This weekend the LEN Women’s Euro League quarter-finals got underway. Three of the last year’s Final Four participants confirmed their role of favorites. Kinef secured their spot in the quarter-finals, while Sabadell and Budapest both recorded victories. However, Olympiacos did not manage to defeat Padova. The rest of matches are to be played on March 11. The winners will join Kinef in the Euro League Final Four, while the losing teams shall play for the LEN Trophy
Kinef, last year’s bronze medalists, were the first to secure their spot in Final Four. According to an earlier agreement between the Russian sides, both 1st and 2nd leg of the Euro League quarter-finals were played in Kirishi. As agreed, the games were organized on February 24 and 25. Kinef completely took over control in leg 1 of Russian derby and proved too strong for the Ugra squad. Evgeniia Soboleva led the hosting water polo team to the 21-6 victory with four goals, while Krystina Alogbo also found the net four times for Ugra. Leg 2 match was more closely fought. The first quarter was completely balanced and ended in a draw (3-3), but Ugra was left scoreless in the second period, so Kinef had a two-goal advantage at halftime (5-3). The favorites continued to increase their lead to four, and took their foot off the gas during the last eight minutes which was tied. After their second victory (13-9), it was clear that Kinef won the quarter-finals by an aggregate score of 34-15.
Title-holder Sabadell was outplayed in the first period by Dunaujvaros who had them down by three (4-1), but they managed to bring the deficit down to one by the halftime (4-3). Third quarter was crucial for the Spanish team who played powerful and managed to reverse the result by scoring eight goals to enter the last period with an 11-8 advantage. Dunaujvaros water polo players had no strength for a comeback, and as Sabadell scored only a goal by the end of the match. The game’s top scorer was Dunaujvaros water polo player Krisztina Garda who scored three goals.
The other Hungarian-Spanish clash ended with a narrow 10-9 win of UVSE over Mataro, the LEN Trophy holder. Meseguer scored the first goal for Mataro during the first minute of the game, but Szucs equalized to 1-1. After Marta Bach’s goal, Spanish team had +1 again, but that was their last lead during the match. Last year’s runner-up UVSE gradually gained a 7-4 advantage which they took into the break. They scored two unanswered goals in the third quarter, and there was no doub about which way the game is going to end. Although Mataro water polo squad netted five goals during the last eight minutes, the LEN Trophy holder did not manage to equalize.
The winner of 2015 Euro League, Olympiacos, played a tough match against Padova. The team from Greece had their hopes high after three successful quarters. After overcoming a 2-0 deficit and ending the first period with 3-2, Olympiacos kept their lead until the last minute of the game. However, Padova water polo players came out strong and netted five goals in the last quarter, two of which were scored by magnificent Martina Savioli during the last minute of the game. The game ended in a draw, 10-10.
LEN Women’s Euro League quarter-finals, Results:
February 24, 2017
Kinef KIRISHI (RUS) – Ugra KHANTY MANSIYSK (RUS) 21-6 (6-2, 5-0, 6-2, 4-2)
Kinef scorers: Zubkova (3), Prokofyeva (2), Simanovich (2), Kurochkina (1), Glyzina (3), Iakusheva (2), Soboleva (4), Ivanova (2), Ryzhkova (2)
Ugra scorers: Garipova (1), Alogbo (4), Chernega (1)
February 25, 2017
DUNAUJVAROS (HUN) – CN SABADELL (ESP) 9-12 (4-1, 0-2, 4-8, 1-1)
Dunaujvaros scorers: Szilagyi (1), Gurisatti (2), Garda (3), Valyi (1), Somhegyi (1), Mchunu (1)
Sabadell scorers: Neushul (2), Ortiz (2), Tabani (1), Leiton (1), Garcia (1), Espar (2), Domenech (2), Forca (1)
UVSE BUDAPEST (HUN) – La Sirena MATARO (ESP) 10-9 (5-3, 2-1, 2-0, 1-5)
UVSE scorers: Czigany (2), Szucs (4), Keszthelyi (2), Toth (1), Csabai (1)
Mataro scorers: Dance (1), Bonamusa (2), Gibson (1), Bach (1), Meseguer (2), Lopez (2)
Plebiscito PADOVA (ITA) – Olympiacos PIRAEUS (GRE) 10-10 (2-3, 1-3, 2-3, 5-1)
Padova scorers: Barzon (1), Savioli (4), Queirolo (2), Dario (2), Galardi (1)
Olympiacos scorers: Plevritou (2), Manolioudaki (1), Emmolo (1), Plevritou (2), Bianconi (3), Smit (1)
February 25, 2017
Ugra KHANTY MANSIYSK (RUS) – Kinef KIRISHI (RUS) 9-13 (3-3, 0-2, 2-4, 4-4)
Ugra scorers: Isakova (1), Nizheboicheko (1), Perfileva (1), Timofeeva (1), Kovina (1), Alegbo (1), Lisunova (3)
Kinef scorers: Zubkova (2), Prokofyeva (3), Simanovich (1), Kurochkina (1), Glyzina (2), Soboleva (3), Ivanova (1)
March 11, 2017
La Sirena MATARO (ESP) – UVSE BUDAPEST (HUN)
Olympiacos PIRAEUS (GRE) – Plebiscito PADOVA (ITA)
CN SABADELL (ESP) – DUNAUJVAROS (HUN)