Day 5, Group A: Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Pro Recco (ITA) 8-11
It was a much tighter game than some might have expected, as Hannover came up their best performance so far and they barely lost their composure. At the same time, Recco lacked their usual intensity and aggressivity at both ends of the pool – still, their win was never in danger, despite they played in third gear at best.
It was an even game till 3-3 before the title-holders scored two in 46 seconds to gain a 3-5 lead. However, they didn’t carry on their momentum in the next quarter, their finishes were far from being precise and a quick shot from Hrvoje Benic in a 6 on 5 brought back Waspo to 4-5 deep into this period. Recco could score its next goal with 27 seconds from time, Aleksandar Ivovic buried a man-up from his new position, from the 2m line for 4-6.
Matteo Aicardi’s fine shot from the centre gave Recco a three-goal lead for the first time and Ivovic converted another extra to make it 4-8 three minutes into the third. The Germans pushed hard but couldn’t really penetrate the Italian defence which worked very efficiently. Andrija Basic pulled one back, though, with 3:38 to go, but Recco still led 5-8 as the match turned into the final period.
After both sides missed a man-up apiece, Luka Lozina scored from the centre for 6-8 and since Recco missed three extras in a row, Hannover had some chances to get even closer though they could not create real threats. Then Ivovic hit his third from the fourth 6 on 5 for 6-9, and though Fynn Schuetze’s spectacular blast went in from the post, the other leftie, Gergo Zalanki quickly made it 7-10 from a man-up with 1:56 remaining. Andrea Fondelli hit one from action 22 seconds later to put the game into bed – but the Germans also had a kind of last laugh as Marko Macan finished a dying man-up after a relatively bad pass with a magnificent backhander to give some extra entertainment to the usually enthusiastic local crowd.
How they saw it
Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover
„This was a good start for us in this year. We faced a big team and we got a good result so I’m satisfied with this game. We need a lot of courage for the next match against Vouliagmeni and we may consider that already as a final for us. We need patience, we changed a lot of players, now the average age of this team is 24, last year was 28.”
Sandro Sukno, coach, Recco
It was a bit boring game, congrats for Hannover for this result. For us, it was important to claim another three points and after the Christmas break, I’m satisfied with this result.”