All eyes on Belgrade
In three duels, the winning sides virtually secured their respective berths in the main round of the Champions League. The only open battle on Wednesday is the clash of Crvena Zvezda and Savona in Belgrade – it also decides if Serbia or Italy has three teams in the elite.
The second legs of the two national derbies, the one between the Croats (Mladost v Jadran) and the Hungarians (OSC v Szolnok) are mere formalities. Jadran’s seven-goal victory over its rival was in the cards based on players’ movements in the summer but OSC’s thrashing of Szolnok by 9 goals was a real stunner. It happened, however, and that paved the way for OSC to return to the top circles after the 2019/20 season when the team was leading one of the group ranks before the pandemic halted everything.
Brescia managed to overcome some challenging moments in Barcelona but the Italians’ experience and quality prevailed in the away game and their four-goal advantage should be enough to start another campaign in the main round.
A single goal separated Crvena Zvezda and Savona in the first leg, favouring the Serbs who play at home tomorrow. However, this match is still wide open as the lead was constantly changing last Saturday. With Novi Beograd, Radnicki Kragujevac are already aboard from Serbia, while Italy has Recco and most probably Brescia, this duel will also determine which will be the only country with three clubs in the Champions League.
Champions League, Qualification Round III – 2 nd leg
19.00 OSC Budapest (HUN) v Szolnoki Dozsa (HUN) – first leg: 15-6
20.00 HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO) v Jadran Split (CRO) – first leg: 7-14
20.00 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) v AN Savona (ITA) – first leg: 9-8