
1999/00: Jug Dubrovnik (CRO)
2000/01: Mladost Zagreb (CRO)
2001/02: Brescia (ITA)
2002/03: Brescia (ITA)
2003/04: Barcelona (ESP)
2004/05: Savona (ITA)
2005/06: Brescia (ITA)
2006/07: Sintez Kazan (RUS)
2007/08: Shturm Chekhov (RUS)
2008/09: Szeged (HUN)
2009/10: Cattaro Kotor (MNE)
2010/11: Savona (ITA)
LEN Euro Cup
2011/12: Savona (ITA)
2012/13: Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB)
2013/14: Spartak Volgograd (RUS)
2014/15: Posillipo Naples (ITA)
2015/16: Brescia (ITA)
2016/17: Ferencvaros (HUN)
2017/18: Ferencvaros (HUN)
2018/19: Marseille (FRA)
2019/20: season canceled
2020/21: Szolnok (HUN)
2021/22 Sabadell (ESP)
2022/23 Vasas (HUN)