UVSE gave it everything in their Euroliga final on Sunday but hosts CN Sabadell were just a little bit better, as reflected in the 11-8 result which meant the Hungarian club finished runners-up.
Watched again live by Hungarian Water Polo Association President Dénes Kemény and women’s national team coach Attila Bíró, UVSE put up a great show in a tight Euroliga final against hosts CN Sabadell of Spain but just fell short in their aim of being the first Hungarian club to become champions of Europe since Szentes in 1993.
András Hertzka’s team started superbly and led Sabadell three times in the first quarter, in part thanks to two goals from Gabriella Szücs, but the Spanish club weren’t favourites for no reason and they recovered each time, even taking a two-goal advantage into the second quarter. Rita Keszthelyi pulled a goal back for Újpest but the home defence had been successful in neutralising centre Ildikó Tóth and a player advantage was also spurned as parity remained elusive.
The Spanish team pulled ahead to win the second period 2-1 and lead 7-4 at the half-time break, but thereafter it was UVSE who impressed, Tóth and Keszthelyi scoring again as the third quarter was drawn 2-2 before Edina Gangl saved a penalty and Dóra Csabai and Hanna Kisteleki scored to give UVSE a 2-1 final-period win. It wasn’t enough to avert an 11-8 defeat to their Spanish opponents but they had certainly impressed many in the water polo world during this season’s European adventure, one which has proved to be the best Hungarian club performance in this competition since Dunaújvárosi Főiskola in 2003.
Result – Euroliga final:
UVSE 8-11 CN Sabadell (3-5, 1-2, 2-2, 2-2)
Goalscorers: UVSE: Szücs 3, Kisteleki H. 2, Keszthelyi, Tóth I., Csabai; SAB: A. Espar 3, Domenech 2, Forca 2, Garcia 2, Cordobes, Pareja
Olympiakos Pireus (Greece) 9-10 Kinef Kirishi (Russia)
Goalscorers: OLY: Eggens 3, Eleftheriadou 2, Avramidou 2, Emmoli, Asimaki; KIR: Glyzhina 6, Simanovich 2, Soboleva 2
The Euroliga final standings:
1. CN Sabadell (SPA)
2. UVSE (HUN)
3. Kinef Kirishi (RUS)
4. Olympiakos Pireus (GRE)
Source: Press release – Hungarian Water Polo Association