Group B: Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 5-12
Jug left no chance for the Georgians as the Croats played with tremendous focus right from the beginning. Toni Popadic was excellent in their goal, behind an outstanding defence which killed the man-downs in succession while looking formidable on even strength.
At the other end, they dismantled the hosts’ defensive lines step by step. They netted two in the first four minutes, then added the next one at the beginning of the second period. Understandably, their defensive focus took away some energy from their attacks at this stage. However, as Dinamo players were tired, the gap began to widen. Hannes Daube sent the ball home from a penalty, and then from an extra, giving the Croats a 0-5 lead by halftime.
After some time, the situation looked bad for the Georgians as they couldn’t score from three more 6 on 5s in the third period (stood 0 for 8), while Jug went on scoring and led 0-8. The hosts needed a 6 on 4 to score their first goal, after 21:15 minutes, but Marko Zuvela also scored from an extra for 1-9.
Dinamo found some consolation as Jug’s defence loosened up a bit. After scoring only one goal in three periods, they managed to add four in the last quarter, resulting in a final score that looked a bit more favorable than in their previous two matches.
Comments from the coaches
Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Dinamo
„We saw two different halves, in the first Jug was dominant, while we had nine man-ups and didn’t score a single goal from those. Of course, Jug had a good defence, they were aggressive and left little space for us, and after the first miss, our players got nervous and lost their focus a bit also Jug’s goalie stopped a lot of shots. But we didn’t give up and played a good second half. This match was a lot better compared to our last one against Olympiacos – of course, we know our level, especially among these teams in our group but this was a good step forward.”
Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug
“We played a really good match, I’m satisfied with the team’s performance. In the first three periods, our defence was excellent, we did everything well with the necessary concentration. We managed to stop their best players, this was key. Dinamo is a strong team that can put you under pressure as they have physically strong players but today did our job – but in two months it can be a different match.”