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2017 Champions L. 2017 LEN Events News Water Polo

Champions League Final 6, Budapest (HUN) Preview, 1st Quarter-final

19.00 Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Jug Croatia Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO)

  • This is the re-match of last year’s final. Jug won the trophy after beating Olympiacos 6-4. The Croats scored the last two goals of the match after 4-4.
  • That was Olympiacos only loss in the entire season, including their home matches. In this season the Greeks remain undefeated in the Greek league but had two losses in the last two rounds of the prelims: to Szolnok (4-6, in Piraeus) and to Brescia (10-13, in Brescia, though that was a game without importance for Piraeus).
  • Jug is the title-holder, it was their 4th win in the Champions League history, however, it was the first time they clinched the trophy outside their city as their first three wins all was achieved in Dubrovnik (1981, 2001, 2006). With three more appearances in the finals, Jug is 5th on the all-time-ranks.
  • Jug beat Olympiacos in the 2001 final (8-7 in extra-time).
  • Olympiacos won the trophy in the next year, in 2002. It happened here in Budapest, on the Margaret Island where they beat Honved (HUN) 9-7 for the title. In the semis they took revenge on Jug, beating them 8-5. That time a Hungarian coached the Greeks, Zoltan Kasas, Theodors Vlachos, the current boss was his assistant coach in that year.
  • Since the introduction of the Final Four in 1997 (switched to Final Six in 2014) Olympiacos had 4 appearances: 2001 (2.), 2002 (1.), 2007 (4.), 2016 (2.).
  • Jug reached the final stage more frequently, they had 11 appearances altogether, including 6 straight F4 presences between 2005 and 2010. Here are the list with the placements: 2001 (1.), 2002 (4.), 2005 (4.), 2006 (1.), 2007 (2.), 2008 (2.), 2009 (3.), 2010 (4.), 2013 (2.), 2015 (4.), 2016 (1.).
  • In the current season Olympiacos had 7 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses in the prelims. They drew with Szolnok in Hungary on the opening day, then came 7 straight wins before losing to the Hungarians and in Brescia on the last two days.
  • Jug made 5-2-3 in the prelims, including a surprising 15-15 tie with Hannover in Dubrovnik (though Jug came back from 7-11 down in the last period which ended in an amazing 9-5 partial result). Jug lost to Recco (twice) and to Eger in the last match which pushed them back to the third place in the group.
  • Jug netted 115 goals in the prelims, second best on the scoring list behind Recco (116). Olympiacos had 90, 5th in overall. As for the goals conceded, Jug got 92, the most among the F6 participants. Olympiacos got 63, the second fewest in the entire field (tied with Recco), behind Szolnok (62).
  • It’s going to be a special battle of the goalkeepers of the Olympic silver medallist Croatian national team: Josip Pavic defends the Greeks’ goal while Marko Bijac minds Jug’s one – Bijac was picked for the best goalkeeper award last year in the Final Six.
  • Olympiacos has another Croat in its line-up, 2012 Olympic champion Andro Buslje who was born in Dubrovnik, spent most of his career in Jug (13 years) and joined Olympiacos for this season.
  • Further foreign stars boosting Olympiacos chances: Montenegrin Mladan Janovic and Spain’s Albert Espanol (F6 MVP in 2014).
  • The rest of the Piraeus basic team plays in the Greek national team (bronze medallist at the 2015 World Championships).
  • Olympiacos head coach Theodoros Vlachos will have another trip to Budapest this July as he is going to lead the Greek national team at the FINA Worlds.
  • Jug fields 5 Olympic silver medallists from Rio: Luka Loncar, Maro Jokovic, Xavier Garcia (born in Spain), Marko Macan and Marko Bijac.
  • Jug’s has the 2015 and 2016 Final Six MVP in its line-up, Brazilian Felipe Perrone.
  • Jug’s head coach Vjekoslav Kobescak played frequently among the best as member of Mladost Zagreb (CRO). He won the title in 1996, and was runner-up in 1997 and 2000 (that time in the Final Four).
  • Olympiacos completed another unbeaten season in Greece, becoming national champion for the 31st time.
  • Jug returned to the top in the Croatian league last year. Between 2000 and 2013 they won the national championship 11 times, in 2014 and 2015 Primorje Rijeka came first but the last two titles landed in Dubrovnik again.
  • They won the Croatian/Yugoslavian championships 33 times altogether.
  • Previous clashes in recent years in the prelims in the Champions League – 2014: Jug won 11-9 in Dubrovnik, in Piraeus they tied 9-9. The same happened in 2007: 10-9 in Dubrovnik, 13-13 in Piraeus. In 2006 Jug won both matches in the prelims, 13-10, 14-7.