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Olympiacos win Champions League bronze after beating Novi Beograd in third-place clash

Olympiacos won bronze in this season's Champions League. Photo: Timmy Cutugno



(4-1, 3-3,1-1,1-1)

OLYMPIACOS M. Bijac, L. Loncar, M. Vamos 2 , K. Genidounias 2 , I. Fountoulis 3,  K. Gouvis, G. Dervisis, A. Buslje, I. Alafragkis , D. Dimou 1 , D. Nikoladis, N. Gkillas 1, E. Zerdevas.

NOVI BEOGRAD L. Dobozanov, V. Martinovic 1, D. Skoumpakis , A. Granados Ortega, M. Cuk 2 , D. Pijetlovic , R. Drasovic , N. Jakic 1, M. Radulovic 1, M. Perkovic, N. Lukic, A. Vlachpoulos 1, F. De Michelis

Referees F. Ohme, A. Franulovic

Olympiacos clinched a deserved Waterpolo Champions League bronze medal by beating Novi Beograd in the play-off for third place on Friday.

It was a game nobody wanted to play. Two days after their heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat by Pro Riecco, Olympiacos turned out in style to outsmart Novi Beograd who had suffered the same fate against Ferencvaros.

The Greek champions had a flying start when they took a 4-1 first-session lead thanks to their superior movement and finishing movement. Their three-goal flying start went some way towards determining a victory. That advantage was maintained throughout the match as the sides shared 10 goals in the subsequent sessions.

Olympiacos won bronze in this season’s Champions League. Photo: Timmy Cutugno

The Serbians managed to limit their opponents to a single goal on 4-3 early in the second session thanks to Milos Cuk who converted two consecutive penalties. But Novi then conceded three goals to fall 7-3 behind. Goals from Ioannis Fountoulis and Marton Vamos gave Olympiacos a comfortable lead before the change of ends.

With the result in the bag, only statistics mattered and that allowed Fountoulis and Vamos to regain their striking touch to end 9-6 winners.

Battling for the bronze medal was a new experience for Novi who had advanced to the final in their previous two campaigns in the Champions League.

On the other side, this play-off match to Olympiacos elicited a sense of dèjà vu as the Greek champions were playing for bronze for a second time. In 2007, they already suffered a similar feat at the hands of Riecco, after another heartbreaking shoot-out.

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