The first day of the 2017/18 water polo Champions League brought a lot of excitements and several thrilling games. Most of the favourites achieved wins, but there were big surprises too. Only three visiting teams managed to defeat their rivals. All points as guests collected Hungarian clubs Szolnok, Eger and OSC.
The surprise of the day was seen in Germany, where Waspo Hannover upset Brescia, the Italian vice-champion. The Germans produced a 3:0 rush in the first quarter. Brescia didn’t recover till the finish of the third quarter when Rizzo scored for 4:5. The Italians came close to the hosts two times in the last period (5:6 and 6:7). But, Hannover managed to keep the lead. Montenegrin Darko Brguljan netted for the final score (8:6), 02:14 before the end.
Dynamo Moscow was absent from the Champions League for more than a decade. In their first match in the CHL after 15 years, the Russians, reinforced by three Serbs (Pijetlovic, Radjen, Subotic), beat Jug, which is one of the favourites for the title. The Croats dominated the first half. They had a three-goal lead (7:4) 11 seconds before halftime. Jug was 8:5 up in the 18th minute. That moment was followed by a complete transformation of the game. Dynamo was cutting its deficit step-by-step and went in front for the first time two minutes and 15 seconds before the final buzzer (11:10). Benic netted his 4th goal of the evening to equalise (11:11), but Latypov scored from an extra (0:25 to go), for the final score (12:11) and for Dynamo players’ big joy.
Another derby of Day 1 in Group A, was played in Barcelona, where two former European champions Barceloneta and Olympiacos shared the points. There were a lot of turns in the pool. Olympiacos trailed in the first three quarters (1:2, 2:3, 3:4), but the Greeks took the lead in the middle of the fourth quarter. They were two steps ahead of Barceloneta, 02:41 by the end (7:5). The hosts saved the point thanks to Perrone and Larumbe, who hit the target in the finish and the game ended in a 7:7 draw.
OSC Budapest didn’t let a surprise in the match against Partizan in Belgrade, but the Hungarians had to work hard to break the resistant of the young side from Belgrade. OSC jumped to a 4:1 lead in the 6th minute. But, Partizan water polo players proved their talent, they started climbing back and four times reduced the gap to one (3:4, 4:5, 6:7 and 7:8). Partizan its last goal scored 5.50 before the end (Radanovic for 7:8). In the rest of the match, the young Serbs ran out of gas. OSC, led by Balazs Erdely (4 goals) netted three goals in a row for an 11:7 win.
Group B didn’t offer thrilling matches. Favourites beat their respective rivals with ease.
Title-holder Szolnok demolished Sabadell water polo players in Spain – 16:5. The top scorers of the match were two Serbs Andrija Prlainovic and Milan Aleksic (both Szolnok) and Gorria (Sabadell), who each scored 4 goals.
The other Hungarian club in the group Eger beat Steaua in Bucharest. The Romanians trailed 2:3 at halftime. But, with four unanswered goals from the start of the third to the middle of the fourth period, Eger, led by Norbert Hosnyanszki (4 goals) jumped to a 7:2 lead and had an easy cruise in the last few minutes. The Hungarians won 8:3.
Jadran Carine water polo players continued their row of good games and results, that began in the first qualification round. They hosted Spandau 04 water polo players and beat them 11:5. The Germans led 2:0 in the first and 3:2 before the second quarter. Jadran scored eight unanswered goals in the second and in the third quarter and secured the victory before the final period. Eight Jadran players managed to hit the target at least once.
Pro Recco blew away newcomer from The Netherlands, AZC Alphen. The champions of Italy broke their own scoring record of the Champions League preliminaries, from the last season (18:8 against Hannover). They defeated the rival 19:1. The team from Netherlands its only goal netted in the 28th minute, after 16 Recco’s consecutive goals. The best scorer of the game was Recco captain Nicolo Figari (4 goals).
2017/18 Champions league, Day 1
Dynamo Moscow 12:11 Jug Dubrovnik
(1:2, 3:5, 4:2, 4:2)
Dynamo: Nagaev 3, Pijetlovic 2, Latypov 2, Lazarev 2, Radjen, Kholod, Shepelev.
Jug: Benic 4, V. Rasovic 3, Jokovic 2, Ivankovic, Loncar.
Waspo 98 Hannover 8:6 Brescia
(3:1, 2:1, 0:2, 3:2)
Hannover: Real 2, Da. Brguljan 2, Winkelhorst 2, Bukowski, Radovic.
Brescia: C. Presciutti 2, Rizzo 2, Nora, N. Presciutti.
Partizan 7:11 OSC Budapest
(2:4, 2:2, 2:1, 1:4)
Partizan: Radanovic, Lazic, Radonjic, F. Jankovic.
OSC: Erdely 4, Kovacs 2, Randjelovic, Salamon, Toth, Dr. Brguljan, Juhasz.
Barceloneta 7:7 Olympiacos
(1:1, 2:1, 1:1, 3:4)
Barceloneta: Mallarach 3, Perrone 2, Fernandez Miranda, Larumbe Gonfaus.
Olympiacos: Dervisis 2, Mourikis 2, Gounas, Genidounias, Obradovic.
1 OSC Budapest (Hungary) 1 – 3
2 Waspo 98 Hannover (Germany) 1 – 3
3 Dynamo Moscow (Russia) 1 – 3
4 Olympacos (Greece) 1 – 1
5 Barceloneta (Spain) 1 – 1
6 Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia) 1 – 0
7 Brescia (Italy) 1 – 0
8 Partizan Belgrade (Serbia) 1 – 0
Pro Recco 19:1 AZC Alphen
(6:0, 4:0, 5:0, 4:1)
Pro Recco: Figari 4, Gitto 3, Di Fulvio 3, Mandic 3, Alesiani 2, Aicardi 2, Echenique, Filipovic.
Alphe: Van Gulik 1.
CN Sabadell 5:16 Szolnok
(0:4, 2:5, 2:4, 1:3)
Sabadell: Bustos Sanchez 4, Canabas 1.
Szolnok: Prlainovic 4, Aleksic 4, Batori 3, Zalnaki, Jansik, Mezei, Younger, Mi. Cuk.
Steaua Bucharest 3:8 ZF eger
(1:1, 1:2, 0:2, 1:3)
Steaua: Dj. Filipovic, Delgado, Murisic.
Eger: Hosnzanszky 4, Vlachopoulos 2, Avramovic, Cuckovic.
Jadran Carine 11:5 Spandau 04
(2:3, 3:0, 5:0, 1:2)
Jadran: Merkulov 2, M. Petkovic 2, Krijestorac, B. Banicevic, Dj. Radovic, Spaic, Draskovic
Spandau 04: Dedovic 2, Gielen 2, Juengling.
1 Pro Recco (Italy) 1 – 3
2 Szolnok VSK (Hungary) 1 – 3
3 Jadran Carine Herceg Novi (Montenegro) 1 – 3
4 ZF Eger (Hungary) 1 – 3
5 Steaua Bucharest (Romania) 1 – 0
6 Spandau 04 Berlin (Germany) 1 – 0
7 Sabadell (Spain) 1 – 0
8 AZC Alphen (The Netherlands) 1 – 0