Jadran score two in the last 58 seconds to save a point

Day 6, Group A – Jadran Split (CRO) v Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) 10-10

In the 3-1-0 scoring system draws usually don’t make the sides happy, especially when they are direct rivals in a chase – but this tie and the way it was achieved made both coaches so unhappy that they blasted their teams openly for the poor performances.

Indeed, the first half didn’t really reach the level one got used to in the Champions League. Especially the second period was painful to watch – and especially from the host side’s angle as they couldn’t score in that quarter. Altogether, they had a goalless phase of 13 minutes – but Radnicki weren’t much better in any aspect, could find a single goal to lead 2-3, but alone in the second period 9 man-ups were missed in total (5 by the Croats, 4 by the Serbs).

Jadran could equalise early in the third, then Radnicki missed a 6 on 4, then another extra, before netting two in 52 seconds to take a 3-5 lead deep into this period. Jadran also showed they could waste a 6 on 4 and two more man-ups, so when Dejan Stanojevic netted an action goal for 3-6 with 26 seconds remaining on the clock, the hosts’ hopes seemed to be fading fast.

Zvonimir Butic pulled one back, though, so it stood 4-6 before the last break. Then all of a sudden, after so many wasted chances and missed shots, the teams geared up and produced the same amount of goals in eight minutes what they could put together in the previous 24. 

The pattern remained the same for quite a while: Jadran halved the gap, but Radnicki replied almost immediately every time to lead by two. They netted four action goals including three from the perimeter and held on for an 8-10 lead with 1:23 to go. Split’s European Championship hero Jerko Marinic-Kragic also sent the ball home from the distance with 58 seconds on the clock and after the host defence survived the next Serbian possession, they could set up a 7 on 6 (goalie in front too) for the last 21 seconds after a time-out. And they managed to complete some fine passes, the Serbs were unable to interrupt them or commit a foul and with 6 seconds to go leftie Ivan Zovic let the ball fly from the right side and the shot was good for an equaliser.

How they saw it

Jure Marelja, coach, Jadran

“At the end we should be satisfied to get one point at least. I wouldn’t say that it was an awful match but… To have such a great players in the pool and see them playing such a bad game – it was a bit shocking… We conceded a lot of easy goals, so we didn’t deserve more.”

Uros Stevanovic, coach, Radnicki

“I really don’t know what to say… no words describe my feelings, my impressions after this result… Both teams played really bad. Maybe this is the rightful result. If we continue to play like this, I really don’t know where we can get.”