Vasas and Panionios claimed big home wins while Savona had a great away victory in France. The only tight match was held in Szolnok where Trieste won a 25-goal thriller.
Men’s Euro Cup, quarter-finals, 1st leg
A Hid-Vasas Plaket (HUN) v VK Sabac (SRB) 10-4, Szolnoki Dozsa (HUN) v Trieste Pallanuoto (ITA) 12-13, Panionios GSS (GRE) v CSM Oradea (ROU) 10-5, EN Tourcoing (FRA) v SN Savona (ITA) 5-8. Return leg: 8 February
In the highlighted game, Savona stormed to a 0-4 lead by halftime while showing some amazing defending. Tourcoing could score their first after 17:45 minutes but were still trailing 2-6 with eight minutes left. Savona, facing 20 man-downs in total, were getting tired and the French climbed back to 5-7, but the Italians’ seasoned veteran Valerio Rizzo put away an extra 10 seconds from time to secure a three-goal win for his side.
Fellow Italian club Trieste played a spectacular encounter in Szolnok. The Hungarians were leading by one or two goals for three periods, but Trieste scored three connecting goals after 11-10 in the fourth and the hosts could pull back only one.
Vasas passed their next Serbian test with flying colours – after beating Crvena Zvezda by five at home in the eight-finals, now they downed Sabac by six. The Hungarians stormed to a 6-1 lead, were 7-3 up at halftime, then shut out their rival in the third period while expanded the gap to six goals. They kept that till the end – though they need to be on high alert in two-week time as they almost blew their five-goal advantage in Serbia last December.
Panionios also did some damage in the third period – they won that quarter 2-0 as well to take a 7-3 lead against Oradea. The Greeks managed to build a five-goal difference by the end which might be enough to make the semis.