Day 9, Group A – Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 8-10
On the previous round, Hannover led 7-9 in Vouliagmeni early in the third but were unable to add any more goals in the last 15 minutes and lost the game at the end by one goal. Ten days gone, and the Germans managed to ‘upgrade’ that ‘feat’, this time at home – after leading 8-4 against Dinamo, which had lost 8/8 before this match, Waspo couldn’t score for 17:17 minutes, including the entire second half.
During the first period the players didn’t hold back anything, 10 exclusions were called, 5 apiece, and the number of goals were also equal (2-2). In the second, water polo took over and though the Georgians took the lead at 3-4, the hosts hit back with three goals in 85 seconds and soon Aleksandar Radovic blasted his 4th and 5th goal, while Dinamo missed their second 6 on 4, so with 1:17 to go before the middle break, Hannover enjoyed a massive 8-4 lead and everything looked bright (as somewhat expected).
As a first alarming sign, Dinamo scored two goals inside the last minute to halve the distance, but even if this gave them some hope, in the third, five long minutes of intense battling didn’t see another hit at either side. After a while it was clear, that the first goal in this fight would give a psychological edge for the scoring team and finally Giorgi Magrakvelidze put away an extra for 8-7. Not even a time-out helped the home players to find the way to score again, and with 1:31 on the clock, Stefan Pjesicav delivered the equaliser form action. Hannover’s problems just deepened as they couldn’t score from two man-ups before the last break.
Waspo pushed hard but Irakli Razmadze came up with a series of big saves, and it was inevitable that after a while Dinamo would turn that to their favour. Note, that the decisive goals were scored by their native players, not the neutralised foreigners – Besarion Akhvedliani’s ball from the perimeter hit the back of the net with 4:16 to go, then Saba Tkeshelashvili also scored from the distance for 8-10, when only 2:30 remained from the game. Much to the joy of the ensembled Georgian fans – they got much louder during Dinamo’s 0-6 run –, the visiting side killed a man-down. The Germans lost their composure in offence and couldn’t get out of the hole they had dug themselves into in the second half.
Dinamo could celebrate their first win in the season – at the same time, this loss put Hannover out of contest the Final Eight as the transformed team don’t seem to maintain the level required to reach the last stage, after three straight appearances.
How they saw it
Karsten Seehaver, coach, Hannover
“It was a nice effort from Dinamo. For us, this the second game in a row when we are not able to score goals in the third and fourth quarters. Perhaps it would be better if our matches stop at halftime…”
Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Dinamo
“First of all, thanks for all the spectators who came here to support us. Even when we were down by four goals, I asked my players to fight and believe – and play with discipline. There were a couple of less disciplined moves which allowed Hannover to claim a four-goal lead. Once we started to play in the expected way, we could see the result. We gave everything we had, this is a big victory for us, for all our players.”