For the first time in water polo history, a French club clinched a European trophy as Marseille managed to hold on for a draw in the return match of the Euro Cup final in Montenegro (7:7), saving its 1-goal advantage from the first leg (9:8).
A capacity crowd awaited the teams in Niksic (a storm devastated the pool in Herceg Novi a couple of weeks ago), where the local fans wanted to see Jadran’s first victory on the European stage. The hosts were on fire, took the lead twice but the French, winning the first leg 9:8, could find the answers so it stood 2-2 after eight minutes.
The Montenegrins could go ahead in aggregate at 5:3 in the second, but Igor Kovacevic pulled one back with 0:01 before the break (5:4). And from the third period, something special began, the Milos Scepanovic Show: Marseille’s goalie – apparently from Montenegro – delivered brilliant stops in succession (he finished the match with 12 saves). He shut out his compatriots in the entire quarter while Croatian national Ante Vukicevic put away an extra for 5:5.
Jadran needed 11:50 minutes to score again, and at 6:5 they had two more possessions but tried in vain. Instead, Michal Idzinsky equalized with 3:22 to go, then Kovacevic stunned the hosts with another action goal. At 6:7 (1:45 from the end), the Montenegrins were in trouble and even though they could go even 17 seconds later, they couldn’t set up another scoring opportunity in the remaining 98 seconds. (LEN Press Release)
LEN Euro Cup, final, 2nd leg
Jadran HN 7:7 Marseille
(2:2, 3:2, 0:1, 2:2)
Jadran Carine Herceg Novi: Gardasevic 2, Dj. Radovic 2, Popadic, Obradovic, Averka.
CN Marseille: Kovacevic 2, Camarasa 2, Djurdjic , Izdinsky, Vukicevic
First match: 8:9