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Waterpolo Champion's League mens: 3rd round

Updated: Nov 21

On Friday evening, four fixtures in Group A of this seasons edition of LEN Champions League were played. The match that stole the spotlight took place in Budapest where Ferencvaros TC and Olympiacos shared the spoils with a final score of 9:9. Olympiacos, having won both of their group stage matches heading into Budapest, have managed to secure an extra point on a tough away trip to Ferencvaros, who have just been held to their third draw this season in the Champions League.

Elsewhere, New Belgrade defeated Jadran on their trip to Split by 17:12. While in Kragujevac, A.N. Brescia triumphantly beat Radnički with a final score of 14:8. The least contested match on the night however was in Tbilisi, as CN Barceloneta emphatically outclassed local Dinamo with the final score ending in 20:7, courtesy of an outstanding performance from Alvaro Granados Ortega who netted 7 goals on the night.

An energetic first quarter in Split brought as many as 9 goals. Where by half of it, the score was already 3:3. Locals Jadran took the lead within a minute, however the guests with Duško Pijetlović and Nikola Jakšić turned it around almost immediately.

Jakšić brought the lead to New Belgrade two more times in the first quarter. One minute before the end of it, Jadran player Konstantin Kharkov equalised for 4:4, only for Angelos Vlachopoulos to reinstate the lead for the guests.

During most of the second quarter, the game was tit for tat with both sides scoring one after the other. Only for New Belgrade to create a score distance of three goals (9:6) by half time with two goals from Strahinja Rašović. Nevertheless, the domiciles weren't showing signs of surrender, with Nikša Dobud and Runo Burić narrowing the gap down to one goal (9:8). Viktor Rašović and Angelos Vlachopoulos returned the favour, with Draško Gogov and Duško Pijetlović widening the gap even more.

New Belgrade by halfway of the last quarter broke Jadran's resistance, as Dušan Mandić and Strahinja Rašović decided the fate of the match by getting on the score sheet to achieve a well earned away victory of 15 goals to 11.

The most notable players for guests New Belgrade were Strahinja Rašović and Nikola Jakšić who scored 4 goals each, while Angelos Vlachopoulos secured a hattrick, and Draško Gogov, Duško Pijetlović and Dušan Mandić all netting two pieces. For the home side, Rino Burić also scored a hat trick, while Jerko Marinić Kragić and Antonio Dužević contributed two goals themselves.

Experienced Croatian centre Josip Vrlić was off to a flying start in Kragujevac, giving the lead to Radnički, and equalised as well for 2:2 after the guests turned it around. Following that, Vincenzo Renzuto and Serbian waterpolo player Boris Vapenski added a two goal cushion to make it 4:2 for Brescia. Radnički had a brief hope of a comeback with a goal from Nemanja Stanojević however at the beginning of the second half, Brescia came out dominantly with two rapid fire goals to extend the lead to 6:3. A goal from Stefan Branković yet again gave hope for a Radnički turnaround, but Christian Presciutti initiated the beginning the end for the home side with a sensational hook shot, only for Vincenzo Dolce and Vincenzo Renzuto inflicting more pain on Radnički Goalkeeper Lazar Dobožanov to secure a comfortable half time lead of 9:4 for A.N. Brescia.

The Italian club with a solid defensive performance, as well as in attack managed to maintain a comfortable gap. At two instances they had a 7 goal lead and in routine fashion brought the match to a victory. The most effective players for the winners were Italian internationals, with Captain Christian Presciutti and Vincenzo Dolce both netting three pieces, and Vincenzo Renzuto scoring four. For the home team, Josip Vrlić and Nemanja Stanojević both got on the score sheet twice. Final score was 14-8 for the guests.

In the most highly anticipated match on the list, Ferencvaros welcomed Olympiacos to Budapest with the hosts registering a third draw in this seasons edition of the LEN Champions League group stage. Right from the start, Marton Vamos gave the lead for the hosts, where after 8 minutes of play, the score was 3:1. For Olympiacos, Filip Filipović made several efforts on goal inside a couple of minutes only to emerge empty handed. However, after Konstantinos Genidounias narrowed Ferencvaros' lead to 3:2, Filipović finally got the goal he was craving for and brought the guests to level terms. Shortly after, Konstantinos Mourikis completed the comeback to put his side a goal to the good.

Olympiacos held on to the good momentum into second half with Andro Bušlje adding to the scoring with a power play goal. A minute and a half later his teammate Genidounias made it 6:3. Filip Filipović encountered the same issues with his shots as earlier in the game, not managing to score for the rest of the match. The Budapest locals sensationally equalised going into last quarter of the game with goals from Hungarian national team veteran Denes Varga and new signing Daniil Merkulov. The duel lived up to the pre-match build up as it was up for grabs right up until the end with both teams exchanging the lead. With five minutes left, Olympiacos was leading 7:6 and Marton Vamos turned the game on its head with two goals throwing the hosts into the lead suddenly. Mourikis equalised again for the guests. Gergö Fekete of Ferencvaros scored for 9:8. A mere ten seconds later, Genidounias crowned a fantastic personal performance to finish the match at a hard fought draw of 9:9. Marton Vamos and Konstantinos Genidounias both made the difference for their teams.

CN Barceloneta emphatically outclassed Dinamo on their outing to Tbilisi with a score of 20:7, with a brilliant performance from Alvaro Granados Ortega, scorer of 7 goals. Martin Famera and Felipe Perrone both scored hattricks, while the standout players for Dinamo were Sandro Adeishvili and Marko Jelača who both netted two.

Waterpolo News of the day: 19.11.2021

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