Favourites show no mercy

The top three ranked sides delivered easy wins, even Olympiacos could break Jadran in Split for the fourth period to win by five goals. Barceloneta blew Hannover away and Recco didn’t leave any chance for Radnicki either in an epic 33-goal festival, while Vouliagmeni claimed a historical first victory in the main round.

Group A: NC Vouliagmeni (GRE) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 12-7, Jadran Split (CRO) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 8-13, Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 20-5, Pro Recco (ITA) v VK Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) 21-12

Standings: 1. Barceloneta 9, 2. Olympiacos 9, 3. Recco 6, 4. Vouliagmeni 4, 5. Radnicki 4, 6. Jadran 3, 7. Dinamo 0, 8. Hannover 0

Greece enjoyed some good times early in the evening. Olympiacos and Vouliagmeni played simultaneously, and both came away with well-deserved five-goal wins. Olympiacos faced the tougher test in Split, despite all the problems Jadran had approaching the game (with an interim coach, missing three key players). Indeed, the Croats showed some good resistance for three periods but as they ran out of energy, they slowly vanished in the most crucial phase – the Greeks’ patience paid off, they netted five goals in the last eight minutes to claim their third win.

Newcomer Vouliagmeni clashed with Dinamo and their flawless performance in the first half secured a historical first win in the Champions League. The Greeks led 9-3 at the halfway mark and even though they slowed down a bit for the second part, they bagged all three points with a convincing game.

Barceloneta simply blew Hannover away – at phases it was almost painful to see the huge difference between the sides. A 7-1 rush in eight minutes set the tone and the game remained on a track which was similar to an uneven competition between a Ferrari race-car and a used Volkswagen. 

Recco and Radnicki produced an epic 10-goal opening period – then, after 6-4, the Italians tightened their defence for the second quarter, limited the Serbs to a single goal and started widening the gap. Midway through the third they led 12-5 – staged a 6-1 run – and that killed the excitements. For the last one and a half periods the scoring festival returned, at the end, Recco tied Olympiacos’ single-game scoring record (21), while the total number of goals, 33, set a new high in this season.

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Group B fixtures, Wednesday

19.00 FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v CN Marseille (FRA)

19.30 Genesys OSC Budapest (HUN) v Spandau 04 Berlin (GER)

19.45 VK Novi Beograd (SRB) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO)

20.30 AN Brescia (ITA) v Astralpool Sabadell (ESP)