Day 6, Group B – Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v CN Marseille (FRA) 13-11
Sergi Cabanas opened the scoring right from the first possession while the French had to wait more than three minutes before Andrija Prlainovic buried a penalty. But this was Marseille’s only goal in the first eight minutes as the Spanish defence worked really well and soon Luc Bertrand netted another one from action while Cabanas sent the ball home from a 6 on 5, 22 seconds before the first break.
Eduardo Lorrio came up with a great save early in the second, Bernat Sanahuja finished off the ensuing counter to make it 4-1 – Sabadell were really on fire. And they carried on – Marseille could score twice from man-ups, but the hosts always found the way to reply. At 5-3, Sanahuja hit another one from an extra and after killing two man-downs, Kanstantin Averka also was on target in the last 6 on 5 of the first half.
Sabadell began the third with a fine man-up goal by Dusan Banisevic. In the following minutes Marseille could score twice but Cabanas replied on both occasions, so the hosts led 10-5 deep into this quarter. The French had a better spell inside the last minute, came back to 10-7 – but not further. They had an extra early in the fourth, but Lorrio denied them once more, and Cabanas made no mistake at the other end in Sabadell’s man-up.
Instead of 10-8, Marseille slipped back to 11-7 and there was no way back for the French. They missed their next extra, then buried a 6 on 4, but again, the Spaniards could reset the four-goal gap with an action goal in their next possession. This was repeated a bit later and when Cabanas scored his 7th from action for 13-9 with 1:27 on the clock, it was all over. Marseille got some consolation by netting the last two – still, they were dropped to the last place in the group and never looked to be so far from the Final 8 as now.
How they saw it
Quim Colet, coach, Sabadell
“We deserved this first victory as the team played very well. We played a very good defence, and our balance in the 6 on 5s were also good. Sergi Cabanas is a very good player, I’m happy that he showed it in this game.”
Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille
“This is not a surprising defeat, we expected a lot from Sabadell, even though they didn’t win a game in the previous rounds, they had some great games so we were ready for this one. Of course, this is a difficult situation for us, we will try out best in the next games as I’m sure we can win against the good teams, it’s not over for us. We knew this group would be really difficult, every win