Bad day for the host teams

None of the teams playing at home could claim a point – and the four winning sides, Brescia, Novi Beograd, Ferencvaros and Jug now enjoy a bigger advantage at the halfway mark in the prelims.

Day 7, Group B: CN Marseille (FRA) v AN Brescia (ITA) 5-13, Genesys OSC Budapest (HUN) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) 12-16, Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v VK Novi Beograd (SRB) 6-8, Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 11-12

Standings: 1. Brescia 18, 2. Novi Beograd 16, 3. Ferencvaros 15, 4. Jug 11, 5. OSC 6, 6. Spandau 5, 7. Sabadell 4, 8. Marseille 4

The top four sides all claimed important away wins and now they are riding the waves which can bring them all the way to Belgrade. Though while Brescia and Ferencvaros won with ease, Novi Beograd had to dig deep to beat Sabadell and Jug bagged three points amidst dramatic circumstances.

Group leader Brescia demolished Marseille in two periods – the French missed all the chances in the world, a penalty, a 6 on 3 (!) and many key man-ups while the Italians offered a flawless performance, led 1-7 deep into the second period and never looked back.

The all-Hungarian clash lacked the excitements the two sides had produced in their previous two clashes in the domestic competitions. On those two occasions FTC edged out OSC by a single goal, now, in their arch-rival pool, they blew them away by halftime when they led 3-10, thanks to a 7-goal storm in the second period. It looked bad for the home side at 5-14 in the fourth, then OSC had a better spell and also finished the last period with a 7-hoal haul.

Novi Beograd had all their foreign aces back on board and they were instrumental in the Serbs’ win in Sabadell. The Spanish side fought hard, scored three connecting goals after 1-3 to lead 4-3 at halftime. Still, NBG’s returning greats, the two Greeks, Vlachopoulos and Skoumpakis and, much to the hosts’ regret, Spaniard Alvaro Granados were all part the Serbs’ big comeback. A 1-4 run in the third proved to be decisive – so the F8 hosts found their way back to the winning path.

Spandau rushed to a 3-0 lead against Jug and even though the Croats managed to get back on track and took the lead at 6-7, the Germans netted two before the last break and went 8-7 up. What’s more, they led 9-7 early in the fourth, however, the favourites levelled the score again and again. Then, at 10-10, with 2:40 to go, Mateo Cuk’s hit of his defender was called brutality by the refs, the penalty and the 4min expulsion put Jug in a winning position and the Croats prevailed at the end, though still had to survive some scary moments.