LEN Champions League: Jug Tops European Champion in Dubrovnik

By 13 January 2022
LEN Champions League: Jug Tops European Champion in Dubrovnik
Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL

January 13, 2022 - The powerful Pro Recco, the current European champion, stumbled against Jug in Dubrovnik on Wednesday, thus suffering their first defeat in the LEN Champions League but also this season. Croatia's Sandro Sukno leads the celebrated Italian team.

Pro Recco came with a weakened squad, missing Echenique, Lončar, Bertoli, and Figlioli due to the coronavirus. On the other hand, Jug was in the strongest form without missing players.

Jug goalkeeper Toni Popadić had an incredible evening with several crucial saves when the result was equal. In the end, he recorded 14 successful interventions, which is anything but easy against a side this good. 

Marko Žuvela opened the match with an excellent goal from the left. However, Pro Recco turned the result to 3:1 relatively quickly. Kakaris first reduced the score, and then Argyropoulos equalized at 3:3 at the beginning of the second quarter. From that moment until the middle of the third quarter, it was mostly equal, or Recco led by one goal. Four and a half minutes before the end of the 3rd quarter, Argyropoulos increased the score to 7:5 for Jug, and left-hander Zalanki quickly reduced it to 7:6. Papanastasiou put Jug up at 8:6, and Fatović scored from a penalty for 9:6. Finally, Hrvoje Benić scored for 10:6 to end the 3rd quarter. 

With Ivović and Hallock goals, Recco reduced the score to 10:8, which Argyropoulos extinguished with a goal for 11:8. With less than 5 to go, goalkeeper Popadić defended all shots from the outside and 2 meters to give Jug the 11:8 win.

Standings: Pro Recco 18, Marseille 15 (-1), Jug AO 15, OSC 10 (-1), Waspo 98 Hannover 8, Spandau 04 4 (-1), C. Star 3 (-1), Steaua 3.

Next up - 8th round (January 25): Pro Recco - Jug AO, C. Star - Marseille, Waspo 98 Hannover - Steaua, and Spandau 04 - OSC.

In Tuesday's Champions League clash, Brescia narrowly beat Jadran Split 6:5. Jadran was without captain Andelo Šetka and Zvonimir Butić.

Standings: Brescia 17, Olympiacos 16, Ferencvaros 13, Barceloneta 11, Novi Belgrade 11, Jadran 6, Radnicki 4 and Dinamo 0.

Next up - 8th round (January 26): Jadran - Brescia, Novi Belgrade - Barceloneta, Radnički - Olympiacos, and Ferencvaros - Dinamo.

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