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© Henk Swinkels

Spartak, Galatasaray qualify for quarter-finals

Spartak Volgograd and Galatasaray Istanbul are the first two sides that have qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals. On Wednesday they edged their opponents by getting a home win and away draw respectively. Reigning Russian champion Spartak eliminated Greek powerhouse Olympiakos Piraeus despite a close 9-8 defeat in leg 1. The Russians responded well at home beating the Greek squad 13-10. Veteran Dmitry Straten delivered a nice performance netting five goals for the home side. Galatasaray meanwhile recorded an 11-all draw in the Russian city of Kazan which was more than enough after the 9-6 win in Turkey in leg 1. Serbian players Slobodan Nikic (pictured) and Srdjan Aksentijevic scored a game-high three goals each.

Jug Dubrovnik was the third side to qualify for the quarter-finals, although there weren't any doubts about that qualification after leg 1. The Croats again recorded a big win over reigning Dutch champs Schuurman BZC this time beating them 17-7 at home. Miho Boskovic was on target for the title favorite netting five goals while Maro Jokovic, captain Niksa Dobud and Nikola Janovic added two each.

Two other favorites made no mistake and joined the final eight as expected, mainly after the respective first leg match results. Preliminary round group C winners Barceloneta gained another win over Romanian champion CSM Oradea after their ten-goal rout in game 1. On Wednesday Oradea looked improved but the visitors from Spain still were superior and ended up victorious 8-12. The offensive versatility with strong center Josip Vrlic, quick counter attacks through Felipe Perrone and offensive shooting power of Marc Minguell and Marko Petkovic simply was too much for the home side who did not gave up but were unable to make life hard for this year's Spanish Cup winners.

Andrija Prlainovic scored three goals for Crvena Zvezda to help them reaching a tie with home side ZF-Eger. But the Hungarians were just playing for the honor and home victory after the 13-6 loss in Serbia in the teams' first meeting. This time Eger managed to stay much closer and made up for a 6-8 deficit in the final phase through goals by Gabor Kovacs and youngster Balint Lorincz who netted the equalizer; the final achievement of the current Hungarian vice-champions in Europe's main club competition this season.

Good news for the hosts of the Final Four tournament as a second Belgrade-based squad, Partizan, joined the final eight after a close 6-7 win over Brescia in Italy. Not even a victory was needed after head coach Vladimir Vujasinovic and his men had already won the first match-up 9-6 but the Serbs managed to walk away with a second straight victory over the current Italian league leaders courtesy of a nice final quarter finish, fueled by Dusan Mandic' three goals. Teammate Milos Cuk scored a pair for Partizan.

The one squad that had a close call was Vouliagmeni. After a seemingly comfortable 16-12 win over Marseille almost two weeks ago the second meeting have the reigning Greek champs a hard time as the French stormed to leading 8-4 at half time, with an upset as realistic option. But Vouliagmeni was not to give up. Although difficult the visitors managed to reduce the deficit but the necessary margin of one goal in the third quarter and hung on to fall by three goals, enough to still reach the quarter-finals. Canadian center Nicolas Constantin-Bicari was huge for Marseille scoring a game-high four goals while veteran Frederic Audon added three but it was not enough. Alexandros Gounas netted a triple for the eventual victorious side.

Szeged and Montpellier concluded the round of last sixteen on Thursday with their match-up in Hungary. Szeged had won the first meeting 9-6 in France and recorded a dominating 18-7  win at home to raise no doubts about their Final Four contention status. Szeged led 4-2 after the first quarter and walked away from that point on to reach a comfortable 5-goal margin at half-time already (9-4). Joseph Kayes was well on target earning top scoring honours with five goals.

The draw for the quarter-finals will be held on Monday March 25 in Rome, Italy at 12.00 hrs local time.


Champions League 2012-2013
Round of last 16


Leg 2

Results


Wednesday March 20

18.00: Jug CO Dubrovnik (CRO)* vs. Schuurman BZC (NED) 17-7 (4-1, 5-2, 5-2, 3-2)
Jug lead series 19-1 after leg 1

18.00: Sintez Kazan (RUS) vs. Galatasaray Istanbul (TUR)* 11-11 (2-2, 2-2, 4-4, 3-3)
Galatasaray led series 9-6 after leg 1

19.00: Spartak Volgograd (RUS)* vs. Olympiakos Piraeus (GRE) 13-10 (2-2, 3-4, 5-4, 3-2)
Olympiakos led series 9-8 after leg 1

19.00: ZF-Eger (HUN) vs. Crvena Zvezda (SRB)* 8-8 (2-2, 0-3, 3-2, 3-1)
Crvena Zvezda led series 13-6 after leg 1

19.30: AN Brescia (ITA) vs. Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade (SRB)* 6-7 (1-2, 1-1, 3-2, 1-2)
Partizan led series 9-5 after leg 1

19.30: CN Marseille (FRA) vs. Vouliagmeni NC (GRE)* 13-10 (3-3, 5-1, 3-4, 2-2)
Vouliagmeni led series 16-12 after leg 1

20.00: CSM DiGi Oradea (ROU) vs. CN Atletic-Barceloneta (ESP)* 8-12 (2-3, 3-3, 2-4, 1-2)
CN Atletic-Barceloneta led series 15-5 after leg 1


Thursday March 21

18.00: A-HID Szeged Beton (HUN)* vs. Montpellier Waterpolo 18-7 (4-2, 5-2, 4-1, 5-2)
A-HID Szeged Beton led series 9-6 after leg 1

N.b.: times mentioned are local time

*qualifies for quarter-finals

Quarter-finals draw to beld on Monday March 25 in Rome, Italy

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