LEN Men’s Super Cup – Ferencvaros retains the cup, comes back from 4-goal down

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Ferencvaros retained the Super Cup in a thrilling final against Marseille and clinched this trophy for the 4th time in its history. The French, playing on home soil, were set to cause a big upset as they led 8-4 at halftime but the Champions League title-holders staged an outstanding second half as they hit back with a 10-3 run, netting six goals in the last period. Ferencvaros is now second on the all-time rank behind 6-time winner Recco.

 

Men’s Super Cup Final, Marseille
FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v CN Marseille (FRA) 14-11

The teams needed five minutes to settle in the game but then found the back of the net two times apiece. The French opened the second period brilliantly, a nice counter, followed by a finely tuned man-up gave them a 2-4 lead and soon it turned out that this also boosted their belief that in the one game they could catch the Champions League winner (while their rivals started to see that this was going to be a different game than the one they had won 13-7 in the Champions League two weeks ago in Budapest).

While Ferencvaros wasted a series of 6 on 5s – two were gone without a shot in quick succession – and stood 1/6 at one stage, the French made most of their opportunities. Unlike their rivals, they buried their man-ups, Bogdan Durdic and Ante Vukicevic were both on target to build a massive 3-7 lead. Nikola Jaksic pulled one back from a nice shot from the distance but Alexandre Camarasa responded with a great goal from the centre to crown Marseille’s 2-6 run in the second period.

Ferencvaros needed to dig deep as they barely experienced to fall behind in the current season and not since last spring they trailed by four in any encounter. But champion teams could be recognised through their reactions in situations like this and the Hungarians kicked off the second half with a great surge. Gergo Zalanki blasted one from 7m, Denes Varga scored a one-on-one and soon Ioannis Fountoulis put away an extra while they also killed a man-down. Within two minutes they were back (7-8) but Marseille managed to halt their run as Durdic netted his third from a 6 on 5 after a time-out.

As a contrast, the Magyars couldn’t make theirs (also after a time-out) but at least their defence denied the French in the next man-down too. That was crucial as Aaron Younger sent the bell home from a man-up just 6 seconds before the last break so it stood 8-9.

And then came Denes Varga and his magic: got a pass on 3m while standing with his back towards the net but caught the ball from the air and sent it in a backhanded one-timer and FTC was back to even at 9-9. Marseille got a 6 on 4 and Igor Kovacevic took the second chance after a rebound but the Magyars found Nicolas Constantin-Bicari on the 2m line in their man-up for 10-10. And with 5:03 to go, the champions were ahead for the first time after a well-defended man-down and Younger’s nicely executed 6 on 5.

What put Marseille ahead earlier, began to melt down as the blocks denied them in their following man-up again – on the other end Fountoulis netted his third from an extra and soon it was three between as the Magyars forced a penalty in a five on five situation and Fountoulis was merciless (10-13). Marseille would have needed a miracle but they could only hit the bar from their next extra and that was the end of the story, which looked like a fairy tale for a while.

Fountoulis’ 5th goal – stylishly from a man-up (these mirror the differences between the first and second half: FTC was 2 for 8 and 7 for 8 – Marseille: 3 for 5 and 2 for 7) – sealed Ferencvaros’ triumph. In fact a year ago the Greek played in the losing side of the Super Cup final, Olympiacos, now he was the man of the match among the winners.

Thus Ferencvaros retained the Super Cup – the first team to do so since Recco’s double in 2007 and 2008. This was the 4th victory for the Magyars and now they are second behind 6-time winner Recco in the all-time rank.

Press release from LEN

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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