Whoa: Brescia hit seven action goals and keep FTC on 4!

AN Brescia (ITA) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) 8-4

A year ago, they met in the opening round here in the same pool and produced a thrilling contest ending in an 8-8 draw. Then they played their last game of the season against each other once more, that time Ferencvaros won another thrilling match, played for the bronze medal – the scoreline was exactly the same as in their 2021 semi-final, 14-12.

This time Brescia delivered everything what one might have expected from them – but the Hungarians failed to bring their best to the pool. It was mediocre at best, if at all. Though they took the lead when Szilard Jansik scored in a 6 on 5 and conceded the first one only after 4:24 minutes, but once Brescia netted their first, they seemed to have settled down. It was a clear message that they managed to kill two man-downs, between the two Vincento Renzuto scored another action goal for a 2-1 lead.

Brescia brought over their momentum to the second quarter, added two more in the first four minutes (their first four goals were all scored on equal strength), while the Magyars struggled to penetrate the Italian defence. The hosts did a magnificent job, not only the 4-0 run proved to be decisive but during these 12 minutes, when they could shut out their rivals, they could save their goal despite the opponents did many things well, created chances, however, a blocking hand, or the goalie Petar Tesanovic constantly denied them and that sent them off-balance as the game went by. Though Daniil Merkulov could put away a man-up for 4-2, the reply came immediately as Stefano Luongo also netted a 6 on 5 so Brescia led 5-2 at halftime. 

Ferencvaros had a better spell, killed back-to-back man-downs, then Erik Molnar pulled one back from a nicely played man-up and soon the Magyars denied two more extras, so it looked promising at the back – still, they couldn’t capitalise on their defensive ‘successes’ at the other end. Then 46 seconds from time, Vincenzo Dolce managed to find some space and scored a crucial goal for 6-3 (up until then Brescia missed four extras and were shut out for almost eight minutes).

And the fourth began with Jacopo Alesiani’s fine drive and a great finish – in this game, at 7-3, it was practically over for the Magyars. Vendel Vigvari copied the previous hit, but the Hungarians missed their next extra and Dolce sneaked in front of the cage for another fine shot – it stood 8-4 and Brescia counted its 7th action goal (this is how you can win matches despite posting a disastrous looking 1 for 8 in man-ups). The Hungarians had three more 6 on 5s but missed all – Brescia’s defence never ceased ticking, in fact it was another shutout, this time over the last 7:07 minutes.

Keeping the offensive force of Ferencvaros on 4 goals (one per quarter) is a tremendous achievement – and beating Jug by 5 in Dubrovnik, then Ferencvaros by 4 at home is quite a start for a season, Brescia has really got going this November.

How they saw it

Alessandro Bovo, coach, Brescia

“I’m really happy for our defence. Today we played very-very well, we tried to limit (Denes) Varga in offence, also managed to impose a high speed and play with discipline – and it all worked.”

Zsolt Varga, coach, FTC

“First of all, congratulations to Brescia, it was a really tough and hard game, where we couldn’t beat a great defence. We missed a lot of chances, especially man-ups which usually we could make. Another thing is that we have to change the mentality of our defence, our approach should be much sharper and in the coming weeks we have to play much better than today.”