Day 11, Group B: AN Brescia (ITA) v Novi Beograd (SRB) 12-9
The opening period already produced some great water polo – Brescia opened the scoring, but NBG replied with two. Then Alvaro Granados netted an action goal with 18 seconds to go, still, the hosts could equalise as Boris Vapenski just beat the buzzer in their last extra for 3-3.
Both sides missed a man-up early in the second, before Miroslav Perkovic put the Serbs ahead once more, burying an extra. Edoardo di Somma responded immediately, also from a 6 on 5, and a bit later Vincenzo Dolce netted a fine action goal for 5-4. A man-up plus penalty combo helped NBG to level the score, then goals dried up in the remaining 2:39 minutes which saw another missed 6 on 5 from the visiting side.
Brescia kicked off the third in commanding style, scored two man-up goals in two minutes, then a killed man-down and Vincenzo Renzuto’s fantastic backhander from the centre completed the Italians 3-minute run which put them 8-5 ahead. Before things would have turned too bad for the Serbs, Nikola Jaksic put away a 6 on 5, but di Somma sent the ball home from another man-up for 9-6, this was his third in the evening. Granados pulled one back with a huge blast, then a block denied Brescia’s man-up, and with 19 seconds from time Jaksic put away another 6 on 5, so Novi Beograd was very much back into the game at 9-8.
They had then three minutes in the fourth to find the equaliser, but they were unable to break the Italian defence and then two embarrassing mistakes at their own end practically cost them the game. Dolce and di Somma scored two from action in 46 seconds to reset the three-goal gap and there was no way back for the Serbs. An emergency timeout didn’t help either – they went on missing their extras while Stefano Luongo’s pinpoint shot made it 12-8 in a 6 on 5. Radomir Drasovic’s 6m blast halted NBG’s scoreless run after six minutes but it came too late, 2:13 from time – no more response arrived Brescia’s second 3-0 run which did enough damage.
Some tensions were eased by red cards – two Italians were ejected –, but the Serbs struggled to score from these man-ups, indeed wasted three at the end and this defeat may end their dreams of arriving ‘home’ for the Final Eight in their pool as top ranked in the group.
How they saw it
Sandro Bovo, coach, Brescia
“I’m very happy for the team, for the performance. We did very well in defence and also did great in the position game in offence. I was really satisfied with the team’s spirit during the whole game, this was a very important victory for us in an excellent match.”
Zivko Gocic, coach, NBG
Was not available for comment.