Champions' League Final Six: Jug reach the last four

Last year's finalists met in the play-offs for the semi-finals this time, title-holders Jug surging into a 7-2 lead before Olympiakos sensationally recovered to equalise, only for their exertions to tire them out so much that Jug could take the lead again, the Croatian national champions eventually prevailing 11-8 to set up a semi-final with Pro Recco.

Photo: Dávid Madar

Last year Jug won the Champions' League final 6-4 but now they and Olympiakos met two stages earlier in the Final Six - the two teams still managed to put on a spectacular contest though. The title-holders started as if they wanted to overwhelm their opponents, Bijac impressing in goal and his teammates carrying out their duties to the letter, especially in defence. This was a great foundation for head coach Kobescak's team and from this they produced incisive attacks which led to early goals from Obradovic, Fatovic and Jokovic, with only Kolomvos striking in reply for the Greek domestic champions.

In the second period Perrone converted penalties earned by Loncar and Vrlic to make it 5-1 but it could have been even better for the Croatian club had two player-advantage situations not been spurned. Genidounnias reduced the deficit but the Markovic and Vrlic scored to set the halftime score at 7-2.

It's foolhardy for anyone to write off Olympiakos though and so it proved when they came roaring back in the third period, Genidounnias twice, Mylonakis, Fountoulis, and Kolomvos again scoring to draw their team level in under four-and-a-half minutes!

The huge effort in restoring parity took a lot out of the players though and Jug capitalised, Garcia scoring twice and Vrlic dispatching a wonderful screw shot to hand Jug a three-goal lead with one quarter remaining.

They maintained this advantage by the end of the match too, only Ntoskas managing to hit back for the Greeks before Markovic scored a second before the hooter to set the result at 11-8 to Jug.

Men's Champions' League, Final Six
Play-off to reach the semi-final stage

Olympiakos Pireus (GRE) 8–11 Jug Dubrovnik (CRO) (1–3, 1–4, 5–3, 1–1)

Duna Aréna, officials: Buch (ESP), Naumov (RUS)

OLYMPIAKOS: Pavic – Mylonakis 1, Delekas, Genidounnias 4, Kolomvos 2, Janovic, Espanol. Replacements: Fountoulis 1, Buslje, Pontikeas, Ntoskas, Mourikis. Head coach: Theodoris Vlachos

DUBROVNIK: Bijac – Fatovic 1, Jokovic 1, Garcia 2, Vrlic 2, Perrone 2, Obradovic 1. Replacements: Macan, Loncar, Markovic 2, Pavlicevic, Benic. Head coach: Vjekoslav Kobescak