The list of clubs which will compete at the Championships League Final Eight is completed!
Ferencvaros, Olympiacos and Sport Management did good jobs today in the 13th round of the Preliminary Stage and joined the five clubs which have secured their places at the Final Eight earlier
Qualified for the Final Eight (Hannover, June 6 – 8)
Group A: Pro Recco, Barceloneta, Brescia, and Ferencvaros.
Group B: Jug, Sport Management, Olympiacos and Hannover (as a host).
Ferencvaros, the Super Cup and the LEN Trophy winner, Sport Management, and host Hannover will make their debuts at the Final Eight.
Szolnok, the 2017 Champions League winner, will not play at the final tournament for the first time since 2014.
Pro Recco continued its winning run. Today, it had no mercy in the Italian derby against Brescia. Recco jumped to 4:0 early in the second quarter. Brescia couldn’t come back after Recco’s stunning start. Brescia came close late into the 3rd quarter (6:8), but Recco ruled the field in the remaining time and extended the margin of its win to six – 12:6.
Barceloneta blew away Crvena Zvezda (14:3) and climbed into the 2nd place in the group. The Spaniards had a 2:0 advantage after the 1st quarter. But, the Serbs didn’t surrender easily. They equalized. It was 2:2 a minute before the big break. Barceloneta netted three goals in the last 57 seconds of the second quarter to went 5:2 up. The hosts dominated in the second half of the game and earned a 14:3 win.
Ferencvaros confirmed its ticket for the Final Eight, by beating Steaua in Budapest (12:4). Both sides scored a goal each in the first quarter. A 5:0 rush in the second period put the hosts on the right track.
Dynamo Moscow hosted Eger. The spectators saw a scoring festival, with 28 goals. Dynamo celebrated a 15:13 win, but these three points won’t help Russians in their efforts to reach the Final Eight. Eger also lost its last hope and it will miss the Final Eight after 4 straight appearances.
All eyes in group B were on Szolnok where Szolnok hosted Sport Management. This was „a must-win“ match for the 2017 Champions League winner, as the hosts needed three points to stay in a race for the Final Eight.
After a scoreless first quarter, Szolnok grabbed a 2:0 lead early in the second period. The Italians responded with four goals in a row and gained a 4:2 advantage in the 19th minute.
Szolnok was able to come back and turned around the deficit to a 5:4 lead in the opening minutes of the last quarter. But, Sport Management had the last laugh. The visitors scored two goals in a span of 50 seconds to went in front again (6:5) with 04:39 minutes remaining on the clock. Szolnok managed to equalize in the finish of the game and match ended in a 6:6 draw.
Szolnok will remain in the 4th place in the group, while Sport Management secured its place at the Final Eight, as well as Olympiacos, which demolished Hannover. The title-holder stunned the Germans in the first quarter (6:0) and didn’t slow down until the end. Olympiacos beat Hannover by 10 goals (17:7).
Jadran Split produced the biggest surprise of the round. Jadran defeated Jug in Dubrovnik in the Croatian derby. Jug led for most of the time. Early in the fourth period, the home side had a 6:5 lead. But, the hosts were unable to score in the last 6 minutes, while the visitors netted two goals for a 7:6 win.
This was Jug’s 2nd straight defeat in the Champions League. They were defeated by Szolnok 7:10 ten days ago. Meanwhile, Mladost was better than Jug in the Regional League final game.
Jug’s first place in this group isn’t in a big danger, despite the new loss. The Croatian champion has collected 29 points, while Sport Management and Olympiacos share the 2nd and the 3rd place with 27 points each. But, Jug will have a very easy task in the last round, as it will host bottom-placed Spandau 04.
The encounter between Olympiacos and Sport Management, which will be played in Piraeus, will decide the battle for the 2nd place. Sport Management defeated Olympiacos in Busto Arsizio (7:6), so the Italians have to take a point in the match in Greece to stay in the 2nd place.
2018/19 Champions League, Day 13
Pro Recco 12:6 Brescia
(3:0, 3:3, 3:3, 3:0)
Pro Recco: Filipovic 3, Ivovic 2, Kayes 2, Di Fulvio 2, Mandic, Dobud, Molina.
Brescia: C. Presciutti 3, Muslim 2, Bertoli.
Barceloneta 14:3 Crvena Zvezda
(2:0, 3:2, 5:1, 4:0)
CNA Barceloneta: Munnariz 4, Granados 3, Mallarach 3, Tahull 2, Perrone 2.
Crvena Zvezda: Vasic, Ljubenovic, Tankosic.
Ferencvaros 12:4 Steaua
(1:1, 5:0, 4:3, 2:0)
Ferencvaros Telekom: S. Mitrovic 2, Younger 2, Jaksic 2, Kallay 2, Sedlmayer, Pohl, Vamos, Nikic.
Steaua Bucharest: MArinic Kraguc 2, Gheorghe, Szabo.
Dynamo 15:13 Eger
(5:1, 2:4, 4:3, 4:5)
Dynamo Moscow: Lisunov 3, Pijetlovic 3, Bychkov 2, Kholod 2, Lazarev 2, Subotic, Shepelev, Latypov.
ZF Eger: Hosnyanszky 3, Vlachopoulos 2, Santa 2, Avramovic, Murisic, Magyar.
1 Pro Recco (ITA) 13 – 39
2 Barceloneta (ESP) 13 – 28
3 Brescia (ITA) 13 – 26
4 Ferencvaros (HUN) 13 – 22
5 Dynamo Moscow (RUS) 13 – 18
6 Eger (HUN) 13 – 15
7 Steaua (ROM) 13 – 6
8 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) 13 – 0
Day 14 (May 15): Eger – Barceloneta, Brescia – Steaua, Pro Recco – Crvena Zvezda, Dynamo – Ferencvaros.
Szolnok 6:6 Sport Management
(0:0, 2:3, 2:1, 2:2)
Szolnoki VSK: Aleksic 2, V. Rasovic 2, Jansik, Teleki.
Sport Management: Dolce 2, Alesiani, Drasovic, Mirarchi, Luongo.
Olympiacos 17:7 Hannover
(6:0, 4:2, 2:3, 5:2)
Olympiacos Piraeus: Gounas 5, Genidounias 5, Fountoulis 2, Obradovic 2, Nikolaidis, Dervisis, Mourikis.
Waspo Hannover: Da. Brguljan 3, Corusic 2, Estrany, Zech.
Jug 6:7 Jadran S
(2:1, 1:1, 2:2, 1:3)
Jug: Merkulov 2, Macan, Loncar, Zuvela, Papanastasiou.
Jadran Split: Power, Popovic, Viskovic, Milradovic, Zovic, Delic, Krapic.
Spandau 14:15 Mladost
(5:3, 3:6, 2:3, 4:3)
Spandau 04: Restovic 3, Stamm 2, Reibel 2, Pjesivac 2, Mat.Cuk, Negrean, Dedovic.
HAVK Mladost: Radu 4, Cagalj 3, Mi. Cuk, Buljubasic 2, Herceg 2, A. Petkovic, Lazic.
1 Jug Dubrovnik (CRO) 13 – 29
2 Sport Management (ITA) 13 – 27
3 Olympiacos (GRE) 13 – 27
4 Szolnok (HUN) 13 – 22
5 Jadran Split (CRO) 13 – 15
6 Mladost Zagreb (CRO) 13 – 11
7 Waspo Hannover (GER) 13 – 9
8 Spandau 04 (GER) 13 – 7
Day 14 (May 15): Jadran – Szolnok, Hannover – Mladost, Olympiacos – Sport Management, Jug – Spandau.