Day 5, Group A: Vouliagmeni (GRE) v Jadran Split (CRO) 13-12
Based on the first couple of minutes, few may have expected to watch a brilliant, 25-goal epic which served a huge blow to Jadran’s F8 dreams while Vouliagmeni claimed its second straight win.
The first hit arrived after 4:25 minutes, then more followed, after 1-1 the hosts netted two in 59 seconds, but the Croats pulled one back before the first break. Two fast action goals early in the second gave Vouliagmeni a 5-2 lead and they could keep the distance till 7-4, before Rino Buric made it 7-5 with 1:11 to go till the big break.
Jadran had a great spell early in the third, Marino Cagalj buried a man-up, later Buric scored from action for 7-7. The Croats even had a possession to take the lead but missed that and Charalampos Troulos halted the hosts’ scoreless run after 5:08 minutes from a 6 on 5. Niksa Dobud equalised once more, from a man-up, but Aristeidis Chalyvopoulos put the Greeks ahead with a 6m shot 38 seconds from time for 9-8.
The Greeks doubled their lead twice in the first three minutes in the last quarter, but their rivals reset the single-goal difference soon. It stood 11-10 when Jadran killed a man-down, then had an extra to make it even but missed that crucial opportunity. They survived another Greek 6 on 5 but were unable to level the score in the next two possessions. And after three minutes of intense battling, it was the hosts who managed to score first, Chalyvopoulos sent the ball home from an extra for 12-10 with 1:53 to go. The Croats couldn’t penetrate the home side’s defence and when Dimitrios Nikolaidis scored a magnificent backhander from the centre for 13-10 with 56 seconds to go, the game was over. Though Jadran scored two in the remaining time, the second one came 15 seconds before the buzzer and the Greeks never gave the ball away.
How they saw it
Vladimir Vujasinovic, coach, Vouliagmeni
“I’m really proud of my players, since Jadran is a great team, aiming to reach the Final Eight but we proved that we could play under pressure. This was great teamwork, and a big win for us.”
Jure Marelja, coach, Jadran
“We could not really stop their centre-forwards, and when we could come back and had chances to equalise, we missed a couple of shots, hit the posts, sometimes we were unlucky.”