LEN Champions League: Jug and Mladost Win, Jadran and Szolnok Close in Hungary

Daniela Rogulj

November 21, 2019 – The 5th round of the LEN Champions League was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, which featured Croatian clubs Jadran Split, Jug AO, and Mladost Zagreb.

Jadran Split played an excellent match in the 5th round of Group A against Szolnok in Hungary on Tuesday, though in the end, they lost 5:4. The Split side played with superb defense, goalkeeper Mate Anic had a memorable night, and the brilliant Zvonimir Butic scored all four goals for Jadran.

In the first quarter, only one goal was scored by the home side, and only in the 13th minute did we see the second goal, when Butic equalized for 1:1. Szolnok finished the second quarter with a 3:1 lead, and then in the third led 4:1. Butic reduced the lead to 4:2, and the Hungarian club scored once more in the last eight minutes of the match for 5:2.

Butic again reduced the result to 5:4 in less than two minutes to go. Jadran arrived in Hungary without Setka and Krapic, Pejkovic and Butic,and Zovic. 

Jug AO defeated Russian club Sintez Kazan 18:10 (7:0, 4:2, 4:3, 3:5) at home in the 5th round of Group A. Loren Fatovic was the best for Jug with five goals and Paulo Obradovic scored three. Alexei Bugaychuk was the best for Sintez with three goals.

In the remaining games of Group A,  Olympiacos celebrated at home against Spandau 13:8, and Barceloneta celebrated away against Jadran Herceg Novi 13:12.

Olympiacos has a maximum of 15 points, Jug and Barceloneta follow with 12 points each, Szolnok has nine points and Jadran Split has four points. Sintez follows with three points, Spandau 04 has two,and Jadran Herceg Novi has one.

On Wednesday in the 5th round of Group B, Mladost defeated Hannover 15:13 (4:3, 4:4, 2:3, 5:3) in Zagreb, registering their third victory in the group.

Mladost had a hard but well-deserved victory over the German squad, who recorded their fifth defeat. Hanover only led once in the match (2:1), but the result was equal eight times. The key was brilliantly opening the last quarter, in which Mladost scored three goals for 13:10. Hanover reduced the lead to 13:12, but the home side scored two goals in a row for 15:12 and confirmed the victory.

Milos Cuk was most efficient for Mladost with six goals, Alexander Brant Bowen scored three goals, and Cosmin Radu and Aljosa Kunac scored two goals each, while Ivan Marcelic had seven saves in goal. For Hanover, Aleksandar Radovic scored four goals and Darko Brguljan scored three goals.

In Bologna, Pro Recco went 13:13 against Ferencvaros, breaking their winning streak in Champions League home games, which lasted 33 games.

The last time Pro Recco, led by former Croatia coach Ratko Rudic, did not celebrate at home in Europe was six years ago when Rijeka’s Primorje won 8:6.

Ferencvaros leads Group B with 13 points, Hungary’s OSC is in second with 12 points, Pro Recco fell to third with 11 points, and Mladost is fourth with 10 points. They are followed by Marseille (9), Terrassa (3), Hanover (0) and Dinamo (0).

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