Champions League

Szolnok goes to semifinals, Eger reaches Final Six

denes varga szolnok water polo player holding the ball
Denes Varga (Photo: Szolnok vizilabda facebook)

Two big derbies highlighted the 9th round of the Champions League. Szolnok beat Olympiacos in Athens and secured the top spot in Group A and a semi-final berth. The water polo players of Pro Recco extended their winning streak, by defeating Jug in Genova.

Eger earned important three points in the match against Partizan and secured their place at the Final Six (Budapest, 25th-27th May). Eger joined Szolnok, Olympiacos, Pro Recco and Jug. The hunt for the third place in Group A will be decided in the 10th round. Chances to get the sixth ticket for F6 have OSC and Brescia.

Only 10 goals in Athens

The derby in Athens, Olympiacos – Szolnok brought a tough defensive game, with only 10 goals. Two experienced goalkeepers Josip Pavic (Olympiacos) and Viktor Nagy (Szolnok) did an excellent job.

After only one goal in the opening quarter, Szolnok earned a two-goal lead in the 13th minute. Olympiacos their first goal scored in the middle of the second quarter when Fountoulis netted for 1-2. The Greeks managed to equalize just once (3-3), in the second minute of the third quarter, but before the last period, Szolnok had a new two goals lead. Two seconds by the end of the third quarter Tamas Mezei scored from an extra for 3-5.  The last hope for the hosts was woken, when Fountulis scored the penalty shot and Olympiacos came close once more (4:5), with 2:50 remaining on the clock. Szolnok earned a penalty a minute before the end. Denes Varga took the ball and sent it behind Pavic’s back for the 6-4 win and Szolnok’s direct qualification to the semifinals. The players of Olympiacos suffered their first defeat in all competitions this season.

Szolnok had three points more than Olympiacos, but the Hungarians are safe in the 1st place because the first match against Olympiacos in Szolnok ended in a 5-5 draw.

OSC didn’t have an easy job at home against Nice. The Hungarians led from the start of the game, but the guests were very close throughout the match. Two minutes by the end, OSC for the first time took a three-goal lead (10-7), thanks to Bence Batori, who scored his fourth of the game. OSC won 11-9.

Brescia defeated Spandau 04 in Berlin. The finish of the third quarter decided everything. At the halftime, Brescia had a slim lead (7-6). Two minutes before the end of the third period the game was tied (10-10). Till the last break, in a span of 2 minutes, Brescia netted four goals (14-10) and there was no way back for the Spandau.  After 13 goals in the third quarter (7-4 for Brescia), the last period ended 0-0.

Brescia is still two points ahead of OSC.  In the last round, the Italians will host Olympiacos and OSC will travel to Szolnok.

Pro Recco with no mercy

Pro Recco reached the semifinal two weeks ago, so for the Italians, the derby against the titleholder Jug didn’t have a big importance. But, they didn’t disappoint their supporters. Jug led only in the first period (1-0 and 2-1). In the second quarter, Pro Recco for the first time in the evening went in front (3-2). The champions of Italy were improving their lead step-by-step. At the end, they celebrated the 9-5 victory.

Eger needed a lot of time to break Partizan. The young players from Belgrade led 1-0 at the end of the first quarter, and they kept a one-goal lead until the halftime (3-2). In the second half, the hosts controlled the match. Partizan their last goal scored 2:43 by the end of the third quarter (4-4). After that Eger scored four goals in a row for the 8-4 victory. The Hungarians secured their place at the Final Six and they even have a chance to catch Jug in the ranks after the title-holders lose in Genova. Eger is two points behind Jug, but the Hungarians will host the Croats in the 10th round (April 26th)

2014 Barceloneta beat Hannover at home, but the Spaniards aren’t happy after this win because they cannot reach the third place. After  2-2 in the middle of the first quarter, Barceloneta netted four straight goals  in a span of 2:36 minutes.The hosts added one more goal in the second period for the 7-2 lead. The visitors came close in the last minute of the second period (8-5). In the second half, the home team jumped to 11-6, but the water polo players of Barceloneta slowed down very soon. Probably they heard the score of the match in Eger and lost a motive. Nevertheless, Hannover couldn’t turn over the score and Barcelona achieved the 12-10 win.

Champions league, Day 9

Group A

Olympiacos (Greece) – Szolnok (Hungary) 4-6 (0-1, 2-2, 1-2, 1-1)

Olympiacos: Fountoulos 2, Mylonakos, Genidounias.
Szolnok: Varga 2, Vamos, Mezei, Prlainovic, Kis.

OSC Budapest (Hungary)- Olympic Nice (France) 11-9 (3-2, 3-2, 2-2, 3-3)

OSC: Batori 4, Zalnaki 2, Nikic 2, Salamon, Seman, Gor-Nagy.
Nice: Bruyere 4, Izdinsky 2, Hansen 2, Cakic.

Spandau 04 (Germany) – AN Brescia (Italy) 10-14 (3-5, 3-2, 4-7, 0-0)

Spandau 04:Marzouki 3, Stamm 3, Cuk 2, Gielen, Hamby.
Brescia: Nora 4, Bertoli 2, Ubovic 2, Muslim 2, Manzi, Paskovic, Randjelovic, C. Presciutti.

1. Szolnok 9 – 25
2. Olympiacos 9 – 22
3. Brescia 9 – 14
4. OSC 9 – 12
5. Spandau 04 9 – 4
6. Nice 9 -0

Group B

Pro Recco (Italy)- Jug (Croatia) 9-5 (2-2, 1-0, 3-2, 3-1)

Pro Recco: Sukno 3, Ivovic 2, Molina, Echenique, Fondeli, Di FUlvio.
Jug: Loncar 2, Markovic, Perrone, Fatovic.

Eger (Hungary) – Partizan (Serbia) 8-4 (0-1, 2-2, 4-1, 2-0)

Eger: Cuckovic 2, Vapenski 2, Hosnyanszky, Lorincz, Kovacs, Erdely.
Partizan: Lazic 2, Drasovic, M. Jankovic.

Barceloneta (Spain) – Waspo Hannover (Germany) 12-10 (6-2, 2-3, 3-2, 1-3)

Barceloneta:Munarriz 3, Famera 2, S. Rasovic 2, Minguell 2, Larumbe, Roca, V. Rasovic.
Hannover: Brguljan 4, Bukowski 2, Winkelhorst 2, Ban, Tkac.
1. Pro Recco 9 – 27
2. Jug 9 – 17
3. Eger 9 – 15
4. Barceloneta 9 – 11
5. Partizan 9 – 4
6. Hannover 9 – 3


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