Champions League, Prelims, Day 3 – Summary
Recco rushes ahead, three seem too strong in Group B
Recco has already gained a 5-point advantage in Group A, where the race behind the Italian giant cannot be any fiercer. In the meantime Group B seems to be divided: Szolnok (HUN) and the two Croatian sides look definitely stronger than the other three teams.
Day 3 saw extraordinary matches in Group A. While Recco (ITA) rushed ahead by downing Olympiacos (GRE) amidst a scoring festival, the other favourites, title-holder Barceloneta (ESP) and last season Final Six-participant Brescia (ITA) found themselves at the bottom places in the classification after shocking losses.
In the re-match of last year final Radnicki (SRB) – much weaker than in May – humiliated Barceloneta in the second half (6-1 was the partial score) and the Spaniards, winless after the first three rounds, will need something extra to regroup themselves and clinch a qualifying berth on their own right (otherwise they enjoy a guaranteed spot as the host of the Final Six).
Eger caused the biggest upset of the day by crushing Brescia in Italy. The last time the Hungarians managed to win an away game in the prelims dates back to 2013 February – now they did it again with an amazing performance in defence. They shut out Brescia for 16:35 minutes while their Serbian goalie Branislav Mitrovic came up with an unbelievable series of saves.
Recco tied the single-game scoring record of the season – set by Szolnok on Day 2 against Spandau – as they netted 17 goals against Olympiacos in an action-packed encounter. Thus Recco gained a five-point lead while the hunt behind the Italians are really tight with five teams holding equal chances.
Group B promises less excitement, the three favourite sides, all playing at home, demonstrated their strengths as they all earned huge wins. The two Croatian teams, Rijeka and Jug produced identical score-lines, both won 11-5, while Szolnok outpowered the young Partizan side in a spectacular match. In case the Serbs manage to earn their first points in the postponed match against Galatasaray on Saturday, they might get closer to the top three, though the ‘big boys’ seem definitely stronger this season.
Champions League, Preliminaries, Day 3
Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) vs. Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) 12-7
AN Brescia (ITA) vs. ZF Eger (HUN) 3-7
Pro Recco (ITA) vs. Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 17-12
1. Recco 9, 2. Olympiacos 4, 3. Eger 4, 4. Radnicki 3, 5. Brescia 2, 6. Barceloneta 2.
Primorje Erste Banka Rijeka (CRO) vs. Spandau 04 Berlin 11-5
Jug Croatia Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) vs. Galatasaray Istanbul (TUR) 11-5
Szolnoki Dózsa-Közgép (HUN) vs. Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade (SRB) 12-7
1. Szolnok 9, 2. Jug 9, 3. Primorje 6, 4. Partizan 0 (2 games), 5. Galatasaray 0 (2), 6. Spandau 0
For match reports, detailed stats, post-game quotes visit the Champions League dedicated website through www.len.eu