Radnicki was almost hit again by the second-half curse

Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 13-12

Andrija Basic’s action shot in the 20th second kicked off the shooting parade, then the hosts hit back with three in a row in a span of 84 seconds. It didn’t crack the Germans, their Croats, Hrvoje Benic and Basic equalised in a minute for 3-3. However, the Serbs had the last laugh, rather laughs still in the action-packed opening period as they added two more in the last 50 seconds for a 5-3 lead.

And the storm continued in the second, two more distant blasts from the first two possessions gave Radnicki a commanding 7-3 lead. Hannover needed five minutes to recover from the 4-0 shock but even though they pulled one back, Marko Radulovic netted two more in 56 seconds to make it 9-4, and Radnicki seemed to be set to sail away with an easy win.

Perhaps the home players were convinced of that while the Germans had always been famous for keep on fighting. Including their Croatians who netted three in a row in three minutes, and all of sudden the excitements were back at 9-7. Not so long, though, Nemanja Stanojevic scored from close range as the ball fell into his hand after a fine German block in a man-down. Then Hannover missed a crucial extra and despite they denied two 6 on 5s, Radulovic scored one more from a counter with 0:04 on the clock for 11-7. Again, Radnicki’s ship seemed to reach safe waters.

Then it happened again: two quick 6 on 5 goals in 51 seconds halved the Serbs’ lead. Before the game would have heated up too much, Filip Jankovic put away a man-up and Milos Cuk also sent the ball home from the perimeter 48 seconds later to go 13-9 up again. (Both teams struggled with their goalies, both coaches opted to send in the substitutes but neither of them did an outstanding job – in fact, national team’s goalie Moritz Schenkel’s departure to Duisburg left Waspo in a bit of a limbo.)

It was 5:17 minutes to go, so Hannover had some time to do a miracle – but in the following three minutes they were unable to cut the gap. Then with only 2:00 on the clock, Benic’s blast hit the net, 51 seconds later Radovic also scored from action for 13-11. Though only 35 seconds remained when Hannover could regain the ball – a time-out was called, but the plan didn’t work. Still, a turnover foul played to their hand, and Fynn Schutze scored the third action goal in a row for 13-12, however, only 8 seconds were left so the Serbs prevailed at the end.

It was indeed a shooting parade: 59 shots were taken (30-29) in 32 minutes, a great and entertaining game to watch – though Hannover’s attempt for a fourth straight F8 appearance is already in doubt as they lost to of their direct rivals Jadran and Radnicki in the first two rounds.

How they saw it

Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Radnicki

“It was the same as in the first round – a very bad performance from my team in the second half. We must work harder to avoid these collapses. For sure, we’ll have longer and harder trainings in the coming weeks.”

Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover

“We played well in the fourth, perhaps in the second half but we didn’t have the necessary emotions and fighting spirit before. We need to have the emotions during the entire game. Now we need to collect points at home, we lost our first two matches but we have much more to play.”