In a 30-goal stunner, Jug loses valuable points
Title-holder Jug Dubrovnik (CRO) produced a brilliant comeback after being four goals down before the last period but still lost valuable points against underdog Hannover (GER) as they finished 15-15 in a stunning clash. Barceloneta (ESP) won a crucial game against Eger (HUN) to reach the Final Six once more, the other matches saw the favourites collecting three points.
The top two sides didn’t make any mistake at home in Group A, both won convincingly. Olympiacos (GRE) had to fight hard against OSC (HUN) as the Hungarians did a fine job for two and a half periods and trailed only 4-3 early in the third. But the Greeks tightened their defence and forced the visitors to misses even in man-ups (OSC put away the first two then couldn’t make the following six) while last season’s runners-up made most of their chances. By scoring three connecting goals including two in the last 90 seconds in the third they jumped to a 7-3 lead and never looked back.
Szolnok (HUN) broke Spandau (GER) earlier, in the second period, when they netted three straight goals to go 6-2 up, with two hits in 32 seconds in the middle of this quarter. The hosts extended the gap in the third and led 9-4 but a lapse in concentration let Spandau to climb back a bit for 10-7. However, the Berliners couldn’t add any more in the fourth and two late goals from Szolnok mirrored the difference between the two sides.
Brescia (ITA) went through some scares in Nice as the French newcomers could stay pretty close during the entire match. Despite falling back early in the second (2-5), they managed to return to equal terms by half-time (5-5) and held that score until the middle of the third. After 8-8, the Italians netted two in a span of 32 seconds and that proved to be crucial as they added more in the fourth and earned a highly important win to keep their Final Six hopes alive.
In Group B, Recco (ITA) was merciless once more, this time against the young side of Partizan (SRB). A 0-5 rush in the first ten minutes determined the rest of the encounter and even though the Serbs managed to join the party in the following phase and kept the gap around five goals until the middle of the third period, they ran out of gas for the last 12 minutes. After 4-8, Recco staged a 1-9 rolling and extended its winning streak to five this season.
The Italians could be even happier learning their main rival’s result. Jug (CRO) almost crashed at home against underdog Hannover (GER) but still lost valuable points and now trails 7 points to Recco at the half-way mark, what’s more, they might get into danger against Barceloneta and Eger. The Croats were 6-4 up with 4:18 to go in the second – what came next was simply unbelievable, as the
Germans produced a 0-6 rush while Jug missed all chances, including five man-ups. The last period began at 6-10 and it ended up in a wild west-like showdown as the first four minutes produced 9 goals while the title-holders started climbing back. They used all their power and experience and could cut their deficit step-by-step: with 1:52 to go they levelled the score at 14-14. Darko Brguljan scored from an extra for 14-15 but Felipe Perrone netted his 5th goal of the evening to equalise with 0:41 remaining on the clock. Waspo couldn’t do more, Jug had 10 seconds after a time-out to score the winner but it didn’t happen, the game finished at 15-15 after a 9-5 last period.
Barceloneta (ESP) caught up the Croats in points and took over main rival Eger (HUN), too in the hunt for the F6 places after a great win against the Hungarians. It was an outstanding game from the Spaniards, their defence was simply superb: they let only a single goal in in the last 13:17 minutes. After 5-5 the hosts netted three connecting goals, Alberto Munarriz was the hero of the night with four hits as Barceloneta managed to beat its arch-rival at last, after two draws and two losses in the last two seasons.
Champions League, Day 5
Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v A Hid-OSC Budapest (HUN) 7-4
Szolnoki Dozsa-Kozgep (HUN) v Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) 12-7
Olympic Nice (FRA) v AN Brescia (ITA) 9-12
1. Olympiacos 13, 2. Szolnok 13, 3. OSC 7, 4. Brescia 7, 5. Spandau 3, 6. Nice 0
Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade (SRB) v Pro Recco (ITA) 5-17
Jug Croatia Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 15-15
Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) v ZF Eger (HUN) 10-6
1. Recco 15, 2. Barceloneta 8, 3. Jug 8, 4. Eger 6, 5. Hannover 3, 6. Partizan 1
For play-by-play action and detailed stats in both competitions, visit the LEN website (www.len.eu).
8 February 2017