Szolnok holds on to beat Primorje

Szolnok finished on top in an absolute cracker and match of the day edging rivals Primorje 13-12 at home in Hungary. As tense as the game finished, the commanding was the lead for Szolnok at the half (6-3) after a superior showing in the opening two quarters. Home fans anticipated a clear win but were dissapointed as visitors stormed back in the third period for what was to become a real dog fight. The game looked up for grabs in the final period despite Szolnok grabbing a two-goal lead on a pair of occasions.

Primorje standout Petar Muslim (4 goals) brought his team back to trailing just a single goal (11-10) before his ex-teammate Daniel Varga pulled the trigger to restore the two-goal advantage for Szolnok. A nice center goal by Damir Buric for Primorje brought tensions back before Serbian centre-back Milan Aleksic (pictured) netted his 2nd of the afternoon on a man-up play after a foul for Buric as Szolnok now led 13-11 with just 1.26 to play. It proved to be the dagger although Xavi Garcia's response for Primorje came with still just over a minute left in the game. The home side held on for the close but valuable win in group B.

CommentsSandor Cseh, Head coach of Szolnok

“It was a strange game as Rijeka could always come back but all in all we showed great character and fought really hard. I would say we did almost everything we had in our game plan though we still conceded 12 goals. However, with our offensive potential and attacking style it’s hard to keep our strong rivals on less goals. It was a really spectacular game, we had a lapse at the beginning of the third but we showed strength, didn’t collapse, bounced back after Rijeka’s 0-4 rush and that makes me really happy. We are here to prove we belong to the best sides but this was only the first occasion when we could deliver the expected level of play at the international stage.”

Daniel Varga, player of Szolnok

“For me winning was the most important of all, however I cannot deny that this wasn’t just an average game as me and my brother played in Rijeka for four years. Though I felt only the positive part of that it gave me extra motivation – and it also helped at specific situations when I knew what they were about to play. As for the game as a whole, the bad news is that we are still capable of producing a 4-5 minute long black-out period as it happened again in the third period. The good news is that we were able to produce an almost perfect game for three and a half periods and we weren’t broken from the blackout but could come back to the game and reach the high level again in our play.”

Brescia vs. Olympiacos

So close to kick off the Champions League with a hard-fought win in the competitive group A. But then there was Ioannis Fountoulis. His late charge, scoring twice in just over the game's final minute, saw Olympiacos completing a little comeback to draw level with Brescia in Italy on day 1 of the Champions League preliminary phase. Before Brescia looked well underway to a nice start of their 2014-2015 Champions League campaign after a dominant 3-0 run in the second quarter had the home side in a commanding lead going into half-time: 5-2. The visitors from Greece however hung on in the third period and eventually managed to get back to a levelled score in the game's final phase. With top scorer Ioannis Fountoulis once again as the game saver. The shooter struck twice when it was needed the most also leading his team with three goals total.


Theodoros Vlachos, head coach of Olympiakos
“First of all, I’ve seen a spectacular game in a very good atmosphere. I’m satisfied with our performance, we’ve gained an important point. In the first part of the match we’ve suffered from Brescia’s pressing and we committed a couple of mistakes in defence. Then we’ve recovered, uses the right energies and we’ve played as we can.”

Alessandro Bovo, head coach of Brescia
“What a pity, we’ve defended not that well in the last period. However, I have nothing to complain about our performance, even if we have to improve ourselves. We’ve taken the lead twice towards the end and but we were caught up on both occasions and it’s not good.”

Nicholas Presciutti, player of Brescia
“Today’s result leaves a bitter taste: we’ve played well for three periods, then we committed some mistakes and a little bit of bad luck has also hit our side. This draw will be a lesson to us.”

Spandau vs. Jug
For Jug a win in Berlin was expected but came all but easy against German record champion Spandau. In fact the home side grabbed the lead and control of the game in the third period after a balanced first half. The Germans looked underway to a nice opening round victory before Jug stormed back in the final term scoring three unanswered goals. Including the winner by the recently returned Paulo Obradovic with over a minute remaining giving his team a close but welcome win to kick things off in group B. Obradovic and centre-forward Niksa Dobud earned top scoring honours netting 3 shots each.

Barceloneta vs. Eger
Another tied score as final result was reached in Barcelona where reigning European champions saw a sure victory over Hungarian champions Eger slip away in the final seconds as Balasz Erdelyi netted his only shot of the game to level the score at 7-7 on man-up. For the home side the draw will more or less feel as a loss considering Barceloneta's lead troughout most of the contest. Even in the final period goals by Balasz Sziranyi and Albert Español on two occasions got Barceloneta the lead and despite a man-up chance with a minute remaining, not converted by the home team, Eger managed to equalise as the game went down to the wire. Barceloneta's Fransisco Fernandez was excluded with just 4 seconds to go and Erdelyi quickly made use of the advantage to get Eger a point out of the title-holders' pool.

Champions League 2014-2015
Preliminary round 1

Saturday, 29 November

AN Brescia (ITA) vs. Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 9-9 (2-2, 3-0, 2-3, 2-4)
Brescia scorers: Christian Presciutti 3, Valerio Rizzo 2, Michael Bodegas 2, Federico Pagani, Alessandro Nora.

Olympiacos scorers: Ioannis Fountoulis 3, Blai Mallarach 2, Emmanouil Mylonakis, Evangelos Delakas, Angelos Vlachopoulos, Georgios Ntoskas.

Szolnok (HUN) vs. Primorje EB Rijeka (CRO) 13-12 (3-2, 3-1, 3-5, 4-4)
Szolnok scorers: Daniel Varga 3, Norbert Madaras 2, Marton Vamos 2, Milan Aleksic 2, Zivko Gocic, Denes Varga, Gabor Kis, Stefan Mitrovic.

Primorje scorers: Petar Muslim 4, Sandro Sukno 2, Antonio Petrovic 2, Xavi Garcia 2, Damir Buric, Andelo Setka.

Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin (GER) vs. Jug CO Dubrovnik (CRO) 8-9 (2-2, 3-3, 3-1, 0-3)
Spandau scorers: Martin Famera 3, Marko Stamm 2, Mateo Cuk, Erik Miers, Marin Restovic.

Jug scorers: Niksa Dobud 3, Paulo Obradovic 3, Miho Boskovic, Aaron Younger, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari.

C.N. Atletic-Barceloneta (ESP) vs. ZF-Eger (HUN) 7-7 (1-1, 1-1, 3-3, 2-2)
Barceloneta scorers: Balasz Sziranyi 2, Albert Español 2, Bernardo Oneto, Gonzalo Echenique, Nemanja Ubovic.

Eger scorers: Boris Vapenski 2, Gergö Zalanki, Uros Cuckovic, Norbert Hosnyanszky, Milos Cuk, Balazs Erdelyi.

Sunday, 30 November