Italy celebrates: two trophies in one day
As Saturday commenced, Italy could get ready for a rare occasion: the two European finals held on this day featured four Italians sides altogether. By late evening, the players of Posillipo Napoli lifted the men’s Euro Cup while Mediterranea Imperia won the LEN Trophy.
The fans of Posillipo had to wait ten long years to watch their team winning a European trophy again. The second leg of the Euro Cup final wasn’t less exciting than the one in 2005, in the Champions League when Posillipo won in extra-time.
Now a single goal separated Acquachiara and Posillipo, favouring the so-called visiting team, since both teams represented Naples. The first game ended in a 6-6 tie, but Acquachiara didn’t start with a definite advantage in the second. In fact, it was Posillipo which ruled the match for most of the time, having built a three-goal lead by the beginning of the fourth period. Still, the finish was nerve-wrecking as Acquachiara climbed back to 10-11 and had a chance to equalise but Posillipo withstood the pressure and added a first Euro Cup title to their magnificent collection.
In the women’s LEN Trophy host Imperia took an Padova in the all-Italian final, after both managed to beat their respective opponents in the semis. It was a really tight tournament, three of the four games were decided by a single goal. In the semis, Padova upset Vouliagmeni (GRE) 9-8, Imperia beat Szentes 11-10. Vouliagmeni won the bronze medal a day later, dominating throughout the encounter (10-8).
In the final, Padova jumped to a 3-0 lead early in the second, but Imperia started to find its rhythm any by half-time it was tied at 4-4. The third proved to be decisive as Imperia scored twice while shutting out their rivals for eight minutes (4-6). Padova had a couple of desperate attempts to catch up with their fellows but Imperia always had the answers. The last goal of Padova came with 7 seconds remaining (7-8), so Imperia could start the celebrations soon – they clinch the LEN Trophy for the second time in their history, after winning this competition in 2012 as well.
Men’s Euro Cup
Final, 2nd leg
Carpisa Yamamay Acquachiara (ITA) vs. Posillipo Napoli (ITA) 10-11
Women’s LEN Trophy
Mediterranea Imperia (ITA) vs. Plebiscito Padova (ITA) 8-7
Bronze medal game
Vouliagmeni (GRE) vs. Hungerit-Szentes (HUN) 10-8
Padova vs. Vouliagmeni 9-8
Imperia vs. Szentes 11-10
9 April 2015