After the 10th round of the Champions League, three tickets for the Final Eight are booked. Jug Dubrovnik mathematically secured its spot at the F8 and joined Pro Recco and Hannover. Pro Recco, which maintained its clean sheet, qualified for the F8 in the previous round. Hannover will be a technical host.
The 10th round brought two big games. In Group A Pro Recco defeated Barceloneta. The highlight of the day in Group B was an encounter between the European champions in the past two seasons. Olympiacos, the title-holder, edged out 2017 champion Szolnok in a match which was very important for both sides.
The game Pro Recco – Barceloneta was played in Turin, as a new “episode” of Recco’s promotional tour. The visitors started better. The Italians needed a lot of time to score their first goal. Eight seconds before the first break, Aicardi netted to equalize (1:1). Recco dominated the second period and earned a 3-goal lead (4:1). At halftime, the hosts were 4:2 up, while their defense was superb in the second half of the match. They let just one goal and marched to an 8:3 win.
Ferencvaros defeated Eger in the all-Hungarian battle. The Super Cup winner led from the beginning. Ferencvaros broke the rival in the second and in the third period. Eger was just a step behind (4:5) in the 10th minute. But, Ferencvaros was 11:6 up before the last eight minutes, and there was no way back for Eger (12:9). The man of the match was Ferencvaros captain Denes Varga (5 goals).
Four rounds before the end of the Group Stage, Eger is far away from the Final Eight, as the gap between Eger (5th place) and 4th-placed Ferencvaros is 7 points.
Dynamo Moscow water polo players proved that they are able to cause headaches for the favorites. The Russians beat Brescia, thanks to a brilliant comeback in the second half. Brescia had a slim 6:5 lead in the 17th minute. But, the Italians could not find the net in the remaining time, while Dynamo, led by a young Serb Gavril Subotic (4 goals), scored five goals (10:6).
Despite this win, Dynamo has no big chances to reach the Final Eight, as it shares the 5th and the 6th place with Eger. Brescia (20 points) Barceloneta (19 pts), and Ferencvaros (19 pts) are much closer to the F8 than Dynamo (12 pts) and Eger (12 pts).
The day was completed by the encounter between Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) and Steaua, which was played in Belgrade. The visitors took all three points (9:7), so the Serbs are still cemented for the bottom of the table.
The big clash of the day, played in Piraeus, offered a brilliant battle between Olympiacos and Szolnok. Before the match, the teams were equaled in points. The Greeks opened the game with an early 1:0 lead, but the visitors overturned the score quickly. Deep into the second period, the Hungarians earned a 3-goal lead (5:2). By halftime, the hosts reduced the gap(4:5). Just one second before the last break, Olympiacos went in front for the second time. Gounas hit the back of the net for 9:8. The visitors equalized in the middle of the fourth (9:9). Olympiacos responded with two straight goals (11:9). Zalnaki netted for the final score (11:10) when it was too late for a new turn.
This might be a crucial win for Olympiacos, which holds the 3rd place, with three points ahead of Szolnok. Since only the top three teams from this group will advance to the Final Eight, 4th-placed Szolnok will have a very difficult task to catch the rivals.
The group-leader Jug booked the ticket for the Final Eight in a match against Hannover, which will be a host of the F8. The Croats left no chance to the Germans. In the middle of the second quarter, Hannover trailed 3:5. Jug produced a 10:1 rush for a 15:4 lead (25th minute) and maintained the advantage until the end (18:7).
Sport Management, the surprise team, made another step towards the Final Eight. The Italians hosted Mladost Zagreb. The second quarter was the crucial in the Sport Management’s victory. The teams were tied in the 12th minute (4:4). The home side netted three consecutive goals in a row in a span of less than 3 minutes for 7:4. The Croats were coming back from time to time, but they didn’t manage to equalize. Sport Management captain Stefano Luongo, who scored 7 goals, led his team towards a 12:9 victory.
Jadran Split did a clean job while defeating Spandau 04 at home (14:8)
LEN Champions League 2018/19, Day 10
Pro Recco 8:3 Barceloneta
(1:1, 3:1, 2:1, 2:0)
Pro Recco: Filipovic 2, Ivovic 2, Mandic 2, Aicardi, Kayes.
Barceloneta: Mallarach, Granados, Munnariz.
Eger 9:12 Ferencvaros
(3:4, 2:3, 1:4, 3:1)
Eger: Vlachopoulos 4, Hosnyanszky 2, Santa, Murisic.
Ferencvaros: De. Varga 5, Vamos 2, Sedlmayer, Pohl,Nikic, Younger, S. Mitrovic
Dynamo 10:6 Brescia
(3:3 1:2, 2:1, 4:0)
Dynamo Moscow: Subotic 4, Lazarev, Latypov, Bychov, Nagaev, Kholod, Lisunov.
AN Brescia: Gallo 2, Vukcevic 2, Rizzo, Bertoli.
Crvena Zvezda 7:9 Steaua
(3:6, 2:1, 1:2, 1:0)
Crvena Zvezda: Tankosic 3, Bursac, Vasic, Bitadze, Sulc.
Steaua Bucharest: Marinic Kragic 4, Fulea 2, Gheorghe, Prioteasa, Kapotsis.
1 Pro Recco (ITA) 10 – 30
2 Brescia (ITA) 10 – 20
3 Barceloneta (ESP) 10 – 19
4 Ferencvaros (HUN) 10 – 19
5 Eger (HUN) 10 – 12
6 Dynamo (RUS) 10 – 12
7 Steaua (ROM) 10 – 6
8 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) 10 – 0
Olympiacos 11:10 Szolnok
(2:2, 2:3, 5:3, 2:2)
Olympiacos Piraeus: Genidounias 2, Buslje 2, Mourikis 2, Gounas 2, Obradovic 2, Mylonakis.
Szolnok Dozsa: Zalnaki 3, Prlainovic 2, Lazic 2, Batori, V. Rasovic, G. Kis.
Jug 18:7 Hannover
(3:2, 5:1, 6:1, 4:3)
Jug Dubrovnik: Lozina 4, Merkulov 3, Loncar 3, Benic 2, Papanastasiou 2, Macan, Fatovic, Jokovic, Zuvela.
Waspo Hannover: Corusic 2, Giorgetti 2, Da. Brguljan, Sekulic, Preuss.
Sport Management 12:9 Mladost Zagreb
(4:3, 3:2, 3:4, 2:0)
Bpm Sport Management: S.Luongo 7,Drasovic 3, Fondelli, Bruni.
HAVK Mladost Zagreb: Mi. Cuk 4, Milos 3, Radu, Cagalj.
Jadran S 14:8 Spandau
(2:3, 4:2, 4:3, 4:0)
Jadran Split: Delic 3, Zovic 2, Krapic 2, Power 2, Popovic 2, Setka 2, Butic.
Spandau 04: Dedovic 4, Gielen 2, Strelezkij, Pjesivac.
1 Jug (CRO) 10 – 30
2 Sport Manageemnt (ITA) 10 – 22
3 Olympiacos (GRE) 10 – 18
4 Szolnok (HUN) 10 – 15
5 Jadran Split (CRO) 10 – 9
6 Mladost (CRO) 10 – 8
7 Spandau 04 (GER) 10 – 7
8 Hannover (GER) 10 – 6
The 11round will be played on March 27th.