Champions League

Sport Management upsets favorite again, title-holder loses points

Filip FIlipovic (Recco) was the top scorer in Italian derby Photo: Blagoje Mitrasinovic

Two big games were played in Italy on Day 2 of the 2018/19 Champions League. Brescia faced Pro Recco in all-Italian battle in Group A, while newcomer Sport Management hosted 2017 champion Szolnok. Pro Recco continued its winning streak in the matches against Brescia which has lasted since May 2017. Sport Management downed Szolnok. A big battle was seen in an encounter between Hannover and Olympiacos which ended with no winner, while favorites collected points in other matches.

Group A

The clash of the best two Italian clubs Brescia and Pro Recco was played in Brescia. Only 72 seconds passed when Mladjan Janovic netted for 1:0. But, Pro Recco turned around a small deficit to a nice 4:1 lead by the 11th minute. The visitors, boosted by Filip Filipovic (3 goals) were increasing their advantage step-by-step. In the third period, they had a 4-goal lead (7:3). Brescia started climbing back and reduced the gap to 1 (8:9) in the middle of the fourth quarter. There were no goals until the end. Brescia had a man-up situation in the last attack, but Pro Recco defended its net and celebrated an important win.

Ferencvaros recorded its 22nd win on the European stage in a row (including 2017/18 Euro Cup and 2018/19 Champions League Qualifications). The Hungarians defeated Steaua in Bucharest. The hosts led 3:1 after the first period. Ferencvaros ruled the field in the second and the fourth quarter, it netted four unanswered goals and had a two-goal advantage (5:3) before the last eight minutes. Steaua came close early in the fourth quarter (4:5). Ferencvaros’s captain Denes Varga scored his 4th goal in the match in the 30th minute, for a safe 8:5 lead. The visitors won 9:6.

The other Hungarian club in Group A, Eger also needed a lot of time to break its rival. Eger hosted Dynamo Moscow. The home side, led by Strahinja Rasovic (4 goals this evening) controlled the match in the first half, but at halftime, the rivals were tied (7:7). In the third quarter, Dynamo went in front and it had a 9:8 lead in the 21st minute. The hosts replied with three consecutive goals and earned an 11:9 advantage in their first possession in the 4th quarter. Eger maintained a 2-goal lead until the end (12:10).

2013 European champion Red Star (Crvena Zvezda) and Barceloneta, the 2014 Champions League winner, met in Belgrade. This season, Red Star is far away from the European top, as well as all other Serbian clubs are, so there were no excitements. Barceloneta did a clean job beating the hosts 14:3.

Group B

After beating Olympiacos, on Day 1, Sport Management was able to produce a new surprise. The newcomer upset 2017 champion Szolnok this evening. The Hungarians had a strong start and they led 2:0 in the third minute. Sport Management responded with three goals in a row for a 3:2 lead after the 1st period. At halftime, it was 4:3 for home side. Milan Aleksic netted two goals in the first two minutes of the 3rd period and Szolnok was ahead again (5:4). But, the hosts shut up the Hungarians until the end, while they scored three goals for a 7:5 win.

Title-holder Olympiacos and Hannover, a technical host of the Final Eight, shared the points in an exciting battle. Olympiacos, the visiting side in this match, was 3:1 up early in the 2nd quarter. The hosts replied with a fantastic 6:1 run in a span of less than 8 minutes to take a 7:4 lead. Than came Olympiacos again. The Greeks produced a 5:1 rush and went 9:8 up (03:48 minutes from the end). An Italian Alex Giorgetti secured a point for Hannover in the last minute (9:9). This was the 2nd point for the German side after an 11:11 draw in the match against Mladost in Zagreb, while Olympiacos recorded its first point this season, after a loss to Sport Management.

The Croatian derby Jadran Split – Jug Dubrovnik was played in Dubrovnik, despite Jadran was a technical host. But, the pool in Split has been closed since June due to a $12,8 million renovation.

Jug secured a convincing win in the second half of the game. In the 18th minute, Jadran trailed 4:6. Jug produced a 7:2 rush in the remaining time for a 13:6 victory. The best scorer was a young Russian Danil Merkulov, who joined Jug a few months ago. He netted all four Jug’s goals in the 1st quarter (4:2), but Jadran’s defense managed to stop him in the following three periods.

An encounter between two former European champions was played not only in Belgrade but in Zagreb too. Mladost hosted Spandau 04. The home side controlled everything from the beginning. The Croats earned a three-goal lead (4:1) after only 9 minutes of play. By the 25th minute, Mladost increased its advantage to 9:4 and it was clear that there was no way back for Spandau, despite the visitors scored three unanswered goals in the remaining time (9:7).

2018/19 Champions League, Day 2

Group A

Brescia 8:9 Pro Recco
(1:2, 2:4, 2:2, 3:1)

AN Brescia: C. Presciutti 2, Figlioli 2, Guerrato, Muslim, Janovic, Vukcevic.
Pro Recco: Filipovic 3, Aicardi 2, Di Fulvio, Kayes, Velotto, Ivovic.

Steaua 6:9 Ferencvaros
(3:1, 0:1, 0:3, 3:4)

Steaua Bucharest: Marinic – Kragic, Chioveanu, Prioteasa, Kapotsis, Szabo, Ghiban.
Ferencvaros Telekom Budapest: Varga 4, Kallay, Vamos, Jaksic, Younger, S. Mitrovic.

Crvena Zvezda 3:14 Barceloneta
(1:3, 1:2, 0:5, 1:4)

Crvena Zvezda: Maksimovic 2, M. Radovic.
CNA Barceloneta: Mallarach 3, Tahull 3, Perrone 2, Famera 2, Vrlic 2, Munnarriz, Larumbe.

Eger 12:10 Dynamo
(4:4, 3:3, 3:2, 2:1)

ZF Eger: S. Rasovic 4, Hosnyanszky 3, Decker 2, Vlachopoulos 2, Gyarfas.

Dynamo Moscow: Nagaev 3, Kholod 3, Lazarv, Subotic, Radjen, Shepelev.

1. Barceloneta (ESP) 2 – 6
2. Pro Recco (ITA) 2 – 6
3. Ferencvaros (HUN) 2 – 6
4. Brescia (ITA) 2 – 3
5. Eger (HUN) 2 – 3
6. Steaua (ROM) 2 – 0
7. Dynamo (RUS) 2 – 0
8. Crvena Zvezda (SRB) 2 – 0

Group B

Sport Management 7:5 Szolnok
(3:2, 1:1, 2:2, 1:0)

BPM Sport Management: Luongo 2, Damonte, Alesiani, Fondelli, Drasovic, Mirarchi.
Szolnoki VSK: Aleksic 2, Angyal, Zalnaki, Jansik.

Jadran S 6:13 Jug
(2:4, 1:2, 3:4, 0:3)

Jadran Split: Viskovic 2, Zovic, Delic, Power, Milradovic.
Jug Dubrovnik: Merkulov 4, Jokovic 2, Garcia Gadea, Lozina, Krzic, Benic, Papanastasiou.

Hannover 9:9 Olympiacos
(1:2, 4:2, 2:1, 2:4)

Waspo Hannover: Da. Brguljan 3, Giorgetti 2, A. Radovic 2, Real, Bukowski.
Olympiacos Pireaus: Gounas 2, Buslje 2, Mylonakis, Genidounias, Dervisis, Mourikis, Obradovic.

Mladost 9:7 Spandau 04
(3:1, 2:2, 3:1, 1:3)

HAVK Mladost: Radu 2, Milos 2, Buljubasic 2, Cagalj, A. Petkovic, Kharkov.
Spandau 04: Stamm 3, Dedovic 2, Gielen, Ma. Cuk.

1. Jug (CRO) 2 – 6
2. Sport Management (ITA) 2 – 6
3. Mladost (CRO) 2 – 6
4. Szolnok (HUN) 2 – 3
5. Hannover (GER) 2 – 2
6. Olympiacos (GRE) 2- 1
7. Spandau 04 (GER) 2 – 0
8. Jadran Split (CRO) 2 – 0

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