Water Polo Men´s Super Cup: Recco cruise to record ninth Super Cup victory

Recco claimed their ninth Super Cup title, a record – and the third in a row, another historical feat. The Champions League winners were dominant in Friday’s final in Chiavari, leading 7-2 at halftime, and even though Vasas scored five in the third, Recco staged a rout in the fourth. They fired in eight goals in as many minutes to beat the Euro Cup winners 18-10. The Italian giants were simply unstoppable as they powered their way to another comfortable victory, just like they did in the previous two finals.

Hungarian goals opened the final, but still Recco led 2-1 as their Magyar leftie Gergo Zalanki netted a penalty then a big one from action against his fellow countrymen, while Bence Batori sent the ball home from a six on five between the two. After a killed man-down, Giacomo Cannella also blasted one from the perimeter for a 3-1 lead.

Vasas missed another extra in the first, then another one at the beginning of the second and Cannella fired in again for 4-1 – this script forecasted a lopsided battle as the Hungarians were wasting all their chances, while Recco were clinical and penalised them immediately.

Though Batori netted the next six on five, they were unable to add another goal in the following six minutes as the favourites’ tough defence wasn’t leaving much room.

At the other end, Cannella and Zalanki were staging what appeared to be an in-house scoring contest, with the Italian leading 4-3 at halftime – while Recco were 7-2 up.

Ben Hallock, fresh from his triumph with the USA national team at the Pan-Am Games in Chile, joined the two master-shooters right from the first possession in the third, with a trademark centre shot.

Vasas then began to find some rhythm of their own and produced a much better spell. They caught a wave in offence, started putting away their extras and with a last second penalty they came back to 10-7 by the end of the third.

But before anyone sniffed a slim chance of a surprise, Recco returned to the pool in a rumbling mood for the final quarter.

If one noted that Vasas managed to score five in eight minutes after netting two in the first half, then what about the Italians’ eight goals in the last period after firing in 10 in the previous three?

Practically, they scored from almost each possession, and there were a couple of magnificent hits, like a nice backhand from Konstantinos Kakaris in the centre, to go with a beautiful lob from Nicholas Presciutti from 6m. And, of course, there was the special goalscoring race between Cannella and Zalanki, which ended in a 6-6 tie – their combined tally was more than what Vasas’ offence could produce in total.

Recco further improved their record in the Super Cup, claiming their ninth trophy and also became the first team to land three titles in a row, while Vasas lost their sixth Super Cup final, with no other club having any similar negative streak on the European stage.

The Italian giants were dominant once more, after 15-4 (v Szolnok) and 16-8 (v Sabadell) routs in the previous two finals, they won 18-10 this time – cementing the Champions League winners’ superiority in this contest, as in the last 21 finals, the European champions have now lifted the Super Cup 20 times.