Day 10, Group A – Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) 13-8
Radnicki’s away games miseries continued in Tbilisi (fourth loss beside one draw) as Dinamo came up with their best performance of the season to claim a second win in a row. The Serbs’ vanishing hopes to make the Final 8 practically ended in Georgia this evening: after losing to Jadran three weeks ago, they had slim chances to catch up the direct rivals but to achieve that a win in Tbilisi would have been a must.
Instead, they found themselves 4-0 down after eight minutes. The hosts were flying high, managed to score a series of fine goals, including two in the last minute, while killing four man-downs. Radnicki, struggling with in-house problems for a while, ‘arrived’ at the pool only after the middle break as in the second quarter they could only pull one back after Dinamo went on adding goals and led 6-1.
The Serbs had a better spell in the third, though only after 7-2. They netted two in 46 seconds, and after three minutes of intense battling Luka Pljevancic netted a 6m shot for 7-5. However, Andrija Vlahovic killed Radnicki’s momentum with a fine blast from the perimeter right away. Irakli Razmadze carried on posting a series of crucial saves (finished the game with 15 and an amazing saving percentage of 62.5%), and when Saba Tkeshelashvili hit his third, from action, for 9-5, the writing was already on the wall for the Serbs.
When Filip Jankovic hit the post from a penalty early in the fourth and Jovan Saric sent the ball home from the outside for 10-5 at the other end, it was all over. Three more goals were hit at both ends but Dinamo’s first home win was never in danger and the capacity crowd celebrated the local heroes as if they had just won the Champions League or at least made the Final 8. They did not but they showed some character once more, while Radnicki’s dream to make the big stage once more after 2014 won’t come true this year either.
How they saw it
Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Dinamo
“I don’t have too much to say, players of both teams were empty after the tiring tournament with the respective national teams, many Radnicki players were in Podgorica as well, just like us. Anyway, I must congratulate the players for this performance, they did their most and I’m happy that we could please our fans.”
Stefan Brankovic, player, Radnicki
“We started really badly, committed a lot of mistakes and this resulted this terrible game. We have to continue to work and leave this match behind us.”