Champions League, Prelims, Day 2 – Summary
Merry Christmas for Recco, Szolnok and Jug
Only three teams managed to win their first two matches respectively which shows how balanced this season Champions League is. Recco (ITA) and Szolnok (HUN) achieved huge victories while Jug (CRO) won a thriller in Belgrade. Title-holder Barceloneta (ESP) has two ties after Day 2.
Pro Recco (ITA) remained the only side with two wins after Day 2 and what makes the Italians’ feat even more valuable that they managed to achieve these wide-margin victories away. After they beat Radnicki (SRB) 12-5 in Kragujevac, they upended Eger in Hungary 12-4. Their devastating start – a 5-0 rush in the first period – virtually decided the outcome. The hosts could never recover from that shock while Recco showed some superb plays in front.
Olympiacos (GRE) kept the entire game under firm control against Radnicki: after scoring from the first two attacks the Greeks managed to maintain a safe distance from the visitors and finished them off with a 3-0 last quarter for a 13-7 win.
The Thursday clash between Barceloneta (ESP) and Brescia (ITA) ended in a tie. A well-known result for these sides as they both had a draw on the opening day, too. It was a game of twists and turns, Brescia led 0-2, Barceloneta was 5-2 up early in the third, the Italians bounced back for 5-5 and managed to stay on equal terms in the fourth period. Tensions ran high in the finishing quarter with plenty of exclusions, two fouls enough for a red card (one apiece), still, the sides had to settle for another draw (7-7).
Szolnok (HUN) played ruthlessly in Berlin and didn’t let Spandau enter the game. The Hungarians showed their enormous attacking potential, netting 17 goals for a scoring record so far, with Marton Toth hitting 5, an individual high in this round while Denes Varga stopped at 4.
Primorje (CRO) made no mistake in Istanbul: though Galatasaray (TUR) held tight for three quarters, but in the fourth their key-players started to tire, and the Croats jumped from 3-5 to 3-10.
As expected, Belgrade witnessed the biggest clash of the day between Partizan (SRB) and Jug (CRO). It was an enormous battle, scoring a goal had a real special value. What the Croats produced in defense admittedly amazed even Partizan’s head coach, Vlado Vujasinovic, especially when Jug withstood the pressure late in the third and early in the fourth period during a 4-minute exclusion. The quality of their defending efforts well can be described by a couple of stats: they shut out Partizan in three periods (1., 2., 4.), conceded only three goals, two of them came from penalties, and let only one player (Dusan Mandic) net goals. This gave Jug another hard-fought win: after they beat Spandau 8-9 in November, now they gained a 3-5 triumph (again away) which put them in a really fine position before action resumes in 2015.
Champions League, Prelims, Day 2
Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) vs. Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) 13-7
ZF-Eger (HUN) vs. Pro Recco (ITA) 4-12
Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) vs. AN Brescia 7-7
1. Recco 6, 2. Olympiacos 4, 3. Brescia 2, 4. Barceloneta 2, 5. Eger 1, 6. Radnicki 0
Spandau 04 (GER) vs. Szolnoki Dózsa-Közgép (HUN) 7-17
Galatasaray Istanbul vs. Primorje Erste Banka Rijeka (CRO) 4-10
Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade (SRB) vs. Jug Croatia Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 3-5
1. Szolnok 6, 2. Jug 6, 3. Primorje 3, 4. Partizan 0 (1 game), 5. Galatasaray 0 (1), 6. Spandau 0
The next round is scheduled for 14 January 2015
For match reports, detailed stats, post-game quotes visit the Champions League dedicated website through www.len.eu