Champions League, Qualification Round III, 1st leg – summary

Jadran, OSC, Brescia with decisive wins

Three of the four duels produced decisive victories, Jadran Split and OSC Budapest were rolling in the respective national derbies. Brescia’s Vincenzo Renzuto Iodice scored 7 goals to help his team to achieve a great win in Barcelona. Crvena Zvezda beat Savona in a tight away match and might become the third Serbian side in the main round though the return leg in Belgrade still promises a great fight.

Results, 1st leg:

Jadran Split (CRO) v HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO) 14-7, Szolnoki Dozsa (HUN) v OSC Budapest (HUN) 6-15, RN Savona (ITA) v VK Crvena Zvezda (SRB) 8-9, CN Barcelona (ESP) v AN Brescia (ITA) 13-17

2nd leg: 20 October

The national derbies ended in decisive wins – while that was somewhat expected in Croatia, OSC’s thrashing of Szolnok in Hungary was a stunner.

Last week Jadran beat Mladost 15-7 in Zagreb, now they downed their local rival 14-7 in Split. For a while, the reshaped, young side of Mladost kept up, they led 1-3 after eight minutes but Jadran arrived to the game for the second period, netted five goals in 4:01 minutes and after 6-3 the game took its expected path. Though the visitors stayed close till 8-6, they ran out of gas in the last period, Jadran hit four after 10-7 to secure its place in the main round.

By the name of participating teams the game of Szolnok and OSC might have been called the re-match of last season’s Euro Cup and Hungarian league finals, but this first leg did not reproduce any of the thrills of those tough encounters. The first half already decided the outcome as OSC took a 2-8 lead and never looked back. Stats of this phase told the story, while the number of shots stood 19-11, the saves showed the difference: 1-12. The host side missed its retired goalie Viktor Nagy badly – and also their Serbian scoring machines like Filip Filipovic in front. Now they’d better think of trying to retain their

Euro Cup title (losing sides in this round continue in the other competition’s quarter-finals).

The other two matches offered much more excitements, especially the one played in Savona. It was an extremely tight duel, the Italians took a 3-1 lead early in the second but Zvezda hit back with three before the middle break for 3-4. The hosts fought back to 5-5 in the third and it still stood 7-7 late in the fourth. Savona missed a crucial man-up with 2:21 to go and then Ivan Basara scored two from action in a span of 57 seconds for 7-9. Matteo Iocchi Gratta pulled one back with 3 seconds from time, but
Zvezda is better set to join the other two Serbians, Radnicki and Novi Beograd in the main round.

Brescia, semi-finalist last May, managed to achieve a fine triumph in Barcelona though at some stages the Spaniards had some promising spells. After an action-packed, 9-goal opening period, the Italians jumped to a 4-7 lead in the second, but the home side bounced back to 7-7 still in the first half. What’s more, after 7-8 they could take the lead at 9-8 in the third and even before the last quarter they were trailing only 10-11. However, Brescia, enjoying some luck towards the end of the third, showed its quality in the last period. With the inspired performance of Vincenzo Renzuto Iodice, the Italians managed to build a solid four-goal difference by the end of the match. Renzuto stopped at 7 to steered his team onto its way to the main round once again.