Day 12, Group B – CN Marseille (FRA) v FTC Telekom Budapest (HUN) 13-7
Marseille produced an awkward series of results this season – they had four narrow defeats in away matches where they could have won with some luck and better concentration but also suffered heavy losses (were beaten 6/6 away matches) and that did not leave them too much chance to repeat their quests from the previous two seasons which brought them to the Final Eight.
Still, they had and have the potential and just proved that against Ferencvaros, medallists in the last three editions. For one and a half quarters it was as even as it had been expected, however, after 3-3, three saves by Dejan Lazovic and three goals by the hosts at the other end in 1:44 minutes put the game in a different track. By halftime Marseille were 7-4 up but the real rush came in the third.
Almost a minute into that period, Andrija Prlainovic netted one from close, in 70 seconds Hannes Daube added another one from a 6 on 5 while the Hungarians were unable to set up clear chances, their offence lacked the usual composure. When the home side netted two more in 45 seconds, a minor catastrophe was looming from FTC’s perspective as the 2019 champions were barely seen to trail by seven in the third period in any matches in recent years. On contrary, Marseille played like they had done in the previous seasons, and the capacity crowd were really excited to watch their 8-1 rush from 3-3 to 11-4.
Ugo Crousillat’s fourth hit with 0:05 on the clock made it 12-5 before the last break – then the French ran out of steam a bit for the fourth, added only one, though the Magyars couldn’t come much closer – they couldn’t find the motive to gear up for this game, seemed to have been settled for the third place. Marseille still have a slim chance, they need two wins, including a minimum 6-goal beating of Jug next round.
How they saw it
Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille
“We wanted to have a great game after playing many even matches but losing almost all.
We were seeking one great game and in front of this amazing audience we could do it. The pool was full, and it gave us confidence.”
Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros
“I want to congratulate to Marseille. We didn’t have a good reaction for this hard and physical game and there was no real reason to lose this game in the way we did.
We have to learn from this in order to achieve our goals. I thought before that we might have motivation problems for this game – and I can tell you now that maybe my players were not ready for this battle.”