As usual, the first club trophy of the season is at stake in the women’s LEN Trophy Final Four tournament, to be held in Mataro (ESP). Four teams with tremendous experience will clash on Friday and Saturday.
All four participating teams played in the LEN Trophy final at least once in the past years and two of them – Olympiacos (GRE) in 2014 and Mataro (ESP) in 2016 – already clinched the title. Dunaujvaros (HUN) was runner-up in 2001 and 2009, while Padova earned silver in 2015 and 2017.
Since the current playing format was introduced in 2014 – losers of the Euro League quarterfinals play for the LEN Trophy – the gold medal matches of this cup produced outstanding excitements. Each final of the last four years was decided by a single goal: Olympiacos beat Firenze (ITA) 10-9 in 2014, Imperia (ITA) downed Padova 8-7 in 2015, Mataro edged out Vouliagmeni (GRE) 6-5 in 2016 while last year UVSE (HUN) claimed a 9-8 win over Padova.
The trend might continue since little things separate the sides playing for the title this April. Padova takes on Olympiacos in the first semi-final – interestingly, these are the two runner-ups of last season’s finals as Padova came second in the LEN Trophy while Olympiacos in the Euro League (losing to Kirishi, RUS). This is going to be their second showdown this season as they had already met in the prelims of the Euro League. It was a balanced match for most of the time – the Greeks took the upper hand in the last period and won 10-7.
The No. 2 teams of Spain and Hungary will clash in the second semi when home side Mataro plays with Dunaujvaros. The Spaniards captured the title two years ago in their home pool and will try to repeat that feat again, while Dunaujvaros is aiming for its historical first European title after several appearances in the F4 tournaments, both in the Euro League and the LEN Trophy.
As usual, LEN offers free live streaming from all four games in Mataro, LEN’s website and enjoy the show – or you can follow the live-ticker and play-by-play action.