Jadran Split Water Polo Secures Champions League Play-off Round

Daniela Rogulj

September 15,  2019 – Water polo club Jadran Split swept their group with three victories in Belgrade this weekend in the second round of the LEN Champions League qualifications, thus securing a spot in the Champions League play-off round next weekend. 

Dalmatinski Portal reports that in the last round on Sunday, Jadran convincingly defeated French club Pays d’Aix Natation. In the first and second round, Jadran topped Greek club Vouliagmeni and hometown heroes Crvena Zvezda. 

The first quarter was off to an unusual start, which saw Pays d’Aix Natation receive three five-meter penalties, all of which they scored. Thus, a 4:4 result after eight minutes of play was excellent for the Split club. In the second quarter, Jadran scored four goals for 4:1, despite the elimination of Nathan Power. A result of 8:5 for Jadran at the half was promising.

The French club no longer had the strength or the ability to get back in the match, and Jadran dominated in the third quarter, which was closed with a goal by Ante Visković for 13:7. Jadran kept their composure until the end of the match, and with a result of 16:9, they secured their second consecutive year in the Champions League play-off round. 

Last season, Jadran’s opponent in the play-off round was Jadran Herceg Novi, who they defeated for a spot in Champions League Group B, where they finished fifth among eight clubs. A job well done in Belgrade gives the Spit club the right to believe that this year, they again have the quality to repeat last year’s place among the 16 best teams in Europe. 

The play-off round draw is scheduled for Tuesday. Four pairs will play home and away, and the four winners will then be split into two Champions League groups, with Jug CO and Mladost already qualified from the Croatian clubs.

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