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2017 Champions L. 2017 LEN Events News Water Polo

Champions League F6, Preview, Day 3 – Bronze Medal Match


15.15 Pro Recco (ITA) v ZF Eger (HUN)

  • Filip Filipovic is the leading scorer for Recco with 4 goals – Balazs Harai also scored 4 for Eger. The shooting percentage was a bit poor in case of both teams. Recco had 9 goals from 26 attempts against Jug (34.6%), while Eger struggled in front against Szolnok (5/25, 20.0%) and was just slightly better against Brescia in the QF (6/21, 28.6%).
  • There is some contrast in the goalies’ stats. Recco’s Stefano Tempesti was substituted against Jug, he finished with 4 stops on 14 shots for 28.6%. Eger’s Branislav Mitrovic did a splendid job against Brescia (9 on 13, 69.2%) and was still above the average against Szolnok (8 on 15, 53.3%).
  • Apart from Mitrovic’s fine saves and Filipovic’s great play, the other Serbs didn’t make their usual contributions for their respective teams in the semis. Recco’s Mandic had 1 goal from 6 shots, Pijetlovic didn’t take any shot, while Eger’s Vapenski had 1 for 6, while Cuk 0 for 5.
  • The two sides have already met in the prelims. Recco won both matches with ease. In the away match they won 7-11 with a strong last quarter (3-6), at home they won more easily 9-4. However, Recco had two easy wins over Jug in the prelims but lost to the Croats in the semis on Friday.
  • Recco will play for the bronze medal again after 2016. Last year, after losing to Jug in the semis (10-10, on penatlies), they also played with a Hungarian team for the third place, but Szolnok beat them 7-11.
  • Eger came 6th a year ago, losing to Jug in the QF (6-8) and to Barceloneta (6-10) in the game for the 5th place.
  • Regardless of the outcome, Eger has already achieved its best ever result on European stage. Beforehand, their best result was a 5th place finish in 2015.
  • Recco posted a perfect 10/10 scoreline in the Champions League prelims but they failed to continue that run against Jug. This was their second loss this season, the first happened against Brescia in the regular part of the Italian championship, right after they managed to break the record of the longest winning streak in the domestic league with 73 straight wins.
  • Eger came second in the prelims, despite posting a negative goal-difference (78-84) – since the current preliminary playing format has started (in the 2013-14 season) it happens for the second time. Barceloneta arrived to the F6 with a negative balance in 2015, benefitting from the rule favouring the host of the event (the Spaniards came 4th but held a secured berth). Never ever a second-rank team had negative goal-difference – in fact, Eger earned four single-goal wins in the prelims while had multiple-goal losses.
  • Eger has never beaten Recco though they were drawn together five times in the prelims. Recco v Eger in the past – 2007: 10-5, 10-10. 2010: 11-7, 8-8. 2014: 8-7, 14-9. 2015: 12-4, 11-9. 2016: 11-7, 9-4. (In 2007 Eger was set to win and advance to the F4 for the first time, but at 10-9 with 0:02 to, after the restart of the match a Recco shot behind the halfway mark, from appr. 16m, found its way to the net and tied the score for 10-10).
  • Recco is a club of records. By winning in 2015 they grabbed the first place on the all-time ranks in the Champions League with 8 titles. They also have the most appearances in the finals, 14 (8-time winner, 6-time runner-up). Recco’s first triumph came 52 years ago, in 1965, and followed by wins in 1984, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. As their website proudly states: ‘The water polo club with the most titles’.
  • This is Recco’s 13th appearance in the Final Six/Four since 2003 (twice they didn’t enter the competition), made the last stage more than any other clubs since the Final Four/Six format was inaugurated in 1997. On the previous 12 occasions they won 6 times, were runners-up 3 times, once they came 3rd, once 4th (last year) and once 6th. Between 2006 and 2012 Recco reached 7 straight finals, winning 4 and losing 3.
  • Recco is absolutely superior in Italy, they won their 12th consecutive championship gold and have 31 titles under their belt. The first came in 1960.
  • Eger has won the national title 3 times (2011, 2013, 2014). In the last two seasons they finished runner-up to Szolnok (finalist here), this year they lost the league final 0-3.
  • Eger plays in the final stage of the Champions League for the third time in succession, the Hungarians had 7 unsuccessful attempts before making the finals in 2015 for the first time.
  • Recco’s international squad is full of with outstanding warriors: they field 11 players from the top four teams in Rio. Three Serbian gold medallists (Filip Filipovic, Dusan Mandic, Dusko Pijetlovic), one Croatian silver medallist (Sandro Sukno), six Italian bronze medallists (Stefano Tempesti, Francesco di Fulvio, Pietro Figlioli, Michael Bodegas, Andrea Fondelli, Matteo Aicardi) and one Montenegrin (Aleksandar Ivovic). Two Spanish, Guillermo Molina and Gonzalo Echenique are also part of the show.
  • Eger’s line-up also features a series of international stars. They have three fine Serbs, Olympic champion Branislav Mitrovic and Milos Cuk, together with Boris Vapenski (2011 Champions League winner with Partizan), a Montenegrin Uros Cuckovic and four Hungarian national team player, Olympic and world champion Norbert Hosnyanszky, world champion Balazs Harai and Adam Decker and Rio team-member Balazs Erdelyi.
  • Recco’s coach is a legend, Vladimir Vujasinovic. He played for the club between 2001 and 2008 and was part of three Champions League (Euro League) wins in 2003, 2007 and 2008. With Serbia, he has 3 Olympic medals (two bronze and a silver), four from the World Champs (including a gold from 2005), five European titles (3 gold) and four World League wins.

• Eger’s head coach Norbert Dabrowski, as a player, won a series of national titles with the team of BVSC (between 1996 and 1999) and was part of the Champions League Final Four action as a player once, in 2000. He was the assistant coach of Tibor Benedek when Hungary won the World Championships in 2013.