© Henk Swinkels

Vasas upsets Jug for Final Four berth

Mladost Zagreb is the first team to reach this year's Champions League Final Four. The Croatians withstood a Hungarian attack in Szeged on Wednesday prevailing for the 7-10 quarter-final victory after having won the first game 8-6 already. It was not until the final phase of the game that the Hungarian pressure was broken by Mladost. The match was close all the way but from halfway through the fourth quarter goals by Vanja Udovicic, Ante Vukicevic and finally Kristijan Milakovic got Mladost up three (7-10) with just over two minutes remaining. Mladost reached the Final Four tournament last season as well finishing in third place after a 14-12 extra time win over Montenegrin representative Budva in Rome, Italy. The second Croatian Final Four participant followed after the second game of the evening. Primorje Rijeka played a tough battle at Herceg Novi but held on for the 11-11 draw against Jadran. After the close 12-11 first game victory, the Croatians will crown a strong season with playing for the Champions League title in Romania. Last year's finalist and red-hot title favorite Pro Recco confirmed their role beating Budva 19-6 at home after having won the first game in Montenegro 13-5. Filip Filipovic scored six goals for the home team while Darko Brguljan netted five for Budva.

The biggest surprise came from Budapest, Hungary. Vasas, having lost the first game of the quarter-finals against Jug 12-8, played a furious match at home and rallied to the 16-9 victory eliminating one of this year's finals favorites. In a strong second and third quarter, the Hungarians walked away to a 8-4 and 13-7 lead more or less deciding the match right before the final period after a Drasko Brguljan-goal. His team mate Gergely Katonas had a huge game shooting four on five earning the game's top-scoring honors for Vasas. Centre-forward and Jug-captain Niksa Dobud, Nikola Janovic and Paolo Obradovic each scored two for the visitors.

Champions League 2011-2012

Quarter-finals leg 2

A-HID Szeged Beton VE (HUN) vs. HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO) * 7-10 (2-3, 2-0, 2-3, 1-4)
Leg 1: 6-8

Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE) vs. Primorje EB Rijeka (CRO) * 11-11 (4-4, 1-2, 2-2, 4-3)
Leg 1: 11-12

TEVA-Vasas-UNIQA (HUN)* vs. Jug CO Dubrovnik (CRO) 16-9 (3-3, 5-1, 5-3, 3-2)
Leg 1: 8-12

Ferla Pro Recco (ITA) * vs. Budva m:tel (MNE) 19-6 (5-2, 5-1, 5-0, 4-3)
Leg 1: 13-5

* advances to Final Four (11-12 May at Oradea, Romania)

Pictured: Vasas' Miho Boskovic scored two goals in the victory to eliminate his former team

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