Novi Beograd withstand the pressure and earn a fine win

Day 13, Group B – Genesys OSC Budapest (HUN) v Novi Beograd (SRB) 9-11

It was a strange match where Novi Beograd still pushed for the first place – though without high hopes – while OSC had nothing to gain or lose but to gear up for the domestic final against Ferencvaros. The game was strange as it saw 10 goals in the first eight minutes – then ten more in the remaining three periods.

The Serbs netted two in 45 seconds after 4-4 to lead 4-6 after eight minutes and could expand the gap to three goals twice in the second, though OSC pulled one back on both occasions. Then in the third they fell 6-9 behind once more but this time they had a fine spell, netted two and shut out their rivals for five and a half minutes and trailed only 8-9 before the last period.

They had a man-up still in the third to go even but missed that just as a couple of more chances early in the fourth before Savo Cvetkovic ended NBG’s drought after nine minutes. Dusko Pijetlovic was red carded, but OSC couldn’t score from that man-up and indeed not from any of their possessions till the very last second. Angelos Vlachopoulos at least scored a fine action goal with 2:52 to go which was decisive at 8-11 – OSC, after a silence of almost 11 minutes, could net one in the very last second but that didn’t really matter.

NBG have one last home game against Spandau, a probable win – still, they need Jug’s help, a miraculous win in Brescia to finish atop; instead, they have to settle for the second place most probably which would set them up against either Olympiacos or Recco in the quarters, a thrilling match-up for the home side for the opening day.

How they saw it

Daniel Varga, coach, OSC

“We wanted to play a good game tonight and I think we managed to do that. It was a tough match, the pace was fine especially in the first half but at the end Novi Beograd’s superior quality made the difference. I cannot be dissatisfied with my team as we are preparing for the final against FTC and this game served us well.”

Zivko Gocic, coach, Novi Beograd 

“It was a very important game for us, with these three points were definitely finish at least second in our group and this offers us a more relaxed game against Spandau in the last round. We played better today so we could have a fine win.”