The visiting teams collected points in all four of today’s matches on Day 2 of the Champions League.
The visitors were the favorites in all four games, but all eyes were on Brescia and Dubrovnik. The home teams had good periods but couldn’t keep up with the rivals in the second halves.
Novi Beograd defeated Brescia 13:8 in Group A and continued its winning streak in the Champions League matches against the second-best Italian club. Five goals separated the rivals at the end of the match, but Novi Beograd secured a convincing win only in the last several minutes. An excellent defense in the second half was key to the Serbs’ success.
Sabadell earned an 11:8 away win over Steaua Bucharest.
The derby in Group B was played in Dubrovnik, where Pro Recco defeated Jug 14:7, primarily due to excellent power play shots. Olympiacos cruised to a 19:6 vicotry over Dinamo Tbilisi.
2024 Champions League, Day 2
Brescia – Novi Beograd 8:13 (2:4, 5:4, 1:1, 0:4)
Brescia: Irving 3, Del Basso 2, Dolce 1, F.Faraglia 1, Guerrato 1.
Novi Beograd: Granados 4, Filipovic 2, Vlachopoulos 2, Cuk 1, S. Cetkovic 1, Drasovic 1,Jaksic 1, Lukic 1.
The game’s opening minutes in Brescia were an indication that Novi Beograd could record a convincing win. Midway through the first quarter, the Serbs netted three goals within 83 seconds (Granados 2, Cetkovic) for 3:0. However, Brescia replied with two goals and got into the game. Novi Beograd earned a 2-goal advantage with a power-play goal from Milos Cuk. The visitors maintained the difference in the exchange of goals throughout the second quarter. Still, Brescia’s Max Irving put an end to the first half with a goal from a penalty – 7:8.
After 15 goals in the first half, the match turned into a defensive battle in the third and the fourth period. In the 18th minute, Stefano Guerrato ended a nice action with an equalizer – 8:8. But, Novi Beograd didn’t concede a single goal in the remaining 14 minutes. It was the visitors’ team effort in defense, but goalkeeper Lazar Dobozanov deserves credit (11 saves).
On the other side, Novi Beograd struggled to regain a lead. A hundred seconds before the last break, Lukic made it 9:8 with an extra player after Milos Cuk’s assist. After two minutes of play in the fourth, Novi Beograd’s captain, Filip Filipovic, doubled his team’s advantage from a penalty shot. Brescia didn’t surrender, but the Serbs controlled the match. The favorite avoided a thrilling finish with three goals in the last 02:44 minutes.
Steaua – Sabadell 8:11 (2:2, 1:3, 3:4, 2:2)
Steaua: Georgescu 2, Fulea 1, Bota 1, Neamtu 1, Antipa 1, Dinca 1, Oanta 1.
Sabadell: Barroso 4, Averka 2, Schuetze 2, Bonet 1, Asensio 1, Mallarach 1.
The home game against Sabadell was Steaua’s best opportunity to take the points this season. Even though the home team was an equal opponent to Sabadell in the opening minutes, the visitors took all three points. After a 2:2 first period, Vuskovic gave Steaua a 3:2 lead (9th minute). But, the hosts couldn’t find the net in the following seven minutes, while the visitors did it four times. Sabadell’s Schuetze scored from a penalty at the beginning of the second half for 6:3. Steaua battled but couldn’t come back. The best scorer of the match, Alberto Barroso, streched the margin to four in the 28th minute – 10:6 and sealed the Spaniards’ win.
Standings: 1. Novi Beograd 6, 2. Sabadell 4, 3. Brescia 2, 4. Steaua 0.
Jug – Pro Recco 7:14 (3:3, 1:4, 1:3, 2:4)
Jug AO:Daube 3, Mozara 1, Buric 1, Grgurevic 1, Zuvela 1.
Pro Recco: Younger 3, Zalanki 2, Fondelli 2, Hallock 2, N.Presciutti 2, Ivovic 1, Kakaris 1, Cannella 1.
The man-up attacks were Recco’s powerful weapon in Dubrovnik. The European champion earned its first man-up in the first possession. Zalanki converted it to give the Italians a 1:0 lead. After that, defenses dominated, goalkeepers Del Lungo and Popadic were up to their tasks. In the 5th minute, Jug scored two quick goals – 2:1 and became a team that controlled the result while Recco chased the hosts.
Zuvela opened the second quarter with a power-play goal (10th minute) for 4:3, but it was the Croats’ last goal in the first half. They started missing their chances and losing balls in the attack. Recco made the most of it. The Italians produced a 4:0 run by the middle break. Fondelli leveled, Younger continued Recco’s series. The Australian doubled Recco’s advantage by converting a penalty shot, which Di Fulvio forced in the counterattack. Canella widened the gap from a man-up – 7:4.
Daube revived Jug’s hopes, scoring from an extra player in the 18th minute (5:7), but Recco silenced the home team’s fans by the end of this period. They scored twice from a 6 on 5, and Younger fired the ball from a distance to close the quarter – 10:5 and there was no way back for Jug.
As mentioned, Pro Recco was unstoppable in power play attacks, with almost a perfect conversion of extra player shots – 9/10. The visitors had three penalty shots and converted two. Their only missed penalty was in the third quarter, when the ball slipped out of Zalanki’s hand. Jug scored five goals with a man-up (5/11).
Dinamo T – Olympiacos 6:19 (0:6, 3:4, 1:3, 2:6)
Dinamo Tbilisi: Vapenski 2, Akvlediani 1, Dzikhtsiarenka 1, Imnaishvili 1, Pjesivac 1.
Olympiacos: Fountoulis 4, Nikolaidis 4, Papanastasiou 3, Dimou 2, Loncar 1, Gkillas 1, Genidounias 1, Gouvis 1, Alagragkis 1
The Olympiacos didn’t wait too long to prove that it arrived in Tbilisi to take three points and improve a goal-difference.
The Greeks rushed to a 6:0 lead in the first quarter (there were six different scorers in the first eight minutes) and never let Dinamo come close. The Georgians’ attack wasn’t as harmless as the final result says, but Olympiacos’ goalkeepers Bijac and Zerdevas combined 12 saves.
Standings: 1. Pro Recco 6, 2. Olympiacos 5, 3. Jug 1, 4. Dinamo T 0.
For the full schedule, visit Total Waterpolo Arena’s page: The 2024 Champions League calendar and live scores