Barceloneta tops Eger for second win - Champions League day 2

Champions League Final Six hosts Barceloneta are showing to be a legitimate contender, being sure of participation already. The Spanish champs are off to a sensational start after edging ZF-Eger 5-11 in the league's preliminary phase second round Wednesday. Lead by Albert Español (pictured) who scored four goals and proved to be deadly efficient on the counter attack, a furiocious defence and well-playing goalkeeper Daniel Lopez shut down a vacillating home side after the first period. A match report is included below. Meanwhile in Croatia Primorje, who fell to Barceloneta on opening day, could not respond by getting a win as they hosted Jug on Wednesday. Despite an advantage on man-up scoring 60% while Jug shot 2-for-8, the visitors from Dubrovnik held Primorje to a 9-all draw in the all-Croatian clash. In fact, after a 1-3 start by Jug the home side rallied back and were up ahead by close margin going into the final period: 8-7. Jug though did not backed down, after Primorje went up ahead 9-7 and managed to leave the city of Rijeka with one point, not in final part because of standout-goalie Marko Bijac who posted 10 saves for Jug. Nikola Janovic led the visitors in scoring netting a triple. Sandro Sukno and Daniel Varga did so for Primorje.

In Romania it was Brescia who took a second straight, deserved, win as well as they held off home team CSM Oradea to now lead group B. The Italian visitors organised a close defence that was only broken by Romanian superior individual efforts. On the other end the outside shooting of Valerio Rizzo and ever-dangerous presence on the centre-forward position by Michael Bodegas (2 goals), combined with a pair of dynamic goals by Francisco di Fulvio saw Brescia being up ahead most of the game and, despite Oradea-goalkeeper Gojko Pijetlovic avoiding more damage to be done, were only endangered at the end of the third period. The local heroes, led by Tiberiu Negrean came back to a single-goal difference after Kalmar Kadar's blast from over 6 meters out, but were unable to make the final jump. A quick penalty shot on the other end, converted by Valerio Rizzo, put Brescia up by 2 again and the visitors finished the game off in the following minutes.

Fellow group members Partizan were close to an upset in their domestic match-up with Radnicki. Standout Dusan Mandic shot home his 4th goal of the game to kick off scores in the fourth quarter as Partizan took a 5-6 lead before the home side two brilliant efforts by Filip Filipovic (lob shot) and centre forward Boris Zlokovic (off a nice assist by Djordje Filipovic) and a good finish by veteran Aleksandar Ciric to turn things around as Radnicki won 8-6. Last year's Euro Cup winners join Brescia as the pair of teams to win their first two matches in the preliminary phase group B. German record champion Wasserfreunde Spandau 04 is remaining unbeaten after two game days gaining a 9-9 tie in tonight's away match against Turkish champion Galatasaray Istanbul. Here the score was 5-5 at half-time. In the third period the local heroes scored two goals to take an 8-6 lead, but missed quite a number of man-up chances from there. A man-up goal scored by Moritz Oeler five seconds before the last break opened a 3-0 run of the guest team, including a 9-8 lead with 2.18 remaining before Istanbul's Mihajlo Korolja levelled the game at 0.21 on man-up to bring the score to the final result of 9-9.

In the final game of the day Pro Recco posted a second victory (9-7) in the home game against Greek runner-up Olympiacos who was off to a good start and led 0-2 at quarter time. But like in Eger, Hungary two weeks ago Pro Recco once again started a gradual comeback that led to a switch of leading squad in the third period and was finished off from there. Greek shooter Ioannis Fountoulis topped the game's scorers list with three, backed-up by Spanish left-hander Blai Mallarach netting a pair of goals but the trio of Federico Lapenna, Alex Giorgetti and Aleksandar Ivovic led the home team to the 9-7 win.

Champions League 2013-2014
Preliminary Round

Schedule and results day 2

Group A

Wednesday 4 December:

Primorje EB Rijeka (CRO) vs. Jug CO Dubrovnik (CRO) 9-9 (1-3, 4-2, 3-2, 1-2)
Primorje scorers: Sandro Sukno 3, Daniel Varga 3, Ivan Buljubasic 2, Xavi Garcia.

Jug scorers: Nikola Janovic 3, Josip Sutalo 2, Hrvoje Benic, Andro Buslje, Ante Viskovic, Niksa Dobud.

ZF-Eger (HUN) vs. C.N. Atletic-Barceloneta (ESP) 5-11 (3-4, 0-1, 0-4, 2-2)
ZF-Eger scorers: Bence Batori 2, Kevin Graham, Ferenc Salamon, Gabor Kovacs.

Barceloneta scorers: Albert Español 4, Gonzalo Echenique 2, Marc Minguell, Nemanja Ubovic, Francisco Fernandez, Ruben de Lera, Marko Petkovic.

Two teams who currently not only top the standings of their domestic league, they dominate.
After the first preliminary round it was already clear the differences in Group A are going to be minimal. ZF-Eger was unlucky not to get a draw after 2 fantastic final saves by Pro Recco-goalkeeper Tempesti to deny Bence Batori Eger's 8th goal. Whereas Barceloneta managed to hold off recently voted LEN European Player of the Year Denes Varga’s Primorje by one goal  to keep the points in Spain. A must-win game for the home team in order not to fall behind early in the group stage, and a chance for the visitors to show they mean business.

After a slow first couple of minutes, the game caught fire with a defensive mistake of Eger that lead to the first goal of the game. Quickly followed by a powerplay-goal of Ferenc Salamon to pull the game level again. An entertaining remainder of the period, in which the game went up and down, resulted in a 3-4 score at the buzzer to signal the end of the first quarter. Several offensive fouls by Barceloneta early in the second session provided Eger with plenty of chances to come aside. The usually so precise aim seemed off as they continuously failed to cash in. Despite fewer shots, the visitors proved to be more efficient, doubling their lead by half time.

A quick counter play took Barceloneta ahead by 3 with Albert Español's 3rd goal of the game. As Eger went on missing chances, the Spanish champions took control of the game building their lead. A hit by Francisco Fernandez, right at the buzzer, completed an impressive 0-4 period to put Eger on a 6-goal trail. In the final eight minutes, as Eger-coach Gerendas allowed his reserve goalkeeper Marcell Meixner some game time as well, the game was clearly decided. At 25 seconds to play, outstanding Barcelona-goalie Daniel Lopez took the ball after another crossbar hit of Eger, to start an early celebration. With 11 goals from 28 shots as compared to the 5 goals from 21 shots by Eger, Barceloneta gave a demonstration in efficiency. Spanish star Albert Español confirmed his great form by topping the goal scorers list of tonight with 4 goals from 6 shots. While ZF-Eger is left to pick up the pieces with BVSC waiting on Friday in round 12 of the Hungarian league.

Thanks to Kevin Vernooij.

Pro Recco (ITA) vs. Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 9-7 (0-2, 3-2, 4-2, 2-1)
Pro Recco scorers: Federico Lapenna 2, Alex Giorgetti 2, Aleksandar Ivovic 2, Maurizio Felugo, Mladjan Janovic, Niccolo Gitto.

Olympiacos scorers: Ioannis Fountoulis 3, Blai Mallarach 2, Angelos Vlachopoulos, Christodoulos Kolomvos.

The standings are now as follows:

1. C.N. Atletic-Barceloneta 2 - 6 pts
2. Pro Recco 2 - 6
3. Jug CO Dubrovnik 2 - 4
4. Primorje EB Rijeka 2 - 1
5. Olympiacos Piraeus 2 - 0
6. ZF-Eger 2 - 0

Group B

VK Radnicki Kon Tiki Kragujevac (SRB) vs. Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade (SRB) 8-6 (1-1, 2-2, 2-2, 3-1)
Radnicki scorers: Filip Filipovic 4, Srdjan Vuksanovic, Aleksandar Ciric, Boris Zlokovic, Djordje Filipovic.

Partizan scorers: Dusan Mandic 4, Gavril Subotic, Luuk Gielen.

CSM Digi Oradea (ROU) vs. AN Brescia (ITA) 6-10 (2-2, 2-4, 2-1, 0-3)
Oradea scorers: Tiberiu Negrean 2, Mihnea Chioveanu, Vojislav Cupic, Kalman Kadar, Alex Popoviciu.

Brescia scorers: Valerio Rizzo 3, Nicholas Presciutti 2, Francesco di Fulvio 2, Michael Bodegas 2, Ugo Crousillat.

Galatasaray Istanbul (TUR) vs. Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin (GER) 9-9
(3-2, 2-3, 3-2, 1-2)
Galatasaray scorers: Mihajlo Korolija 3, Ihsan Gulsoy 2, Slobodan Nikic 2, Jessie Smith, Vjekoslav Paskovic.

Spandau scorers: Marko Stamm 3, Moritz Oeler 2, Timo van der Bosch, Mateo Cuk, Andreas Schlotterbeck, Maurice Jüngling

The standings are now as follows:

1. VK Radnicki Kon Tiki Kragujevac 2 - 6 pts
2. AN Brescia 2 - 6
3. Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin 2 - 4
4. Galatasaray Istanbul 2 - 1
5. CSM Digi Oradea 2 - 0
6. Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade 2 - 0

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