Encounters between clubs which have 14 titles of the European champions in total were the highlights of the LEN Champions League 11th round. Eight-times winner Pro Recco hosted title-holder Szolnok, while Jug (4 titles) visited Barcelona to face Barceloneta. Both visiting teams were sent home empty-handed.
The big game of the day in Group A was an encounter in Barcelona, where the 2014 champion Barceloneta hosted Jug (2016 winner and 2017 runner-up). The home team took a flying start and grabbed a 3:0 lead very quickly (in the 4th minute). Jug responded with four goals in a row and went 4:3 up in the middle of the second period. In the next attack, Josip Vrlic, who came to Barceloneta from Jug this summer, converted a man-up to equalise. There were no goals anymore until halftime.
Jug had a nice chance to go in front early in the third period, but Barceloneta’s goalkeeper Daniel Lopez Pineido saved a penalty shot from Loren Fatovic. This action gave fresh blood to the home team, which continued the series of goals and jumped to an 8:4 lead (28th minute). The Spaniards shut out Jug for 17 minutes and 17 seconds! The Croats netted twice in the finish of the game, but it was too late (8:6). Barceloneta achieved maybe a crucial win in the F8 race and kept the 2nd place with 4 points ahead of third-placed Brescia.
CNA BARCELONETA VS Jug DUBROVNIK 8-6 #lenchampionsleague #waterpolo
Posted by LEN on Saturday, March 31, 2018
Brescia climbed in the 3rd place, thanks to a solid win over OSC Budapest in the match played in Brescia. The Italians led throughout the encounter. A solid first half put the hosts on the right track, they built a three-goal lead by the end of the second quarter (5:2). The visiting team managed to reduce the gap, it was 4:6 down in the 26th minute, but Brescia soon netted two fast goals for an 8:4 victory.
Dynamo Moscow took a new step towards the Final Eight, as well as Brescia. The Russian team defeated Hannover as a guest. Hannover was able to keep up for the first 12 minutes. It was 4:4 in the 12th minute. Dynamo players showed their strength in the following minutes. They scored five straight goals in a span of 6 minutes and earned a safe 9:5 lead. Hannover came close when it was too late (11:13 in the 31st minute). Dynamo won 14:11. The Russians caught Jug in points, they are equalled in the 4th place. Their clash in the last round in Dubrovnik may be decisive for the outcome of the battle for spots at the Final Eight.
The group leader Olympiacos collected three points in Belgrade, but Partizan didn’t give the points for free. The young home side played very well in defence, but it couldn’t find good solutions in front of Olympiacos’s goal, so the Greeks were 3:0 up at halftime. The visitors maintained the advantage until the final buzzer (7:4) and mathematically secured F8 berth.
Pro Recco took a revenge for the defeat in Szolnok in December when the Hungarians celebrated a 10:9 after a thrilling finish. Today’s game, played in the Stioba Pool in Genova, the venue of the Final Eight tournament in June, offered less excitements, but the rivals fought a big battle. Pro Recco opened the match very nice. The Italians managed to stop one of Szolnok’s best scorers Andrija Prlainovic, a Serb who won the Champions League with Pro Recco. This was one of the keys to the success. The hosts led 5:2 in the middle of the second period.
Szolnok, led by Australian Aaron Younger (scored 4 of 5 Szolnok’s goals), came back and responded with three goals in a row to level the score (5:5, a minute from the end of the third quarter). The Hungarians kept Recco scoreless for 11:36 minutes.
But, the hosts took a control again in the last 9 minutes. They netted three straight goals till the final buzzer for an 8:5 win. With new three points, Pro Recco secured at least the 2nd place in Group B. Szolnok still must work hard to earn a spot at the Final Eight tournament.
Pro RECCO VS SZOLNOKI VSK 8-5#lenchampionsleague #waterpolo
Posted by LEN on Saturday, March 31, 2018
Video source: Len/Facebook
Spandau achieved the most convincing win of the day. The Germans didn’t have any problem in the clash with bottom-ranked AZC Alphen – 14:8. Spandau, the biggest surprise of the season, is tied with Szolnok in the third place (both teams have 19 points each).
Jadran defeated Steaua at home and stayed in the F8 race. After the loss in Herceg Novi, Steaua lost its last chance to reach the final tournament. The match offered a flood of goals. Jadran took a 4-goal lead early in the second period (6:2) and cruised to a victory, despite it didn’t play so well in defence (16:10).
Eger secured F8 ticket
Eger demolished Sabadell in the last game of the round, that was played on Sunday. Led by Serb Strahinja Rasovic (5 goals) and Norbert Hosnyanszsky (4), the Hungarians rushed to a 15:7 win and secured their fourth straight appearance at the final tournament.
2017/18 Champions League, 11th round
Barceloneta 8:6 Jug
(3:2, 1:2, 2:0, 2:2)
Barceloneta: Famera, Granados, Vrlic, Fernandez, Tahull, Perrone, Mallarach, Bustos.
Jug: Benic 2, Fatovic 2, V. Rasovic, Iodice.
Partizan 4:7 Olympiacos
(0:2, 0:1, 1:1, 3:3)
Partizan: M. Jankovic, Manojlovic, Radanovic, Aksentijevic.
Olympiacos: Dervisis 3, Mourikis 2, Mylonakis, Nikolaidis.
Hannover 11:15 Dynamo
(2:2, 2:5, 3:3, 4:5)
Waspo Hannover: Da. Brguljan 5, A. Radovic 2, Bukowski, Jokic, Sekulic, Estrany.
Dynamo Moscow: Pijetlovic 3, Bychov 3, Kholod 3, Subotic 2, Koptsev, Latypov, Nagaev, Radjen.
Brescia 9:5 OSC
(2:1, 3:1, 1:1, 3:2)
Brescia: N. Presciutti 3, Bertoli, Janovic, Vukcevic, C. Presciutti, Guidi, Rizzo.
OSC Budapest: Kovacs 3, Gor-Nagy, Burian.
1.Olympiacos (Greece) 11 – 28
2.Barceloneta (Spain) 11 – 24
3.Brescia (Italy) 11 – 20
4.Dynamo (Russia) 11 – 19
4.Jug (Croatia) 11 – 19
6.Hannover (Germany) 11 – 9
7.OSC Budapest (Hungary) 11 – 7
8.Partizan (Serbia) 11 – 0
Spandau 14:8 AZC Alphen
(4:1, 5:3, 2:2, 3:2)
Spandau 04: Pjesivac 4, Dedovic 3, Stamm 2, Negrean 2, Gielen, Juengling, Restovic.
AZC Alphen: Indjic 3, Coric 3, Mandolini 2.
Pro Recco 8:5 Szolnok
(3:2, 2:1, 1:2, 2:0)
Pro Recco: Mandic 2, Ivovic 2, Echenique, Figari, F. Filipovic, Gitto.
Szolnok: Younger 4, Aleksic.
Jadran HN 16:10 Steaua
(4:2, 6:4, 3:2, 3:2)
Jadran Herceg Novi: Spaic 5, M. Petkovic 2, Dj.Radovic 2, Banicevic 2, Merkulov 2, Krijestorac, Gardasevic, Draskovic.
Steaua: Murisic 4, Delgado 3, Gheorghe 2, Buljubasic.
Sabadell 7:15 Eger
(2:3, 3:4, 2:5, 0:3)
Sabadell:Carillo Gemar 3, S. Cabanas Pegado 2, Matoso Alguacil, Gallego Vela.
Eger: S. Rasovic 5, Hosnyanszsky 4, Angyal, Lorincz, Kovacs, Vlachopoulos, Bedo, Harai.
1.Pro Recco (Italy) 11 – 30
2.Eger (Hungary) 11 – 25
3.Spandau (Germany) 11 – 21
3.Szolnok (Hungary) 11 – 21
5.Jadran (Montenegro) 11 – 16
6.Steaua (Romania) 11 – 12
7.Sabadell (Spain) 11 – 6
8.AZC Alphen (Netherlands) 11 – 0