There was huge drama on the final day of the second group stage in the Women’s Champions League as we finally know the eight quarter-finalists, amidst the elimination of two European giants from the competition.
After three days of intense competition, the Champions League quarterfinals will feature Ekipe Orizzonte, CN Mataro, CE Mediterrani, SIS Roma, Dunaujvaros, Astralpool Sabadell, ANO Glyfada, and Olympiacos.
Last year’s semifinalists UVSE and Plebiscito Padova are both eliminated from the final eight after suffering crushing defeats at the hands of Glyfada and Ekipe Orizzonte this morning.
Spain’s club water polo continues to improve, as three of its teams will compete in the quarterfinals; Mataro defeated Sabadell today, but both advanced from Group B at the expense of Eger and Ferencváros, while Mediterrani, the third Spanish side to advance to the knock-out stages, finished top of Group C in Budapest with three wins from three.
Olympiacos, the defending champions, also advanced to the quarterfinals, but they had to settle for second place in Group D due to Roma’s remarkable comeback, which resulted in a 12-all tie between the two teams. As a result, Roma’s goal differential places them at the top of the group.
With UVSE, FTC and Eger all falling out of the Champions League, Dunaujvaros are the only Hungarian team left standing in the competition. Two draws against Italian opponents and a convincing 20-3 victory over ZVL secured their progression to the next round.
While Ethnikos lost all three of their games in Budapest, they will have a chance to defend their LEN Trophy from the previous season, which is now known as the Euro Cup.
The eight teams who did not advance to the next round will now all compete in the Women’s Euro Cup.
Champions League Quarter Finalists: Ekipe Orizzonte, CN Mataro, CE Mediterrani, SIS Roma, Dunaujvaros, Astralpool Sabadell, ANO Glyfada, Olympiacos Piraeus
Quarter-Final Schedule: 11 February 2023 1st match / 25 February 2023 2nd match
Final Four Schedule: 31 March– 1 April 2023
Ekipe have dealt a devastating blow to their rivals Plebiscito Padova by eliminating them from the Champions League with an 11-6 victory today.
The reigning champions’ decision to sign Alice Williams in the summer continues to pay dividends, as the Australian Stinger scored four more goals for her new club.
It was another Aussie though, who gave Ekipe the upper hand in the match, with Bronte Halligan converting two power plays in the third quarter to give the reigning Italian Champions a two goal advantage (6-4).
In the final eight minutes, Claudia Marletta and Dafne Bettini scored in quick succession to seal the victory for Martina Miceli’s squad, which in turn relegated Plebiscito to the Euro Cup.
Dunaujvaros cruised past ZVL with a dominant 20-3 victory to conclude their Qualification Round II unbeaten, and secure a place in the last eight.
Nikolett Szabo (4), Csenge Jonkl (3), Geraldine Mahieu (2), Krisztina Garda (2), Anna Mandula (2), Dominka Kardos (2) and Nora Sumegi (2) were all on target in the game.
While Dunaujvaros may have been overlooked this season, they are now the only Hungarian team remaining in the competition – testament to the spirit and togetherness of Attila Mihok’s team.
ZVL 1886 3 – 20 Dunaujvaros (2-5, 1-6, 0-6, 0-3)
ZVL: J. Oosting, D. Kammerman 1, L. Roels, R. De Kleer 1, L. Verhagen, N. Zwiers 1, D. Grad, A. Pauli, L. Terpstra, M. van Veen, T. van der Meer, J. Joor, Y. van der Waal
Dunaujvaros: L. Maczko, C. Jonkl 3, N. Sajben 1, L. Dobi 1, B. Horvath 1, G. Mahieu 2, N. Szabo 4, K. Garda 2, A. Mandula 2, D. Kardos 2, L. Kardos, N. Sumegi 2, L. Aarts
Plebiscito Padova 6 – 11 Ekipe Orizzonte (1-2, 3-2, 0-2, 2-5)
Padova: L. Teani, L. Barzon 3, V. Valyi, G. Citino 1, E. Queirolo 1, A. Casson, A. Millo, S. Dario, H. McKelvey, C. Meggiato, S. Centanni 1, B. Cassara, C. Giacon
Ekipe: L. Celona, B. Halligan 2, T. Lombardo, G. Viacava, V. Gant, D. Bettini 2, V. Palmieri, C. Marletta 3, G. Gagliardi, A. Williams 4, A. Longo, M. Leone, A. Condorelli
- Ekipe Orizzonte – 3 – 7pts (Q)
- Dunaujvaros – 3 – 5pts (Q)
- Plebiscito Padova – 3 – 4pts
- ZVL 1886 – 3 – 0pts
In the most recent match between Mataro and their Spanish rivals Sabadell, Mataro emerged victorious with a 12-11 victory.
As both teams had already qualified for the next round, the contest was of little consequence. However, whenever these two teams meet, the stakes are raised.
Elena Ruiz scored two goals in the first ten minutes to propel Sabadell to a 3-0 lead in the first half. However, double goals from Rita Keszthelyi and Simone van de Kraats tied the score at 5-5 for Dani Ballart’s team.
And it was the goals scored by Keszthelyi (2) and van de Kraats (2) of Mataro’s Dutch and Hungarian duo that ultimately put Marseme ahead by two goals in the fourth quarter and clinched the win.
In the game between the two sides already relegated to the Euro Cup, Eger will take confidence from their 13-12 victory over Ferencváros, a side they were beaten by a fortnight ago.
Dora Czigany scored the game-winning goal with less than a minute remaining, but Dorottya Szilagyi was the star of the show for Eger, scoring no less than eight goals.
Despite the fact that both teams will acknowledge they were soundly defeated by Spain in the group stage, both will believe they have a legitimate shot at the Euro Cup.
Astralpool Sabadell 11 – 12 CN Mataro (2-0, 2-3, 3-3, 4-6)
Sabadell: L. Ester, M. Ortiz, P. Leiton 1, S. Van der Sloot 2, M. Serrano, I. Casado, E. Ruiz 4, M. Garcia, J. Forca, B. Ortiz, N. Perez 1, I. Gonzalez 3, M. Carrasco
Mataro: E. Sanchez, S. Morell, S. Van de Kraats 5, A. Gual, V. Sevenich 1, R. Keszthelyi 4, C. Cambray, C. Nogue 1, S. Avegno, Q. Bertran, A. Espar 1, R. Gurri, E. Carmona Herrera
ZF Eger 13 – 12 FTC Telekom (4-1, 3-4, 4-5, 2-2)
ZF Eger: A. Kiss, P. Jancso, I. Borsi 1, R. Parkes, D. Molnar, Z. Katona, S. Szilagyi, D. Czigany, 2 B. Kekesi 1, F. Bodi, C. Szellak 1, D. Szilagyi 8, M. Dulic
FTC Telekom: B. Neszmely, B. Vosseberg 1, Z. Mate 1, G. Gurisatti 2, P. Pocze 1, T. Farkas, D. Leimeter 1, A. Illes 1, S. Kuna 4, P. Petik 1, E. Millot, D. Domsodi, L. Greso
- CN Mataro – 3 – 9pts (Q)
- Astralpool Sabadell – 3 – 6pts (Q)
- ZF Eger – 3 – 3pts
- FTC Telekom – 3 – 0pts
ANO Glyfada eliminated UVSE from the Champions League with a 11-7 victory at Alfred Hajos thanks to an outstanding performance away from home.
UVSE were bullied by Glyfada in an incredibly physical game. A sloppy first five minutes saw UVSE trailing 4-0, and while the momentum changed slightly in favour of the Hungarians, Glyfada had the intelligence and experience to secure the win.
The biggest difference between the two sides was that Teo Andreakos’s side were devastatingly clinical in attack, while UVSE were wasteful when the chances came their way.
Stamatina Kontogianni (3), Eirini Ninou (3) and Iris Wolves (2) were the match winners for Glyfada with huge all-round contributions. Glyfada, the two-time Euro League runners up, return to the quarter-finals of this competition for the first time in over a decade.
However, Mediterrani finished atop Group C with a perfect 3-0 record and a solid 13-10 victory over Ethnikos this morning.
Despite trailing in the first, a completely one-sided second period saw Mediterrani take the lead – led by excellent goals at centre forward by Ana Marcos and Alba Munoz.
Then, some excellent and fluid attacking play put Medi in the driver’s seat; early goals from Clara Espar on the left and Helena Dalmases in the final period ended Ethnikos’s hopes of a comeback. The squad coached by Marian Diaz is attempting to surpass their 1997 fourth-place finish in Europe’s premier club competition.
CE Mediterrani 13 – 10 Ethnikos (1-3, 5-0, 3-3, 4-4)
Mediterrani: I. Costa, A. Munoz 1, A. Crevier 2, A.Marcos 2, V. Bakoc, C. Rodriguez, C. Espar 2, L. Marinach, M. Viladot, H. Dalmases 3, P. Crespi 2, S. Lizotte 1, G. Palm
Ethnikos: E. Sotireli, A. Klapsianou, M. Borisova 2, V. Laskaridou 1, I. Kontoni 1, E. Katsimpri, F. Charzikyriaki 2, A. Benekou 1, M. Rakintzi, E. Kanetidou 1, L. Benekou, C. Andrews 2, A. Berki
UVSE 7 – 11 ANO Glyfada (1-4, 1-1, 2-4, 3-2)
UVSE: A. Magyari, T. Aubeli, E. Macsai, K. Hajdu, G. Szucs, Z. Lendvay, V. Baksa 3, K. Farago 3, P. Szegedi 1, P. Tiba, R. Irmes, K. Peresztegi-Nagy, S. Golopencza
Glyfada: E. Karytsa, P. Ninou, T. Moustakaria, I. Wolves 2, E. Grigoropoulou, E. Ninou 3, E. Antoniadi, I. Kanellopoulou, I. Koolhaas 1, E. Fountontou 2, L. Katsoni, S. Kontogianni 3, V. Tsiara
- CE Mediterrani – 3 – 9pts (Q)
- ANO Glyfada – 3 – 6pts (Q)
- UVSE – 3 – 3pts
- Ethnikos – 3 – 0pts
Roma continued to fight and salvaged a late point to tie Greek and European champions Olympiacos 12-12.
Domitilla Picazzi’s equalising goal at the final buzzer denied the defending champions of Group D’s top spot.
Picozzi, the captain of Roma, scored three goals while Ranalli, who is expected to be called up to the Italian national team next week, scored four.
Throughout the majority of the game, Olympiacos was arguably the superior team, holding a two-goal advantage. However, Alexander Ciric’s squad was unable to oust their opponents, who, to their credit, held on throughout the match.
Elsewhere, the other Greek side in Group D, Vouliagmeni bow out of the Champions League with a narrow victory over De Zaan.
The damage for Zaan was done in the first quarter, when they allowed Vouliagmeni to take a three-goal lead (Kaiafa, Ridge, and Mimidi).
On the opening night, the Dutch team played exceptionally well against Olympiacos, but were extremely unlucky to leave Ostia without a point.
SIS Roma 12 – 12 Olympiacos (2-2, 4-2, 2-5, 4-3)
Roma: E. Eichelberger, L. Papi, G. Galardi, S. Carosi, S. Giustini 2, C. Ranalli 4, D. Picozzi 3, C. Tabani, C. Nardini 1, L. Di Claudio, A. Cocchiere 1, A. Andrews 1, G. Galbani
Olympiacos: C. Diamantopoulou, E. Plevritou 2, I. Chydirioti 1, N. Eleftheriadou 2, F. Tricha, E. Xenaki 2, C. Siouti, M. Plevritou 3, S. Tornarou, V. Plevritou, K. Christmas 2, M. Myriokefalitaki, I. Stamatopoulou
NC Vouliagmeni 7 – 4 ZV De Zaan (3-0, 2-2, 1-2, 1-0)
Vouliagmeni: T. Sakaloglou, S. Kaiafa 1, D. Kalogeropoulou, E. Elliniadi 1, A. Giannopoulou 1, N. Krassa, A. Ridge 2, E. Markatseli, K. Stratidaki, D. Andreadi 1, M. Mimidi 1, F. Angelidi, M. Kotsioni
De Zaan: E. Alander, L. Rogge , L. Den Ouden 1, M. Schapp 3, T. Sam, S. Vleeshakker, M. Koopman, D. Sap, L. Plugge, M. Van Tol, B. Rogge, B. Van den Dobbelsteen
- SIS Roma – 3 – 7pts (Q)
- Olympiacos – 3 – 7pts (Q)
- NC Vouliagmeni – 3 – 3pts
- ZV De Zaan – 3 – 0pts
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