CN Sabadell extends its historic European reign with the seventh Champions League

CN Sabadell extends its historic European reign with the seventh Champions League

Seated on the European throne since last year, the players of the CN Sabadell They denied the succession to Olympiakos to stay at the top of European water polo. The Vallesanas They won their seventh Champions League with the authority of championswith a lethal third period (6-3) that diluted Greek hopes early (16-10).

There is no European team more dominant than Sabadell in the last 13 years. 11 Final Fours played since then, seven of them with the title won. The second consecutive scepter David Palma’s water polo players get closer to matching Orizzonte Catania (8)which has not won one since 2008.

Sabrina van der Sloot celebrates a goal for CN Sabadell in the Champions League final against Olympiacos. / Afp7

The Nova Escullera of the CN Barcelona was filled with about 1,000 spectators, a thunderous pool between whistles, honks and the resounding of the drums of the Vallesan ‘supporters’ – there were no shortage of throats, green wigs or vuvuzelas -, also present a few but noisy Greeks ; privileged views for those who were working out in the gym, tranquilly on the elliptical bike while watching the final.

The last decade of European water polo cannot be understood without Sabadell in Olympiakossince both teams have shared eight of the last 10 championships. The precedents between the two dictated that whoever plays at home wins; two finals in Piraeus for Olympiacos (2014 and 2022) and one for the Catalans in Can Llong (2019). In Nova Escullera, the Vallesanas felt at home.

The initial score, which predicted equality, gave way to a Sabadell that was settling into the pool, solid in defense and finding goal. Sofia Giustini, one of the main offensive weapons in the semifinal along with Irene González, opened the scoring with a powerful shot. The Greek star Eleftheriadou looked for a reply – he beat Mataró with seven goals – but Laura Ester denied him the goal.

The Vallesan water polo players armed themselves with ease, but they ran into Stamatopoulou again and again, who kept his team alive with his saves (7 in the first half). A Vaseline from Judith Forca, a shot from Irene González or a penalty from Bea Ortiz… the Greek goalkeeper was there to deny the goal; The Greek attackers were more uncomfortable before the forest of arms that formed the Vallesan defense.

Judith Forca to distance herself

Siouti tied the match with one minute left to close the first act, although Irene Casado immediately responded (2-1). Olympiacos began to see the goal in the second period, with a 0-2 run that put them ahead, remedied by Giustini.

The Greeks came to take the lead, with goals from Vasiliki and Myriokefalitaki (2-3), but the Sabadell water polo players barely tremble when the ball reaches them, current champions as they were. Giustini found the goal again, Maica Garcia emerged at the buoy and the lethal arm of Judith Forca appeared to open a three-goal gap (6-3). Tricha closed the gap and Irene González from the left flank returned that advantage, a treasure to face the second half (7-4).

Third period worth a title

The three-time European champion had no choice but to close the gap, and he did so through Vasiliki and Chydirioti from the buoy (7-6). But then the best Sabadell claimed, the endless ambition of its talented players.

As against Sant Andreu, Irene González (3 goals) emerged to accompany Giustini (5) from the left flank, both capital to retain the title. And while Laura Ester – well accompanied by the defense – grew bigger between the sticks, Van der Sloot converted a penalty and Giustini and Maica Garcia armed themselves from afar to sink a helpless Stamatopoulou (13-7).

He came to win eight goals Sabadell (15-7), completely unleashed until the Greeks made up the score with three consecutive goals. However, coach David Palma, who walked from one side to the other and continued giving instructions, had known his fate for minutes; jump into the pool.

Astralpool CN Sabadell 16 – 10 Olympiacos

Astralpool CN Sabadell: Laura Esther (ps: Carrasco Sea); Mati Ortiz (-), Paula Leitone (-), Van der Sloot (2), Martje Keuning (-), Irene Casado (1), Sofia Giustini (5), Maica Garcia (2), Judith Forca (2), Bea Ortiz (1), Ona Jurado (-) and Irene Gonzalez (3).

Olympiakos: Stamatopoulou (ps: Nigro); Eleftheria Plevritou (-), Chydirioti (1), Eleftheriadou (1), Tricha (1), Xenaki (-), Siouti (1), Margarita Plevritou (-), Santa (-), Vasiliki Plevritou (3), Drakotou ( 1) y Myriokephalitaki (2).

Referees: Alessia Ferrari (ITA) and Boris Margeta (SLO). There were no eliminations.

Partials: 2-1, 5-3, 6-3, 3-3.

Pool: Nova de l’Escullera (CN Barcelona).

2024-04-21 13:18:33
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