Italy, Hungary: 2/2
Italian and Hungarian clubs dominated the first qualifying round in the men’s Euro Cup: they not only qualified but topped their respective groups winning all their matches. Croatia, France, Serbia and Spain had one advancing side apiece in the next round.
Group A (Sibenik): 1. Telimar Palermo (ITA) 12, 2. Solaris Sibenik (CRO) 9, 3. Sant Andreu (ESP) 6, 4. Shturm 2002 Ruza (RUS) 3, 5. Carouge Natation (SUI) 0
Group B (Siracusa): 1. CC Ortigia (ITA) 9, 2. Team Strasbourg (FRA) 6, 3. GS Peristeriou (GRE) 3, 4. SV Ludwigsburg (GER) 0
Group C (Utrecht): 1. Vasas SC (HUN) 12, 2. VK Sabac (SRB) 5, 3. UZSC Utrecht (NED) 4, 4. EN Tourcoing (FRA) 4, 5. ASC Duisburg (GER) 3
Group D (Novi Sad): 1. BVSC-Zuglo (HUN) 9, 2. Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) 6, 3. AE Konstantinoupolis (GRE) 1, 4. VK Vojvodina (SRB) 0
First two ranked teams from each group advanced.
Sicily and Budapest are the big winners of the weekend: Telimar Palermo and CC Ortigia both posted perfect records, just as BVSC-Zuglo and Vasas from the Hungarian capital.
Palermo’s journey was the toughest as they had two hard-fought single-goal wins over Sibenik and Saint Andreau respectively – here the Croats prevailed with a convincing victory over the Spaniards.
Ortigia, surprise participant in last year’s Champions League, did a clean job by claiming 6+ goals blow-aways at home. The battle for the second qualifying spot came down to the final seconds of the encounter between Strasbourg and Peristeriou and the French could score the winner 42 seconds from time.
Vasas Budapest was once a formidable side at European stage – winning trophies in the 80s and 90s –, now they were back to international action after nine long years and their re-entrée was a stylish one: four fine wins and the top spot in Group C. Here the other four teams staged a special edition of the TV show ‘Survivor’, at the end VK Sabad remained standing since, apart from losing to Vasas, they managed to have two draws and a win which sent them through.
BVSC-Zuglo’s campaign had come to a controversial end last season – now the Magyars didn’t leave any doubt that they were the best in Group D. Here the second place was decided between Sabadell and AE Konstantinoupolis and in a game of ups and downs the Spaniards staged a better finish to oust the other Greek team too with a 10-8 triumph.
Since the competition calendar is tight, LEN Officials have already conducted the draw for the second round, scheduled for next weekend, 8-10 October.
Draw, Qualification Round II
Group E to be played in Palermo (ITA) Palermo (ITA), Strasbourg (FRA), Sabac (SRB), BVSC (HUN)
Group F to be played in Budapest (HUN) Sibenik (CRO), Ortigia (ITA), Vasas (HUN), Sabadell (ESP)