Hungarians advance on top
Both Hungarian teams finished atop in the respective groups in the Euro Cup qualifications. Italy’s Ortigia and Spain’s Mataro joined them in the quarter-finals where the four advancing teams shall face the four losing sides from the Champions League qualification play-offs.
Group E (Sibenik): 1. MVLC Miskolc (HUN) 9, 2. CC Ortigia (ITA) 6, 3. CN Mediterrani (ESP) 1, 4. Solaris Sibenik (CRO) 1
Group F (Mataro): 1. ZF-Eger (HUN) 9, 2. CN Mataro (ESP) 6, 3. Montpellier Water Polo (FRA) 3, 4. CN Noisy Le Sec (FRA) 0
The top two spots were decided already after two days in the second round of the Euro Cup qualifications. In Group E Miskolc and Ortigia made the cut, while Eger and Mataro won two games apiece in Group F before clashing for the first place on Sunday.
Miskolc had a tough opener as they had to come from behind against Mediterrani. On the first day the Spaniards led 10-6 in the third and were still 11-9 ahead early in the fourth before the Magyars netted four goals in a row to secure their first win and added the necessary second against host Sibenik on the following day. Also Day 1 proved to be decisive for Ortigia when they managed to edge out the Croats 12-10, then had a fine victory over Mediterrani. On the final day Miskolc and Ortigia played a brilliant match, the Hungarians prevailed 12-11.
Fellow Hungarian side Eger cruised with ease in the other group with big wins over the two French teams. On the contrary, home team Mataro had to battle hard to pass these tests. Montpellier led 4-3 before the last period but the Spaniards produced a 5-2 run in the last period. Next day Noisy Le Sec took a 0-3 lead before Mataro started climbing back. They seemed to have it once rushed from 6-6 to 9-6 but it was still 9-8 in the fourth and pulled off a 10-9 win at the end. On the last day Eger maintained its clean sheet by downing the Spaniards with a fine win.
The draw of the quarter-finals will be held on Tuesday, 1 October in Nyon, at the LEN Office. The four advancing sides will be paired against the four losing teams arriving from the Champions League qualification play-offs: Brescia (ITA), Vouliagmeni (GRE), CSM DiGi Oradea (ROU) and Team Strasbourg (FRA).