Szolnok water polo players didn’t manage to defend the Champions League trophy, which they lifted in 2017.
The Hungarian club has fallen on its first step in the Champions League Final Eight, which began in Genoa today, as it was defeated by Jug in the quarterfinals.
Another Hungarian club also didn’t advance to the semifinals. Barceloneta convincingly beat Eger.
Almost every game of the quarterfinals offered a lot of excitements.
Pro Recco secured a place among top 4 teams, beating Brescia in a thrilling “all-Italian battle”, which was ended after a penalty shootout.
Olympiacos didn’t have an easy task, but the Greeks overcame Spandau 04
Tomorrow, in the semifinals Pro Recco will face Jug, while Olympiacos is going to play against Barceloneta.
Jug vs. Szolnok
The most anticipated match of the day was a clash of clubs which won previous two titles in the Champions League. Title-holder Szolnok faced 2016 winner Jug. Last year, in the final in Budapest Szolnok achieved a convincing win (10:5). Jug took a revenge in Genoa today.
The Croats controlled the first period, they led 1:0 and 2:1. Batori leveled the score four seconds from time in this quarter (2:2). The Hungarians added two fast goals after the first break and jumped to a 4:2 lead in the 10th minute. Jug responded with three goals in a row and went ahead early in the third quarter (5:4).
Szolnok, which played without its big star Andrija Prlainovic, who was injured, turned a deficit to a 6:5 advantage, thanks to Batori’s third goal ( 1:34 before the last break). But, in the following ten minutes Jug produced a 4:1 rush and earned a 9:7 lead 57 seconds before the last buzzer. Szolnok’s head coach Sandor Cseh called a timeout. After a minute of the break, Szolnok needed a lot of time to find the net. Zalnaki converted a man-up for 9:8, when it was too late. In the remaining 26 seconds, Jug managed to keep the possession and entered the semifinals.
Jug 9:8 Szolnok
(2:2, 2:2, 2:2, 3:2)
Jug: Garcia Gadea 2, V. Rasovic 2, Macan, Fatovic, Loncar, Benic, Lozina.
Szolnok: Batori 3, Zalnaki 3, Gocic, Aleksic.
Pro Recco vs. Brescia
The host of the tournament Pro Recco is the only club from Group B of the Preliminary Competition which advanced to the semifinals.
Recco and Brescia clashed for the fifth time this season. The Genoa-based team won in previous 4 games. After the second period of the quarterfinal clash in Sciorba pool, it seemed that Recco would post a convincing win. Brescia scored the first goal in the match, but the hosts built a solid 4:1 lead by halftime.
In the second half, Brescia reduced its deficit step-by-step. Brescia’s goalkeeper Marco del Luongo was outstanding (13 saves). The heated battle reached the boiling point in the last four minutes. Recco earned a two-goal gap (7:5, Echenique from an extra) in the 28th minute. After that goal, Brescia coach Alessandro Bovo was sent off because of angry objection for referee’s decision. That red card was a new stimulus for Bovo’s players. Brescia caught Recco with 01:56 remaining on the clock. Rizzo netted from an extra to equalize (7:7). In the next action Aleksandar Ivovic scored for 8:7. But, the big battle wasn’t over yet. Just 18 seconds before the end, Alessandro Nora found the net to secure a draw and a penalty-shootout (8:8).
In the penalty shoot-out. Ivovic, Filipovic, Echenique and Mandic scored for Recco. On the other side of the pool Mladjan Janovic and Nicholas Presciutti didn’t make mistakes. Petar Muslim hit the post, while Recco’s captain Stefano Tempesti saved a shot from Valerio Rizzo. Recco celebrated a 12:10 win.
Pro Recco 12:10 Brescia
(2:1, 2:0, 2:3, 2:4, 4:2)
Pro Recco: Ivovic 3, Molina, Figari, Filipovic,Bodegas, Echenique.
Brescia: Muslim 3, Nora 2, Rizzo 2, Bertoli.
Penalty shoot-out : Janovic 0:1, Filipovic 1:1, N Presciutti 1:2, Ivovic 2:2, Muslim – hit the post, Echenique 3:2, Rizzo – Tempesti saved, 4:2 Mandic.
Olympiacos vs. Spandau
As expected Olympiacos beat Spandau, but the Germans proved that they deserved a place among top eight teams, they fight hard, despite they started very badly. Olympiacos ruled the field for almost two quarters. The Greeks were 3:0 up in the 10th minute. Spandau started climbing back late in the second period. The Germans equaled with Marko Stamm’s goal – 4:4 (1:45 before the end of the third). By the middle of the last quarter, the champion of Greece built a new two-goal lead (6:4). Spandau’s Serb Nikola Dedovic hit the back of the net for the final score – 6:5 in the last minute.
Olympiacos 6:5 Spandau 04
(2:0, 1:1, 2:3, 1:1)
Olympiacos: Genidounias 3, Fountoulis 1, Gounas 1, Argyropoulos 1.
Spandau 04: Dedovic 2, Juengling, Stamm, Kueppers.
Barceloneta vs. Eger
Barceloneta secured its place in the semifinals much easier than it was expected. Eger took an early lead (1:0). After that, the Spaniards controlled everything in the pool. Barceloneta led 5:4 at halftime. The 2014 champion held Eger scoreless in the second half of the match. Barceloneta, led by Alberto Egana Munarriz (4 goals) sailed to a 9:4 win.
Eger 4:9 Barceloneta
(1:2, 3:3, 0:2, 0:2)
Eger: Vlachopoulos 2, S. Rasovic, Hosznansky.
Barceloneta: Munnariz 4, Granados 2, Vrlic, Famera, Perrone.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL EIGHT, GENOA 7-9 JUNE
THURSDAY 7 JUNE
Olympiacos – Spandau 04 6:5
Jug – Szolnok 9:8
Eger – Barceloneta 4:9
Pro Recco – Brescia 12:10 (pso)
FRIDAY 8 JUNE
Semifinal 5 – 8
16.00 Spandau 04 – Eger
17.30 Brescia – Szolnok
Semifinal 1 – 4
19.00 Olympiacos – Barceloneta
20.30 Jug – Pro Recco
SATURDAY 9 JUNE
16.00 For places 7-8
17.30 For places 5-6
19.00 Bronze medal game
20.30 Champions League Final