Vouliagmeni (GRE) v Zodiac Barceloneta 7-11
The first period was devoted to some great defending, it took five and a half minutes to break the deadlock when Nikolaos Papasifakis converted a penalty. Barceloneta needed even more time to bring down the Greek wall, Luke Pavillard’s action goal 38 seconds from time made it 1-1.
The Greeks held on – though the Spaniards started to find their rhythm, the hosts could equalise twice. Then Mark Larumbe netted a 6 on 4, so Barceloneta led 3-4 at halftime – but that was really an appraisal of Vouliagmeni’s outstanding efforts in the back.
Though a fine stop from the goalie saved the hosts in the first man-down in the third, but only temporarily – the Spanish regained the ball and Alejandro Bustos doubled their lead. Marios Kapotsis pulled one back with a huge 6m blast, but in 53 seconds the visitors hit two and that was crucial. Unai Biel was on target twice, first from a man-up, then from action (a clear sign that there is life after Alvaro Granados in left-wing position). Vouliagmeni lost some composure in front, couldn’t add any more for long minutes and the game seemed to be over once Bustos scored a nice centre-goal for 4-8.
Still, there was some hope. With 52 seconds to go, Charalampos Troulos finally netted an extra, then with 29 seconds into the fourth Kapotsis hit one from the action to make it 6-8. And the Greeks had a couple of more possessions to come even closer, once the post denied them, then in 27 seconds it was all over. Perrone buried a penalty, then Pavillard finished off a counter for 6-10 – even though there were still five minutes to play, it was hard to see another comeback from the Greeks. Indeed, it never happened. A bit later they netted a man-up, but soon Perrone’s brilliant action goal put the fight into bed.
How they saw it
Vladimir Vujasinovic, coach, Vouliagmeni
“We played against a great team, one of the candidates for the title. I can say that it was a good match from our players but with a very bad man-up conversion. This made the difference in this game. We have to work on that, but we are looking forward – two weeks from now we meet Dinamo, and we hope we will get our first win in the Champions League.”
Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta
“Both teams played a very good defence, at the beginning we weren’t patient enough with their zone defence. They do it with great mobility while we were nervous, and our last passes weren’t good. We needed a couple of counter-attacks in the third period to go a ahead, the match was decided there.”