Brescia stuns Ferencvaros, Jug comes back from 2-5 to beat Olympiacos
Brescia pulled off a brilliant win over title-holder Ferencvaros in Budapest to stage the first real upset of the season. In Rome, Ortigia wrote history with a surprising victory over Marseille, then in the battle of the former champions Jug came back from three goals down to beat Olympiacos in a thrilling encounter.
Group A – Ostia (ITA)
Round 3: CN Marseille (FRA) v CC Ortigia (ITA) 10-11, Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 8-9, Pro Recco (ITA) v Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) 19-6
Standings: 1. Recco 9, 2. Jug 9, 3. Olympiacos 6, 4. Ortigia 3, 5. Marseille 0, 6. Spandau 0
Group B – Budapest (HUN)
Round 2: Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 17-5, FTCTelekom Budapest (HUN) v AN Brescia (ITA) 7-10, Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 12-11
Standings: 1. Barceloneta 6, 2. Brescia 6, 3. Ferencvaros 3, 4. Jadran 3, 5.
Hannover 0, 6. Dinamo 0
In Rome, a thriller kicked off the afternoon session as Ortigia clinched a historical first win in the Champions League. It was a huge effort by the newcomers since their rival Marseille had offered quite promising performances against Recco and Jug. However, it seems that those tight losses also burnt much of their reserves. The French side had a better spell early in the third when they netted three in a row to jump to a 7-5 lead after 4-5 but the Sicilians weren’t done and by the end of the third they were back to even (8-8). Then in the fourth, after a quick exchange of goals, Ortigia could score twice in 1:11 minutes and even if Marseille pulled one back with 3:18 remaining, they could not convert their last two man-ups. Thus the French had to settle for a third tight loss, a disappointing outcome for a team with great new signings and high hopes.
The second battle offered even more excitements as two former champions clashed in the big match of the day. 2016 winner Jug and 2018 gold medallist Olympiacos produced a brilliant encounter where the Greeks dominated the first half and took a 5-2 lead. In the third they earned a penalty but Toni Popadic stopped Stylianos Argyropoulos’ shot and that proved to be a turning point. Jug started flying while the Greeks were frozen, they could not score in the entire third period. In fact the Croats staged a 0-4 rush while shutting out their rival for 9:30 minutes while coming back from 5-2 to 5-6. Though Olympiacos managed to halt its sinking at 7-7 but only temporarily. Jug netted two in 57 seconds, Paulo Obradovic 4th hit gave his team a 7-9 lead and Nicolas Kapotsis’ fine action goal came too late for the Greeks.
After two tighter-than-usual matches, 8-time winner Recco enjoyed a peaceful evening against Spandau. The two sides weren’t on the same level, the Italians blasted their opponent in eight minutes and after 5-0 only the difference was in question. It ended up 19-6, a record score and win for the current series.
In Group B, Barceloneta didn’t leave anything for chance and with a 5-0 opening quarter the Spaniards quickly put an end to the contest against Dinamo. They had a minor lapse in concentration when the Georgians netted three consecutive goals early in the third to come back to 9-5, but Barceloneta then staged a 8-0 finish to claim the largest win of the new season up until Recco blew Spandau away later in the evening.
In the game of the day in the Duna Arena Brescia began its quest with a missed penalty against Ferencvaros but it turned out that the Italians could even afford that luxury as soon they built a massive 1-5 lead. The title holder Hungarians struggled to beat Marco del Luongo in Brescia’s goal, the national team’s goalie produced a magnificent 77.8% saving percentage (7 catches on 9 shots) in the first half, while his teammates netted some fine goals from counters and man-ups.
Soon the Hungarians seemed to gain their momentum, del Luongo couldn’t have a hand on their next four shots so late in the third it stood 6-7 – but Brescia came up with a devastating response. Angelos Vlachopoulos netted a man-up with 23 seconds before the last break and after a steal Niccolo Gitto finished the counter in the dying seconds to switch back Brescia’s three-goal lead in 21 seconds. That was too much to handle of the reigning champions, though they pulled one back early in the fourth but could not come closer (their man-up didn’t work at all, were 0 for 7) and Vincenzo Renzuto’s fine finish in a 6 on 5 sealed the Italians’ great win in Budapest.
The last clash featuring Jadran and Hannover was just as entertaining, producing twists and turns throughout the hour. The Montenegrins took the better start to go 5-2 and 6-3 up but the F8 host launched a fine comeback and caught up its rival at 7-7. After 8-7 the Germans had their best spell as they netted three straight goals in 1:18 minutes late in the third to go 8-10 up. Hannover seemed to have got the upper hand but Kanstantsin Averka rode in to save his team, netted one inside the third, buried a penalty in the fourth and finished a man-up with 3:44 to go for 11-10. Hannover had a meltdown at this stage, missed three man-ups and couldn’t score for 9:07 minutes while Jadran netted one more to extend the rush to 4-0. Ivan Nagaev pulled one back 38 seconds from time and the Germans went for a 7 on 6 in the last 9 seconds after a time-out but couldn’t create a real danger at the end.
Group B, Round 3: 14.00 Dinamo v Jadran, 16.30 Waspo v Ferencvaros, 19.00
Brescia v Barceloneta
Press release courtesy of LEN
Photos courtesy of Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala for Ostia and Deepbluemedia/Aniko Kovacs for Budapest