Slower than usual, but Barceloneta cruise to the top

Day 14, Group A – Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 13-6

Barceloneta needed a single point to secure the top spot, but it was obvious that they would bag all three as Dinamo were not on their level. Still, it wasn’t as one-sided as many expected as the Spaniards couldn’t hit the usual gear.

The hosts couldn’t even take a lead after eight minutes, it stood 1-1, and even though Alberto Munarriz came up with a hat-trick in the second to put this side 4-1 up, no one else joined him in this period while Dinamo pulled one back so the halftime result, 4-2, was modest to say the least.

Then the Spaniards showed some quality in the third, netted three in 2:30 minutes to make it 7-2 and added three more before the last break. In the middle of the fourth they had another fine spell when they scored three in 70 seconds – but before and after that they lacked their usual sharpness, so they stopped at 13 goals at the end.

It was more than enough to secure the top spot – though this also means a quarter-final game against Jug, an emotionally demanding fixture for Barceloneta’s coach Elvis Fatovic who is an icon of Dubrovnik, a legend of Jug.

How they saw it

Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta

“I might have looked calm but inside I wasn’t. Our home final against Sabadell was very demanding and that had an impact on today’s performance. We wanted to win and to avoid injures – both have been accomplished. Also, congratulations to Dinamo, they played with discipline and that forced us to play seriously in this game which wasn’t easy at all.”

Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Dinamo

“In this moment, the F8 is far from us. Still, it was another great season as it’s a huge honour to play in the Champions League where the level of the teams and the players are so high. We had two victories, which is great. For us, these games are about progressing. We should not think of the score every time, we have to play according to our plans. Today we played like that, so I can say, in general, I’m proud of my players.”