It’s home, sweet home for Astralpool Sabadell – they hosted the Champions League Women Final Four for the fifth time and triumphed once again, after 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2019. It was their sixth trophy in twelve years, thanks to a hard-fought 9-8 win over fellow Spanish side Mataro. The first-ever all-Spanish final was played in an electrifying atmosphere in front of packed tribunes – Sabadell now are only two victories away to catch up Orizzonte on the all-time ranks. The Italians claimed the bronze medal by beating Dunaujvaros with ease.
Final: CN Assolim Mataro (ESP) v Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) 8-9. Bronze medal match: Dunaujvaros VC (HUN) v Ekipe Orizzonte (ITA) 8-12
It was Sabadell’s turn and the host side beat fellow Spanish club Mataro in perhaps the most important match of the season to win the Champions League title for the 6th time in 12 years. Before this game, Mataro win three of their five encounters, including a Spanish Super Cup victory, but Sabadell bettered them for the Spanish Cup and now, for the biggest prize too.
For a while it looked like that Sabadell would win the game with exceptional ease – with three action goals from the perimeter in a span of 94 seconds, they jumped to a 2-5 lead by halftime and led by four goals twice in the third, at 2-6 and 3-7. Mataro were struggling, missed all their seven woman-ups in the first three periods, but they made an all-in in the fourth and cut their deficit to a single goal, first at 7-8, then at 8-9. At that point, they had three minutes to score the equaliser, but it never happened. Both sides defended vigorously, Mataro had one last fine chance in their final possession, but Laura Ester managed to save Vivian Sevenich’s backhander with 0:28 on the clock.
The final was played in front of packed stands, volume levels reached sky high as the fans loudly cheered during the first-ever all-Spanish final in the competition’s history. At the end, the locals were the happier if not the happiest as they could celebrate their 6th victory, five of them came here in this pool, so Sabadell kept their perfect home record for the Final Fours. At the other end, the players of Mataro were utterly disappointed – they won all previous matches in the Champions League this season, only to lose this very last one.
Sabadell is now just two victories away from catching up Orizzonte, which top the all-time ranks with 8 wins. Earlier, the Italians beat Dunaujvaros 12-8 with ease, they stormed to a 5-1 lead and never looked back. This was their third bronze medal upon their last three F4 participations, after 2014 and 2018.