The end of the Women’s Euro League is coming near. The first leg of the quarterfinals was staged this weekend. Sabadell (Spain) and Orizzonte (Italy) achieved valuable wins and can already start preparations for the Final Four, while two games ended in a draw.
The match of the day didn’t disappoint water polo fans, there were a lot of excitements in the replay of 2017 Euro League final. Title-holder Kinef Kirishi (Russia) faced Olympiacos (Greece). Ten months ago, Kinef beat the Greeks (7:6), but this time the Russians weren’t happy after the final buzzer. The encounter was played in Kirishi. Kinef led 4:2 in the 13th minute, but Olympiacos levelled the score by halftime (4:4). The Greeks earned a two-goal lead three seconds before the last break (9:7). Everything turned around in the fourth period. Kinef scored three consecutive goals for a 10:9 lead. Just like in the second quarter, the Russians weren’t able to keep the advantage. Alexandra Asimaki netted her 5th goal of the match for the final score (10:10).
Sabadell dominated the Spanish derby. Four-time Euro League winner demolished Mataro. The two sides fought a big battle only in the first quarter. After the first eight minutes, Sabadell water polo players led 3:2. In the remaining time, they played fantastic in defence, boosted by a goalkeeper Laura Ester Ramos, the best female water polo player of 2017 in LEN’s choice. Mataro, 2016 LEN Euro Cup winner, didn’t hit the target for almost 19 minutes. Sabadell netted seven goals in a row and rushed to a 10:2 lead early in the fourth period. There was no way back for Mataro. Sabadell recorded a big win (12:3).
Two quarterfinal duels are Hungarian vs. Italian battles. The Hungarians were hosts in the first leg, but the Italians should be happy with outcomes.
Orizzonte, that has won eight titles in the Euro League, almost secured a spot at the Final Four, as well as Sabadell. The Italians achieved a win over Dunajvaros. The match offered a lot of twists and turns. Dunajvaros led 2:0, but Orizzonte was 5:4 up in the middle of the second period. Then came Dunajvaros, with three unanswered goals in a span of two minutes for an 8:5 lead. Orizzonte ruled the field in the second half and celebrated a win (13:10).
UVSE, the champion of Hungary and Plebiscito Padova clashed in the rematch of last season’s LEN Trophy final when UVSE clinched the trophy (8:7). This time, the Hungarians were very close to a new win. UVSE led for most of the time. The home team was 7:5 up in the fourth period, but the Italians secured a draw (7:7).
EURO LEAGUE, QUARTERFINALS, 1st LEG
Kinef Kirishi 10:10 Olympiacos
(2:0, 2:4, 3:5, 3:1)
Kinef Kirishi (RUS): Diachenko 3, Prokofyeva 2, Ryzhkova 2, Ivanova, Krimer, Simanovich.
Olympiacos Pireaus (GRE): Asimaki 5, Eggens 2, Plevritou, Emmolo, Tsoukala.
UVSE 7:7 Plebiscito Padova
(1:1, 3:2, 2:2, 1:2)
UVSE Budapest (HUN): Keszthelyi 2, Steffens 2, Sevenich, Csabai, Takacs.
Plebiscito Padova (ITA): Millo 4, Barzon 2, Queirolo.
Sabadell 12:3 La Sirena Mataro
(3:2, 5:0, 1:0, 3:1)
Sabadell (ESP):Ortiz Munoz 4, Garcia Godoy 4, Farre Colomina, Forca Ariza, Ortiz Reyes, Leiton Arrones.
La Sirena Mataro (ESP): Bach Pascual , LLoret Gomez.
Dunajvaros 10:13 Ekipe Orizzonte
(2:3, 6:2, 1:4, 1:4)
Dunajvaros (HUN): Szilagy 4m Gurisatti 3, Mchunu 2, Garda,
Orizzonte (ITA): Bianconi 4, Aiello 3, Ionnou, Palmieri, Van der Sloot, Riccioli.
Second leg: 16/17 March