The new season in the Champions League has started. The Qualification Round 1 was held from Thursday to Sunday. Eleven teams took part. They were split into two groups. Four teams from each group have qualified for the second round, so three clubs have ended their European season this weekend.
Corona Sportul Studentesc (Romania) was a host of the Group A. Six team took part. Sport Management (Italy) dominated in four-day competition, which saw 15 games. The Italians won the 1st place collecting all 15 points, ahead of Pays d’Aix (France), host Corona Sportul Studentesc, Enka Sport (Turkey), Dynamo Lviv (Ukraine) and WPC Tbilisi (Georgia). The last two teams were eliminated.
The battle for the 2nd place was decided on Day 2 in an encounter between Corona Sportul Studentesc and Pays d’Aix. The French built a nice advantage in the first two quarters. They led 8:3 at halftime. Corona, which made its debut in the Champions League, took control after the 5-minute break and reduced the gap early in the 4th quarter (7:9). But, in the remaining time Pays d’Aix netted, three goals in a row for a 12:7 win.
The fourth ticket for the 2nd round was taken by Enka Sport Istanbul. The crucial match for the 4th place was played today. Enka met Dynamo Lviv. The Turks had a 7:4 lead after the third quarter. In the last eight minutes, Dynamo was coming back, step-by-step, but the Turks managed to keep the victory (9:8).
Favorites had easier tasks in Group B in Strasbourg, because only one club didn’t advance to the Qualification Round 2. Jadran Herceg Novi (Montenegro), which participated in the main stage of the Champions League in the previous two seasons, topped the group. Jadran was followed by Strasbourg (France), Terrassa (Spain), AZC Alphen (Netherlands), the wild-card holder in the previous season, and Valletta (Malta). None of the four teams which went thought didn’t have any problems with last-ranked Valletta.
As expected, Jadran’s biggest rivals were Terrassa and Strasbourg, but the Montenegrins didn’t have many difficulties in both games, they beat Terrassa 10:8 , while they defeated Strasbourg 11:5. Strasbourg took the 2nd place thanks to a 10:8 win over Terrassa.
2018/19 Champions League, Qualification Round 1
Group A (Brasov, Romania)
Enka Sport Istanbul – Pays D’Aix Natation 5:11
BPM Sport Management – WPC Tbilisi 14:3
Corona Sportul Studentesc – Dynamo Lviv 9:4
WPC Tbilisi – Dynamo Lviv 6:10
Sport Management – Pays D’Aix Natation 13:8
Corona Sportul Studentesc – Enka Sport Istanbul 10:6
BPM Sport Management – Dynamo Lviv 22:8
Enka Sport Istanbul – WPC Tbilisi 10:7
Corona Sportul Studentesc – Pays D’Aix Natation 7:12
Pays D’Aix Natation – Dynamo Lviv 15:9
Sport Management – Enka Sport 12:2
Corona Sportul St. – WPC Tbilisi 12:7
Enka Sport – Dynamo Lviv 9:8
Corona Sportul St. – Sport Management 7:11
WPC Tbilisi – Pays D’Aix Natation 4:15
1. Sport Management (Italy) 5 – 15
2. Pays d’Aix Natation (France) 5 – 12
3. Corona Sportul Studentesc (Romania) 5-9
4. Enka Sport Istanbul (Turkey) 5 – 6
5. Dynamo Lviv (Ukraine) 5 – 3
6. WP Club Tbilisi (Georgia) 5 – 0
Group B (Strasbourg, France)
Terrassa – AZC Alphen 12:9
Strasbourg – Valletta 16:5
Valletta – Jadran Herceg Novi 5:25
Strasbourg – AZC Alphen 12:6
Jadran Herceg Novi – Terrassa 10:8
AZC Alphen – Valletta 9:6
AZC Alphen – Jadran Herceg Novi 6:17
Strasbourg – Terrassa 10:8
Valletta – Terrassa 3:19
Strasbourg – Jadran HN 5:11
1. Jadran Carine Herceg Novi (Montenegro) 4 – 12
2. Team Strasbourg (France) 4 – 9
3. CN Terrassa (Spain) 4 – 6
4. AZC Alphen (Netherlands) 4 – 3
5. Valletta (Malta) 4 – 0
Qualification round 2 (28 – 30 September)
In the second qualification round, the teams ranked 1 – 4 in the groups in Brasov and Strasbourg, will join 8 teams from countries which have clubs with wild-cards: Jadran Split (Croatia), Sabadell (Spain), Potsdam (Germany), Vouliagmeni (Greece), Ferencvaros (Hungary), Brescia (Italy), CSM Digi Oradea (Romania), Sintez Kazan (Russia).
The teams will be split into four groups.
Draw for the 2nd round
Group C (Herceg Novi)
NC Vouliagmeni (Greece), Sintez Kazan (Russia), Jadran Carine (Montenegro), Corona Sportul (Romania)
Group D (Sabadell)
Astralpool Sabadell (Spain), OSC Potsdam (Germany), BPM Sport Management (Italy), CN Terrassa (Spain)
Group E (Oradea)
AN Brescia (Italy), DiGi Oradea (Romania), Team Strasbourg (France), Enka Istanbul (Turkey)
Group F (Aix le Bain)
Jadran Split (Croatia), PSQ-Ferencvaros (Hungary), Pays d’Aix (France), AZC Alphen (Netherlands)
The top two ranked sides from each group will qualify for Round 3.