Champions League, Main Round, Day 2, Group A – summary

Four epic matches produce 97 goals

Olympiacos claimed a brilliant away win in Novi Belgrade and is already the only side in Group A with two wins after Day 2. Brescia managed to down Barceloneta in a brilliant battle while Ferencvaros blew away a four-goal lead in the final minutes against Radnicki in Kragujevac to settle for its second draw. Jadran also went through some nerve-wrecking moments lately at home, despite leading by 7 after three periods against Dinamo. All in all, the four brilliant matches produced 97 goals – it was water polo at its best, something the Champions League is famous for.

Group A

VK Novi Beograd (SRB) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 9-12, AN Brescia (ITA) v Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) 14-12, VK Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) 11-11, Jadran Split (CRO) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 15-13

Standings: 1. Olympiacos 6, 2. Brescia 4, 3. Barceloneta 3, 4. Novi Beograd 3, 5. Jadran 3, 6. Ferencvaros 2, 7. Radnicki 1, 8. Dinamo 0

The encounters in this extremely tough group already offered the expected thrills, all four games had outstanding rallies and great comebacks – at the end, Olympiacos remained the only team with 2/2. The Greeks produced two outstanding spells in Belgrade, first they jumped to a 2-6 lead after being 2-1 down, then they overcame the Serbs late surge in the second period and after 5-6 they produced an even more devastating run in the third, won this quarter 0-4 and looked to be the winners. However, the host team climbed back, their lefties hit four goals in a row and at 9-10 it was an open game again, but two fine shots from the Olympiacos offence calmed down the crowd.

Something similar happened in the other Serbian sides’ pool in Kragujevac. Here three periods brought a balanced match, then Ferencvaros’ could gain control step by step, took an 7-8 lead before the last break, then in the fourth they added three more to go 7-11 up with four minutes remaining. Still, it was not enough as they started to play with the clock, instead of the ball, and the Serbs smelled blood. In the last 1:46 minutes they netted three more action goals to save the match to a tie – it was the second away draw for the Magyars, which may be considered a fine achievement but in this extremely balanced group this blown four-goal lead might hit back on the long run.

In Brescia, it was the visiting Barceloneta, which almost made a miracle. The Italians had a great surge late in the third period when they managed to take a 11-8 lead and they expanded it to four early in the fourth and still held on for 13-10 with 4:24 from time. However, the Spaniards pulled two back and had a man-up in the last minute to equalise but missed it and soon Brescia secured its first win from a counter.

Jadran passed the compulsory home test against Dinamo – for three periods they seemed to do it with flying colours as they built a massive 14-7 lead. In the fourth they laid back too soon, lost this period 1-6 and at 15-13 they had to survive two Georgian possessions before they could cash the three points.