Champions League

Big thrillers in Sabadell in Qualification Round 2

Photo: radiojadran.com

The qualifications for the main round of the 2018/19 Champions League were continued this weekend with the matches of the Round 2. Sixteen teams were split into four groups. The top two ranked teams from each group advanced to the Round 3.

The biggest favorites qualified for the next stage of the competition, but there were a few surprises and a lot of tensions this weekend. The clubs which advanced to the Round 3 are: Jadran Herceg Novi (Montenegro), Vouliagmeni (Greece), Brescia (Italy), Strasbourg (France), Sport Management (Italy), Terrassa (Spain), Ferencvaros (Hungary) and Jadran Split (Croatia).

Group C (Herceg Novi)

Jadran Herceg Novi (Montenegro) was the only of the four hosts of the tournaments in Round 2 which managed to reach the Round 3. The Montenegrins didn’t have easy tasks, because they hosted two second-best teams from Greece (Vouliagmeni) and Russia (Sintez Kazan). But they didn’t disappoint their supporters.

Jadran collected all 9 points. After beating Corona from Brasov (Romania) 15:5 on Day 1, they took a big step toward the 3rd round by defeating Vouliagmeni on Day 2, in a very balanced match (8:7). Jadran cemented the first place in the third round, as they convincingly defeated Sintez (16:8). The match saw a lot of exclusions and four red cards, all four in the second half. Three Sintez’s players were sent off because of brutality.

Vouliagmeni took the second place thanks to a 10:8 win in an encounter with Sintez in the first round.

Group D (Sabadell)

Two draws highlighted the competition in the group in Sabadell (Spain). Sport Management (Italy) won the 1st place, while the all-Spanish battle was crucial in the run for the second place. Terrassa advanced to the Round 3 as the second-ranked. Host Sabadell ended the competition on the European stage, as well as Potsdam (Germany).

The first thriller in Sabadell was produced on Day 2, in the clash between Terrassa and Sport Management. The Spaniards shocked Sport Management in the beginning of the game. The Italians found themselves 2:6 down in the 11th minute. They started climbing back, but they weren’t able to level the score.

The highlight of the drama came in the last three seconds. Terrassa had a one-goal lead (12:11) iat that moment. A big conflict between Salvador (Terrassa) and Bruni (Sport Management) ended with a double 4-minutes exclusion and penalties for both sides. Both penalties were netted, but it wasn’t the end of the big thriller. Stefano Luongo, a captain of the national team of Italy, scored an equalizer (13:13) from an extra in the last second to secure his team a worthy point.

Before today’s last round, the ranking was: Terrassa 4, Sport Management 4, Sabadell 3, Potsdam 0.

Today, Sport Management easily beat Potsdam (17:11) for the 1st place, while Terrassa kept the 2nd place by sharing the points with Sabadell in the all-Spanish battle. The match was very similar to the game Terrassa – Sport Managament. Terrassa led 6:3 early in the third period. Sabadell produced a 4:0 rush to go 7:6 up two minutes from the end. Terrassa responded immediately for 7:7. In the remaining time, there was a lot of fire, but there were no goals, the match ended in a draw. Terrassa clinched the 2nd place.

Group E (Oradea)

Brescia, a regular main round Champions League participant, had no problems in Group in Oradea (Romania). The Italians achieved three big wins over Strasbourg (France) 16:5, Enka (Turkey) 12:3 and host Oradea 18:5
Strasbourg, the French champion, clinched the second qualifying spot as it beat Oradea (9:6) and Enka (10:4). Oradea and Enka shared the points (7:7).

Group F (Aix en Provence)

Hungarian champion Ferencvaros dominated Group F in Aix en Provence (France). The 2017 and 2018 LEN Euro Cup winner posted three convincing wins. It beat Jadran Split (Croatia) 17:7; AZC Alphen (The Netherlands) 14:7 and home team Pays d‘Aix 10:4.

The crucial match for the 2nd place was an encounter between Jadran Split and Pays d’Aix, played on Day 2. Jadran led for most of the time but Pays d’Aix had a nice 11:9 lead in the middle of the fourth period. The Croats stunned the hosts with three unanswered goals in the last 3:22 minutes for a 12:11 win. Jadran earned three golden points and took the second ticket for the Round 3.

AZC Alphen, which had a wild-card in the 2017/18 Champions League, was too weak for all rivals.

2018/19 Champions League, Qualification Round 2

Group C (Herceg Novi)

Day 1

Sintez Kazan – Voliagmeni 8:10 (1:2, 3:3, 1:2, 3:3)
Jadran Carine Herceg Novi – Coruna Sportul Studentesc 15:5 (5:1, 4:0, 1:1, 5:3)

Day 2

Corona – Sintez Kazan 8:13 (1:4, 3:3, 2:4, 2:2)
Jadran HN – Vouliagmeni 8:7 (2:2, 0:1, 5:2, 1:2)

Day 3

Vouliagmeni – Corona 9:3 (1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 3:0)
Jadran HN – Sintez 18:6 (4:3, 1:0, 8:2, 5:1)

1. Jadran Carine Herceg Novi (Montenegro) 3 – 9
2. NC Vouliagmeni (Greece) 3 – 6
3. Sintez Kazan (Russia) 3 – 3
4. Corona Sportul Studentesc (Romania) 3 – 0

Group D (Sabadell)

Day 1

Sabadell – Sport Management 4:12 (1:2, 1:5, 2:2, 0:3)
Potsdam – Terassa 6:16 (0:5, 2:4, 1:3, 3:4)

Day 2

Sport Management – Terrassa 13:13 (1:4, 4:2, 4:3, 4:4)
Sabadell – Potsdam 18:8 (6:4, 3:3, 5:0, 4:1)

Day 3
Sabadell – Terrassa 7:7 (2:3, 1:2, 2:1, 2:1)
Sport Management – Potsdam 17:11 (6:4, 6:2, 2:3, 6:2)

1. BPM Sport Management (Italy) 3 – 7
2. CN Terrassa (Spain) 3 – 5
3. Astralpool Sabadell (Spain) 3 – 4
4. OSC Potsdam (Germany) 3 – 0

Group E (Oradea)

Day 1

Strasbourg – Brescia 5:16 (1:4, 2:2, 1:3, 1:7)
Oradea – Enka 7:7 (3:2, 2:2, 2:3, 0:0)

Day 2

Brescia -Enka 12:3 (3:1, 3:1, 3:1, 3:0)
Oradea – Strasbourg 6:9 (2:1, 3:3, 0:2, 1:3)

Day 3

Enka – Strasbourg 4:10 (0:4, 0:1, 3:2, 1:3)
Oradea – Brescia 8:15 (1:4, 3:5, 3:4, 1:2)

1. AN Brescia (Italy) 3 – 9
2. Team Strasbourg (France) 3 – 6
3. CSM Digi Oradea (Romania) 3 – 1
4. Enka Sport Istanbul (Turkey) 3 – 1

Group F (Aix en Provence)

Day 1

Ferencvaros – Jadran Split 17:7 (2:2, 7:1, 5:2, 3:2)
Pays d’Aix -AZC Alphen 17:7 (6:0, 4:2, 4:2, 3:3)

Day 2

Ferencvaros – AZC Alphen 14:7 (3:0, 4:2, 5:2, 2:3)
Pays d’Aix – Jadran Split 11:12 (2:3, 6:4, 2:1, 1:4)

Day 3

AZC Alphen – Jadran Split 7:18 (2:3, 1:4, 2:5, 2:6)
Pays d’Aix – Ferencvaros 4:10 (1:4, 0:2, 0:2, 3:2)

1. Ferencvaros Telecom Budapest (Hungary) 3 – 9
2. Jadran Split (Croatia) 3 – 6
3. Pays d’Aix (France) 3 – 3
4. AZC Alphen (Netherlands) 3 – 0

The drawing for the Round 3 will be held on Monday. The four winners of home-away clashes will qualify for the main phase of the Champions League. The losers of the 3rd round will play in the LEN Euro Cup.

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