The 2017 Greek Water Polo Cup Final Four took place on May 19-20 in Karpenisi. Vouliagmeni made a surprise and became the new titleholder after beating Olympiacos that suffered its first loss in domestic competitions since May 8, 2013.
On May 19, Vouliagmeni and Olympiacos easily triumphed in the semifinals. Vouliagmeni defeated Ethnikos, while the game against PAOK was an easy job for Olympiacos.
Vouliagmeni water polo players proved too strong for Etnikos. They scored six goals in the first half leaving their opponent scoreless. In the third quarter, Vouliagmeni reached an eight-goal lead before Chondrokoukis netted the first one for Etnikos. Nevertheless, the second half was just a formality because there was no doubt about who will advance to the final. Ethnikos was not able to overcome the deficit, and Vouliagmeni recorded a convincing 14-5 victory.
In the other semifinal, Olympiacos had no trouble beating PAOK. They achieved a four-goal lead leaving PAOK scoreless in the first quarter and increased the advantage to five at the beginning of the second period. Finally, Saric scored the first goal for PAOK after a successful penalty. He netted one more to bring down the deficit to three, but Ntoskas netted two consecutive goals to regain +5 for Olympiacos at halftime (7-2). PAOK had no solution for its rival’s dominance and ended the third quarter also with no goals. Olympiacos increased the advantage to nine and confirmed the position of a favorite in this competition with a 14-4 win.
The final match on May 20 was a close contest between Vouliagmeni and Olympiacos. Unlike the A1 League final, which Olympiacos won without difficulty, this one was more interesting and tense.
Genidounias scored the opener for Vouliagmeni water polo team. After almost four minutes without goals, Mourikis increased his team’s advantage to two. With a minute and a half left until the end of first quarter, Afroudakis netted the first one for Olympiacos, and Kapotsis equalized a minute later. Olympiacos had the first lead after Janovic scored a goal in the second quarter. Chrysospathis tied the result again, but Mylonakis found the net for Olympiacos, which went on a break with a one-goal lead (4-3).
Vouliagmeni stroke back in the third quarter. Although Afroudakis increased the advantage of Olympiacos to two, Chrysospathis and Kapotsis both netted their second to equalize. Ntoskas scored one for Olympiacos, but Tigas netted an equalizer fifteen seconds before the end of the third quarter. Before the final eight minutes, the result was 6-6.
None of the teams managed to score during the first two minutes of the fourth quarter Finally, Genidounias found the net for the second time and kept his team’s hopes high. However, Vico netted one with around four minutes left on the clock, and the competition got even tenser. The hero of the game was Solanakis who scored the winning goal for Vouliagmeni. The goalkeeper Zerdevas also saved the day by preventing Olympiacos from equalizing again.
Vouliagmeni ended this season with their first Greek Cup title since 2012.
The season is not over yet for Olympiacos water polo players who will play the Champions League Final Six tournament which will take place on May 25-27 in Budapest.
Greek Water Polo Cup Finals (May 19-20)
Etnikos vs. Vouliagmeni 5-14 (0-3, 0-3, 2-4, 3-4)
Ethnikos scorers: Kokilas (2), Papadongonas (1), Foutris S. (2)
Vouliagmeni scorers: Koppeliadis (2), Chrysospathis (1), Gouvis (2), Afroudakis (2), Vico (3), Solanakis (3), Dimou (1)
PAOK vs. Olympiacos 4-14 (0-4, 2-3, 0-4, 2-3)
PAOK scorers: Nikolaides (1), Saric (3)
Olympiacos scorers: Mylonakis (1), Genidounias (1), Ntoskas (3), Mourikis (2), Kolumbus (2), Janovic (1), Espanyol (4)
Olympiacos vs. Vouliagmeni 7-8 (2-2, 2-1, 2-3, 1-2)
Olympiacos scorers: Genidounias (2), Mylonakis (1), Ntoskas (1), Mourikis (1), Janovic (1), Argyropoulos (1)
Vouliagmeni scorers: Chrysospathis (2), Kapotsis (2), Afroudakis (1), Vico (1), Tigas (1), Solanakis (1)