Dinamo Moscow water polo club returned to the top of Russian championship after 16 years long drought! The legendary club from the capital won the final series against Spartak Volgograd – 3:1.
And not just that. Dinamo ended Spartak’s eight years long reign in Russian club water polo in a true spectacle.
Dinamo players won the first two games at their swimming pool with a relative ease. It was 10:5 in the opening game of the series and Nikolai Lazarev, Dmitri Holod and Sergei Lisunov all scored two goals for Dinamo.
In the second match, the home team also demonstrated top quality water polo and recorded a 9:5 victory. Halfway through the third quarter, Dinamo had a big 5:1 lead and it was very clear how things are going to end.
Once more Sergei Lisunov and Nikolai Lazarev were the two key players for Dinamo. Lisunov netted a hattrick, while Lazarev added two more and Moscow club was just a win away from the title.
Pavel Halturin was the only player from the Spartak’s team who managed to show some resistance and he also scored a hattrick.
And then the final series came to Volgograd. Of course, everyone expected from the cornered defending champion to show some kind of reaction to prolong this series.
So Spartak gave their fans something to roar about in game number three. Dinamo also had a better start in this match, but Spartak managed to turn things around and take a 3:1 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Artem Ashaev was simply brilliant. Not only he scored a hattrick, but he every time he found the net, it was in the crucial moments of the game.
So we got to match number four. And it was the most exciting duel in the series. Dinamo won 10:9 only after penalties and after regular 32 minutes, it was 4:4.
At the end of the third quarter, thanks to a goal from Lazarev, Dinamo got a 4:2 lead. In the very defensively orientated game like this, it seemed that would be enough for the win.
Instead, Spartak came back to life in the last quarter and with goals from Stepan Andriukov and Ashaev, the home team got the chance to decide the winner on penalties.
But, it was Dinamo who had better focus at those moments. In the fifth series, Andriukov failed to convert his shot, while Dinamo’s Ivan Nagaev did it and Moscow’s team long wait for the title was finally over.