A very long preliminary competition of the 2017/18 Champions League finally came to the end.
The crucial match of the 14th round was an encounter in Dubrovnik, where Jug faced Dynamo. The winner took the ticket for the Final Eight, while the other rival ended its European season. 2017 runner-up and the 2016 champion Jug defeated Dynamo, which didn’t manage to reach the final tournament in its first appearance in the Champions League, by a new format, which was introduced 2013.
Jug and Brescia, which achieved an expected win today, were the last two clubs which earned their places at the final tournament. They joined the 6 clubs which secured their F8 berths earlier. The participants of the Final Eight (Genoa, 7 – 9 June) will be Olympiacos (Greece), Jug (Croatia), Brescia (Italy), Barceloneta (Spain), Pro Recco (Italy), Eger (Hungary), Szolnok (Hungary) and the surprising team of the season Spandau 04 (Germany).
Water polo players of Jug and club’s staff prepared very well for the clash with Dynamo. The entrance in the stands was free. The home side was boosted by a few thousands of spectators. It was a hard battle for two quarters and a half. Jug led for most of the time. Dynamo gained its first (and the only) lead early in the second quarter when Gavril Subotic scored for 2:3. The Croats struck back strongly, with four goals in just two minutes and 30 seconds (6:3). Dynamo came back in the third period, the Russian side equalized twice (6:6 and 7:7), but they ran out of gas. Jug did same as it did in the second quarter. The hosts scored four fast goals for 11:7 and there was no way back for Dynamo (15:10). The Croats reached the final tournament of the Champions League for the fourth time in a row.
They climbed into the 2nd place in the Group, ahead of Barceloneta. In the semifinals, Jug will face title-holder Szolnok. It will be a replay of the last season’s final when the Hungarians demolished the Croats (10:5).
Jug DUBROVNIK VS Dynamo MOSCOW 14-10#lenchampionsleague #waterpolo
Posted by LEN on Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Video source: LEN.eu/Facebook.com
Brescia posted a win over Hannover, as it was expected, and remained in the top 4 clubs in the group. The Italians began the match with a brilliant 4:0 run. Hannover water polo players reduced the gap in the second period. They trailed 4:6 at halftime, but the Italians controlled everything in the third and the fourth period, despite Hannover came very close (10:9 – 2:23 on the clock). Nikola Vukcevic netted 24 seconds later, for the final score (11:9).
Olympiacos secured the top spot in Group A before the last round, but the Greeks didn’t disappoint their fans in a derby played in Athens. Olympiacos hosted Barceloneta. The home side produced a 4:1 rush, but Barceloneta managed to climb back. The visitors leveled the score 21 seconds before the halftime (5:5), but the immediate reply came in the next attack when Obradovic scored for 6:5. From that point on, Olympiacos was in front. In the third period, the hosts built a new three-goal lead (10:7). They didn’t slow down until the end and achieved a 14:10 win.
In an encounter between two bottom-placed teams, OSC (Hungary) beat the young team of Partizan (14:6), which ended the European season with no points.
Today’s matches in Group B hadn’t big importance, because the quartet Pro Recco, Eger, Szolnok and Spandau 04 secured their places at the Final Eight before the 14th round. Spandau 04 was the last one who booked its F8 ticket, by beating Sabadell in the 13th round (11:9).
First-placed Pro Recco did a damage in the Netherlands. The “Dream team” from Genoa, led by Molina (5 goals), Mandic (4), Bodegas (4) and Aicardi (4) demolished AZC Alphen (24:5). Like Partizan, the Dutch didn’t manage to win at least a point.
Title-holder Szolnok, also, didn’t have a hard task in the last round. The European champion blew away Sabadell (14:4).
Eger confirmed the 2nd place in the group, by beating Steaua in the home pool, but the Hungarians had big troubles during the match, which saw a lot of twists and turns. Steaua stunned the hosts with an early 2:0 lead. Eger responded with three unanswered goals for 3:2. After the second quarter, Eger had a slim lead (5:4). The Hungarians doubled an advantage early in the third period, but Steaua pulled three consecutive goals and went in front once more (7:6). In the remaining time, Eger dominated and didn’t let surprise (12:9).
ZF EGER VS Steaua BUCHAREST 12-9#lenchampionsleague #waterpolo
Posted by LEN on Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Spandau 04 and Jadran played a “relaxing” match, with weak defenses, because the outcome had could change nothing. After the third period, Spandau led by a goal (7:6). The fourth period saw 13 goals as well as the previous three. Spandau was 12:10 up in the 31st minute. Jadran’s players found the net three times in a span of 1:08 minutes and gained a 13:12 lead. Seven seconds before the end Tiberiu Negrean converted a penalty and the rivals shared the points (13:13).
Champions League 2017/18, 14th round
Jug 15:10 Dynamo
(2:2, 4:2, 6:5, 3:1)
Jug: Fatovic 3, Benic 3, Loncar 2, Jokovic 2, Lozina 2, V. Rasovic 2, Macan.
Dynamo Moscow: Pijetlovic 2, Radjen 2, Koptsev, Subotic, Shepelec, Lisunov, Bychkov, Nagaev, Koptsev.
Olympiacos 14:10 Barceloneta
(4:2, 2:3, 5:3, 3:2)
Olympiacos: Ganidounias 3, Nikolaidis 2, Argyropoulos 2, Obradovic 2, Mylonakis, Fountoulis, Dervisis, Mourikis, Gounas.
Barceloneta: Munarriz , Famera 2, Tahill 2, Granados, Fernandez, Perrone.
Brescia 11:9 Hannover
(4:1, 2:3, 3:3, 2:2)
Brescia: Muslim 4, Janovic 2, Vukcevic 2, Guerrato , Paskovic, Rizzo.
Hannover: Real 3, Estrany 2, A. Radovic 2, Da. Brguljan, Sekulic.
OSC Budapest 14:6 Partizan
(3:0, 2:3, 5:3, 4:0)
OSC: Ubovic 3, Kovacs 2, Seman 2, Bundschuh 2, Dr. Brguljan, Burian, Hegedus, Erdelyi, Toth.
Partizan: Andrejevic 2, Aksentijevic 2, Vucinic, Lazic.
1. Olympiacos (GRE) 14 – 37
2. Jug Dubrovnik (CRO) 14 – 28
3. Barceloneta (ESP) 14 – 27
4. Brescia (ITA) 14 – 26
5. Dynamo (RUS) 14 – 22
6. Hannover (GER) 14 – 12
7. OSC Budapest (HUN) 14 – 10
8. Partizan (SRB) 14 – 0
AZC Alphen 5:24 Pro Recco
(1:6, 1:6, 2:6, 1:6)
AZC ALphen: Coric, Stienstra, Van Mil, Indjic, M. Filipovic.
Pro Recco: Molina 5, Mandic 4, Bodegas 4, Aicardi 4, Gitto 2, F. Di Fulvio 2, Echenique 2, F. Filipovic.
Szolnok 14:4 Sabadell
(3:1, 2:1, 5:0, 4:2)
Szolnok: Aleksic 3, Younger 3, Zalnaki 2, Mezei 2, Prlainovic, Jansik, Mi. Cuk, Fulop.
Sabadell: Gorria, Bustos Sanchez, Fenoy Valverde, Carrasco.
Eger 12:9 Steaua
(2:2, 3:2, 4:4, 3:1)
Eger: Vlachopoulos 5, Hosnyanszky 4, Cuckovic, Harai, Bedo.
Steaua: Buljubasic 2, Murisic 2, Delgado 2, Giban, George, Teohari.
Spandau 04 13:13 Jadran
(3:3, 2:1, 2:2, 6:7)
Spandau 04: Gielen 3, Negrean 3, restovic 2, Korbel, Juengling, Tadin, Stamm, Riebel.
Jadran Herceg Novi: Merkulov 4, Petkovic 3, Popadic 3, Mijuskovic, Dj. radovic, Spaic.
1. Pro Recco (ITA) 14 – 39
2. Eger (HUN) 14 – 31
3. Szolnok (HUN) 14 – 30
4. Spandau 04 (GER) 14 – 25
5. Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE) 14 – 20
6. Steaua Bucharest (ROM) 14 – 12
7. Sabadell (ESP) 14 – 9
8. AZC Alphne (NED) 14 – 0
Final Eight (Genoa, 7 – 9 June)
Match 1: Olympiacos – Spandau 04
Match 2: Jug – Szolnok
Match 3: Barceloneta – Eger
Match 4: Brescia – Pro Recco
Winners 1 – 3
Winners 2 – 4