Day 10, Group B – Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 15-12
Jug’s miseries seemed to have been over three weeks ago as they bounced back with a fine win over OSC, to leave a rather bad spell behind. However, it turned out that the Croats still have problems – the national team’s failure at home in the World Cup qualifiers, involving many Jug players, didn’t help either.
After two minutes of initial battling, Sabadell stormed to a 3-0 lead in a span of 83 seconds, but Jug woke up and in an incredible finish to the opening period, they came back to 4-4. The last 2:51 minutes saw five goals, Jug netted three man-ups in a row in less than two minutes, then Francisco Valera buried an extra 6 seconds remaining, still, it was enough for Loren Fatovic to find the back of the net, beating the buzzer and the goalie from 10m.
The Croats managed to make order in their backyard and with some better defending they gradually took control. They shut out the hosts for more than six minutes while they could finally go ahead for 5-6, then 6-7 by halftime.
The fight continued in the third following a strict pattern: Valera levelled the score from a man-up but soon Jug retook the lead. This was repeated three times in this quarter – though there was a lot more action to record. Most notably at 7-7, when Toni Popadic stopped Bernat Sanahuja’s penalty and Toni Mozara netted one from action at the other end – so instead of 8-7, it was 7-8 and the Croats held on for 9-10 as they killed two man-downs before the last break.
Though this could have been a boost for them, plus another denied extra early in the fourth, Jug were unable to keep up in the ‘money-time’ of the match. Indeed, their offence didn’t click any longer. They couldn’t penetrate Sabadell’s defence, for four and a half minutes they did not take a single shot, while the Spaniards made one steal after the other as the Croats stuck to feed the centre but were unable to overplay the Spanish zone. At the other end of the pool, Valera hit his 5th in the evening, this time from action, to equalise once more and in 38 seconds Luc Bertrand’s shot from the perimeter gave back the lead to the hosts at 11-10. Luck also took Sabadell’s side in these crucial moments, Popadic made a save in a man-down but after the corner-through the hosts could set up Dusan Banisevic in the centre. Then a minute and a killed Croatian man-up later Popadic had another save but this time the rebound fell to Sergi Cabanas’ hand who sent it to the net from close for 13-10.
Franko Lazic put away an extra quickly to pull one back and Fatovic had a shot a bit later but couldn’t reduce the gap further while Bertrand’s action goal with 1:16 to go decided the outcome at 14-11. Konstantin Kakaris converted a 6 on 4 soon, but Kanstantin Averka blasted another one from the perimeter 39 seconds from time to seal Sabadell’s second victory in the season.
How they saw it
Quim Colet, coach, Sabadell
“It was an incredible match. My team started very well, then they played the last period extremely well. This win was very important for us, for this young team, to achieve results like this at home, in front of our fans. We should continue to work hard to make one more step forward in our next match.”
Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug
“Our players did amazing things in this game but also had bad things, and from that part, there were a lot. Sabadell were definitely the better team today, we simply couldn’t make three good defending in a row at any time in the evening – and you cannot win any match in the Champions League if you are not able to do that.”