Day 13, Group B: FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v AN Brescia (ITA) 10-6
It was more about prestige, especially considering the two sides’ common history (Ferencvaros downed Brescia 14-12 in the F8 both in the 2021 semis and in the 2022 bronze medal match). While Brescia still needed at least a point to confirm their top spot, FTC, as it was already sure that they couldn’t move away from the third position, only targeted a fine bouncing back after their embarrassing six-goal defeat in Marseille on Day 12, plus to have good preps for the championship final.
In that regard, they took away the maximum from this match. A 3-0 rush in the first period set the tone, while Brescia, missing their first five man-ups, could get on the table after ten long minutes. And even though they managed to slow the hosts down a bit before the middle break, Stylianos Argyropoulos’ double ‘re-set’ the fire and deep into the third FTC went 7-1 up.
A minor disaster loomed for the Italians, who scored a single man-up goal in 22 minutes – then an emergency time-out helped them a bit, had two fast hits but were still trailing 8-3 before the last period.
At least the final result looked somewhat better, but Brescia were never in a position to have the smallest chance to come closer to the Hungarians. Soma Vogel was brilliant in FTC’s goal, he came up with a 66.7% saving percentage, had 12 stops on 18 shots (though his equally long-haired colleague Petar Tesanovic also posted 11 saves). Brescia’s key shooters all had a rather bad day: Renzuto 0/6, di Somma 0/4, Dolce 0/3, Vapenski 0/2 – 0/15 altogether, a clear explanation for the group leaders’ loss.
How they saw it
Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros
“We defended really well, shook our rivals’ confidence at the beginning. Then I told my players to keep their feet on the ground and try to keep this very high level of concentration till the end of the game. They did that and we have to maintain that in the rest of the season. I’m really satisfied with this game and I’m really proud of my team.”
Alessandro Bovo, coach, Brescia
“It was a difficult match, we missed many opportunities at the beginning, man-ups, counters, we could score only one goal in the first half. You know, we are in a tough period, in the middle of the Italian championship play-offs, so it was hard to concentrate on this match.”