The Group Stage of the 2019 LEN Champions League was completed today, by the matches of the 14th round. The last day didn’t offer a lot of important games, as all Final Eight tickets were booked after the 13th round and there weren’t a lot of open questions.
Favorites did their jobs, while the match of the day was an encounter between Olympiacos and Sport Management, played in Piraeus. Olympiacos, the reigning champion, defeated Sport Management very convincingly and climbed into the 2nd place of Group B.
Final Eight (Hannover, June 6 – 8), schedule
Pro Recco – Hannover (Match A)
Barceloneta – Sport Management (Match B)
Olympiacos – Brescia (Match C)
Jug – Ferencvaros (Match D)
Semifinals 5 – 8
Losers of matches A and C
Losers of matches B and D
Semifinals 1 – 4
Winners of matches A and C
Winners of matches B and D
Final and other matches for the final ranking.
Pro Recco completed the competition with a perfect record – 14/14. Today, the Italian giant played against bottom-placed Crvena Zvezda (Red Star). The match was played in Florence, as a part of Recco’s promotional tour. Pro Recco trashed Red Star – 21:6, and improved its own record of the biggest winning margin in the Champions League this season. The biggest margin before this match was Recco’s victory over Red Star in Belgrade in the 1st round (17:4).
Barceloneta kept the 2nd place by beating Eger in Hungary. Early in the third period, Barceloneta had an 8-goal advantage (10:2). The Spaniards let the hosts reduce the gap in the remaining time. Barceloneta took the points with a 16:10 win.
Brescia, which ended the League in the 3rd place in the group, didn’t have a hard exam today. The Italians played with Steaua at home and achieved a 13:9 victory.
4th-placed Ferencvaros traveled to Moscow to face off Dynamo. This match wasn’t important for the LEN Super Cup winners, because Ferencvaros couldn’t move from the 4th place. Dynamo opened the game well. The Russians were 4:2 up in the 11th minute. Ferencvaros responded strongly. The Hungarians jumped to a 9:5 lead in the middle of the third quarter and this 7:1 rush decided the outcome (Ferencvaros won 13:10).
Title-holder Olympiacos had a slow start in this season’s Champions League. The Greeks posted just three wins in the first half of the competition (7 rounds), but they were playing better and better in the second half of the League and exploded in the last round.
Today, Olympiacos needed a win against Sport Management to clinch the second place. In the first round, played in October, Sport Management and Olympiacos shared the points (7:7). Today, these two teams were in a neck-and-neck race, but just in the first two periods of the match in Piraeus. The Greeks and the Italians were tied at halftime (4:4). After the 5-minute break, Olympiacos dominated. The hosts scored seven unanswered goals and jumped to an 11:4 lead two and a half minutes before the end. In the 32nd minute, the visitors scored their only goal in the second half for the final score – 11:5.
Jug beat Spandau 04 and confirmed the 1st place. The Croats opened the match with a 4:0 lead. Spandau couldn’t come back afterward (14:9)
Waspo Hannover, the host of the Final Eight, defeated Regional League winner Mladost Zagreb, by five goals (14:9). That was Hannover’s best performance this year. Mladost, which played without a few important players, kept up with the hosts for a while. The Germans had just a goal-advantage at halftime (4:3). In the second half, Hannover, led by a Montenegrin Aleksandar Radovic (5 goals) controlled everything in the pool.
Szolnok, the 2017 Champions League winner, ended the season with a loss. The Hungarians were defeated by Jadran in Split. Szolnok’s Andrija Prlainovic was outstanding (6 goals), but he was lonely in his team, Jadran recorded a 15:10 win.
2018/19 Champions League, Day 14
Pro Recco 21:6 Crvena Zvezda
(5:1, 3:3, 7:2, 6:0)
Pro Recco: Kayes 5, Ivovic 4, Filipovic 3, Mandic 3, Di Fulvio 2, Molina, Velotto, Dobud, Figari.
Crvena Zvezda: Maksimovic 3, Sulc 2, Perkovic.
Eger 10:16 Barceloneta
(2:6, 0:3, 3:3, 5:4)
ZF Eger: S. Rasovic 4, Santa 2, Vlachopoulos 2, Avramovic, Gyarfas.
CNA Barceloneta: Munarriz 6, Vrlic 4, Granadis 2, Prieto, Fernandez, Tahull, Perrone.
Brescia 13:9 Steaua
(4:3, 5:2, 2:0, 2:4)
AN Brescia: Gallo 3, Muslim 2, Janovic 2, Figlioli 2, C. Presciutti, Rizzo, Nora, Bertoli.
Steaua Bucharest: Marinic Kragic 4, Antipa 2, Gheorghe, Prioteasa, Cuckovic.
Dynamo 11:13 Ferencvaros
(3:1, 2:6, 2:3, 4:3)
Dynamo Moscow: Kholod 3, Lazarev 3, Nagaev 2, Pijetlovic, Bychkov, Subotic.
Ferencvaros Telekom Budapest: Varga 4, Younger 3, Jaksic 2, Mitrovic 2, Sedlmayer, Kallay.
1 Pro Recco (ITA) 14 – 42
2 CNA Barceloneta (ESP) 14 – 31
3 AN Brescia (ITA) 14 – 29
4 Ferencvaros Telekom Budapest (HUN) 14 – 25
5 Dynamo Moscow (RUS) 14 – 18
6 ZF Eger (HUN) 14 – 15
7 Steaua Bucharest (ROM) 14 – 6
8 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) 14 – 0
Olympiacos 11:5 Sport Management
(2:1, 2:3, 2:0, 5:1)
Olympiacos: Fountoulis 4, Gounas 2, Skoumpakis, Genidounias, Kakaris, Mourikis, Argyropoulos.
Sport Management: Alesiani, Fondelli, Drasovic, Mirarchi, Luongo.
Jug 14:9 Spandau
(4:1, 2:3, 4:2, 4:3)
Jug Dubrovnik: Macan 2, Fatovic 2, Merkulov 2, Tomasovic 2, Loncar, Jokovic, Garcia, Lozina, Culina, Benic.
Spandau 04: Stamm 3, Ma. Cuk 2, Dedovic, Restovic, Gielen, Negrean.
Jadran S 15:10 Szolnok
(3:2, 5:3, 4:3, 3:2)
Jadran Split: Power 3, Zovic 3, Krapic 2, Butic 2, Setka 2, Pejkovic, Popovic, Viskovic.
Szolnok Dosza: Prlainovic 6, Zalnaki 2, Angyal, Jansik.
Hannover 14:9 Mladost
(3:1, 1:2, 5:1, 5:5)
Waspo Hannover: Radovic 5, Da. Brguljan 2, Sekulic 2, Giorgetti 2, Jokic, Preuss, Winkelhorst,
HAVK Mladost Zagreb: Radu 4, Cagalj, Herceg, A. Petkovic, Bajic, Biljaka.
1 Jug Dubrovnik (CRO) 14 – 32
2 Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 14 – 30
3 BPM Sport Management (ITA) 14 – 27
4 Szolnok Dosza (HUN) 14 – 22
5 Jadran Split (CRO) 14 – 18
6 Waspo Hannover (GER) 14 – 12
7 HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO) 14 – 11
8 Spandau 04 (GER) 14 – 7