Champions League, Main Round, Day 2, Group B – Summary

Marseille stuns Jug, Recco, OSC keep perfect record 

Marseille caused the upset of Day 2 by crashing Jug in Dubrovnik. Title-holder Recco didn’t have  any headaches while manhandling Steaua and in the battle of the qualifiers OSC came up with a  convincing performance in Belgrade to claim its second win. The German derby was the most  thrilling clash, Spandau, leading by three before the last period, needed a last-grasp goal to save  the match against Hannover to a draw. 

Group B 

Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v CN Marseille (FRA) 9-14, Crvena Zvezda (SRB) v OSC  Budapest (HUN) 8-11, Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 11-11, Pro Recco (ITA)  v Steaua Bucharest (ROU) 23-5 

Standings: 1. Recco 6, 2. OSC 6, 3. Marseille 3, 4. Jug 3, 5. Zvezda 3, 6. Spandau 1, 7. Hannover 1, 8.  Steaua 0 

Marseille stunned Jug with a 0-4 rush at the beginning and even though the Croats managed to recover  from that and levelled the score at 6-6 early in the third, the next assault from the French was too much  to handle. The rebuilding process needs some cooler heads on the Croatians’ side as they let the ball fly  from all corners of the pool, took 35 shots but could score only 9 while Marseille netted 14, out of 25  attempts. 

Title-holder Recco enjoyed an easy-cruise against Steaua at home, set a new scoring record for this  season by 23 hits (Olympiacos netted 20 against Dinamo on Day 1), Hungarian leftie Gergo Zalanki  contributed 7 goals from 7 shots. After two rounds, besides the Italians, only OSC could keep its perfect  record. The Magyars showed some quality at both ends of the pool in Belgrade while downing Crvena  Zvezda – a jump from 3-4 to 3-8 and an almost 12-minute shutout founded their valuable away victory. 

The German derby produced the most balanced match – for three periods Spandau dominated and  gained an 8-5 lead. However, in the fourth, the home defence collapsed and at 9-10 Hannover sat in the  driving seat. At 10-11 the visitors missed a match-ball (a man-up), while Nikola Dedovic converted the  hosts’ last chance two seconds from time. 


Jug v Marseille 9-14 

Jug arrived at the game a bit lately, at least mentally. They needed more than nine minutes to get on the  scoreboard, by then Marseille was already 0-4 up. The French scored from a man-up early, then killed  two man-downs and added back-to-back action goals in 47 seconds towards the end of the first quarter,  

then their Croat Ante Vukicevic kicked off the second with another fine action goal. Though Loren  Fatovic opened Jug’s account but Vukicevic replied immediately from a 6 on 5 for 1-5 and it still stood  2-6 with 4:24 to go till the break. The hosts started to feel the rhythm, managed to hit two in a minute  but later they missed two man-ups so it was 4-6 at halftime.

Jug came back strong for the third and Fatovic levelled the score in 41 seconds with a great  action goal and from a counter. But however hard they worked for this 6-6, soon the Croats lost their  momentum as leftie Ugo Crousillat put two man-ups away in succession while Jug fell back in offence  once more. Soon Romain Marion finished off a counter for 6-9 and Jug had to restart the chasing game.  They needed 35 seconds to jump back to 8-9 but then they missed crucial 6 on 5 while Marseille put  away another one and converted a penalty to regain its three-goal lead before the last break. It was decisive who hits the first in the fourth – and this time Fatovic couldn’t help. After his missed  shot Crousillat finished off the ensuing counter for 8-12 – and for Jug that proved to be the killed blow.  Another 6 on 5 gone without a shot and Thomas Vernoux’s nice centre-action put the game in bed even  though it was still 4:23 to go. 

The Croats lacked precision in front, even though they outshot the French 35-25 but the shots on target  were 20-20 and the number of saves (6-11) is also telling, not to mention the man-ups: 2 for 12 versus 5  for 8, a real difference. 

Zvezda v OSC 8-11 

It was 3:32 to play in the fourth and OSC led 7-11 – a day ago Radnicki was in this same, seemingly  hopeless situation against Ferencvaros, then the Serbs made a miracle to come back to 11-11. The  second Serbian-Hungarian derby did not reproduce the same scenario, though. 

Indeed, OSC was clearly the better side right from the beginning, they opened the encounter with a 0-2  period, showing some tremendous defending. The hosts needed 9:07 minutes to score their first, then  started to find the back of the net, converting extras, but the Magyars were up to the task too. They had some ups and downs, missed a 6 on 4 but after conceding three in the first four minutes of this quarter,  they tightened their defence again and shut out the Serbs for the following 11:27 minutes. And they  used this period to build a massive 3-8 lead from some finely tuned 6 on 5s and Balazs Harai also  delivered his trademark centre-goals. Veljko Tankosic netted an extra to halt the bad run of the home  side but they were still trailing by four before the last break. 

Again, Zvezda managed to find the right finishes in the fourth – altogether, they scored four goals, as  many as in the first three periods but OSC also kept its composure and twice regained the five-goal lead,  only to let two go in the last three and a half minutes. Still, Zvezda didn’t have any realistic chance to  stage a Radnicki-like comeback. OSC’s goalie Marton Levai was the one of the keys in the Magyar’s  win as he posted 14 saves on 22 shots for a 63.5% percentage. 

Spandau v Hannover 11-11 

The German derby offered great thrills for four periods – for most of the time Spandau was in front but  at the end the Berliners had to dig deep to save the game to a draw. 

Spandau took a 4-2 lead deep into the second, but their home arch-rivals came back to even in 51sec  while shutting out the hosts for 5:39 minutes in this period. 

Dmitri Kholod’s two fine shots from man-ups put Spandau ahead once more and even though fellow  Russian Ivan Nagaev pulled one back at the other end, Mateo Cuk’s double in a span of 40 seconds  gave an 8-5 lead for the home side before the last break.  

However, Hannover wasn’t done, they opened the last period with two action goals from as many  possessions. Kholod sent the ball home from another man-up but Hannover came up with two more  action goals, this time in 43 seconds and it was all even at 9-9 with 4:11 to go. And after a killed man down, Nagaev put Hannover ahead for the first time after 0-1. Nikola Dedovic netted a 6 on 4 for 10-10,  but Jan Winkelhorst also buried a man-up for 10-11 with 1:25 from time. Soon Hannover had a golden chance to secure the three points, but they missed their last 6 on 5 and that cost them two – Spandau also earned a man-up 14 seconds before the end and Dedovic found the back of the net 2  seconds before the buzzer. 

Recco v Steaua 23-5 

The two sides belong to different categories – and the difference is not just one level between them.  Recco basically did whatever it wished to, the Romanians tried to put up some resistance but the title holding Italian side was way too superior in all aspects of the game. Steaua’s lonely brighter spell came  at 6-1 when they netted two for 6-3 – but Recco hit back with an 8-0 run. Recco didn’t need a man-up in  the entire third period, still scored seven goals.  

Newly signed Magyar leftie Gergo Zalanki enjoyed an exceptional evening as he went 7/7, a great feat  even in a game like this. Romanian national team goalie Marius-Florin Tic won’t keep this match  among his most treasured memories as he faced 27 shots and could put a hand on only 4 – his team mates could target only 14 to Recco’s goal and Marco del Luongo stopped 9 of those.