Day 7, Group A: Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Pro Recco (ITA) 3-13
Recco was in devastating mood two weeks ago in Barceloneta, and that game already demonstrated a change in the team’s approach. While in some matches back in December the Italians went for all-in in offense which somewhat took a toll on their defensive focus (like their festive-like 21-12 win over Radnicki), in the last two rounds they devoted most of their attention to defending – and attacking became just business as usual.
That hit the Spaniards first (they were held on five goals) and Dinamo was the next casualty. Though the Georgians had no chance to cause an upset (the only side without a point, let alone a win in the entire field), still, the way Recco won the game was really telling.
First of all, they limited them to 19 shots and only 9 reached the target – and only three hit the back of the net. As a contrast: the total number of shots were 19-34, on target: 9-26. Based on these numbers, an even bigger defeat wouldn’t have been surprising, but Irakli Razmadze in Dinamo’s goal enjoyed a great day, he delivered 13 saves, so he contributed a lot to keep Recco on 13 goals, a relatively modest ‘production’ from the title-holders.
As for the game, Recco scored two fast goals in 1:31 minutes but added the third only four and a half minutes later – though they killed three man-downs. They needed 3:30 in the second to carry on, while the hosts tried to break Recco’s defensive wall in vain. Finally, Andrija Vlahovic put away an extra at 0-5, after 13:45 minutes.
In the third, the Georgians pulled one more back before Recco staged a smaller storm, hit three in a span of 1:42 minutes to go 2-8 up. In the fourth the hosts were worn out by Recco’s aggressive defending, mirrored by a 0-4 partial result.