Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v AN Brescia (ITA) 8-13
The famous Gruz pool offered extremely rare occasions for the visiting teams to celebrate victories. Though Jug’s line-up may not be on the same level as it was some years ago (they were champions in 2016), still, they have remained a regular F8 participant, and they usually earned most of the necessary points in their home. Last season the eventual winner Pro Recco’s only loss in the whole season came here, at the Adriatic coast.
So what happened in this opening round was really an exception – and it was even more that the game was decided by halftime. Brescia simply tore apart the Croatian defence in sixteen minutes, netting ten goals in the first half.
An early 0-3 rush set the tone, Jug could score after six minutes, but it was very much visible that the Italians were superior all along. For a while, the hosts could keep up which meant they managed to hold a two-goal deficit from 2-4 till 5-7, but they crashed in the remaining three minutes. Brescia added three more for a commanding 5-10 lead – alone in this second period they scored 7 –, and it was clear that Jug would need a miracle to find a way back from here.
Obviously, it never happened. Brescia’s Roman phalanx-like unit switched to a slow-paced, extremely disciplined and very organised game, where defence was in their focus and executed their plans perfectly. They shut out Jug in the entire third period, Jacopo Alesiani even scored from action for 5-11, so even an all-time worst defeat appeared on the horizon for the hosts.
Finally, after a silence of 13:25 minutes, they managed to score and by netting three in the last period the scoreline itself did not look that embarrassing – still, this five-goal victory was a huge power demonstration from Brescia.
How they saw it
Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug
“We played a very bad game, from the beginning till the end. There is nothing positive to say about our performance, Brescia player very good and punished all our mistakes. We did nothing we supposed to do in this game so it became a really tough entry to the season of the Champions League.”
Alessandro Bovo, coach, Brescia
“I’m very happy since this is first time in my life either as a player or as coach that I could win against Jug in Dubrovnik. For me, this is the best club in Europe, how it has been built and run over long-long years. So I’m really happy with my team’s performance both in offence and in defence and what I liked even better was the team’s reaction to our Saturday loss to Recco.”