Champions League Final Six: It will be a battle of nerves!

Eger and Brescia were in a huge contest with each other on the first day of the Championsá League Final Six, the 'home' team eventually prevailing to set up an Eger-Szióolnok clash for a place in the final.

Photo: Dávid Madar

Eger head coach Norbert Dabrowski put his bag next to one of the pillars and started the 'fifth' quarter of the Eger-Brescia match, this being much easier though because all he had to do was talk about the win to the waiting journalists.

"From a physical point of view this match was very tough so this was the worst possible scenario bearing in mind Friday's semi-final", Dabrowski said. "But I knew that it would be this way and we discussed earlier that physically we prepared to contest three matches at the Final Six. This was visible at the end when we won having battled harder. Despite the fact that the referees were strict, there was a lot of controversy and many times I couldn't understand the decisions, although at least they were consistent. We reacted well to these situations, we adapted and if we look at the fact Muslim only scored at the end, we can see we came out of it better".

This result means Eger have written themselves into club history because they've never before reached the last four of this competition but Dabrowski foresaw this and emphasised they have two important tasks now; to rest themselves and to make sure they don't celebrate the victory too much. If they do, they won't be able to beat Szolnok.

"At the start of the match Szolnok will surely dictate a quick tempo so it falls to us, as it usually does, to stop this rush. Every team which plays like this tires in this rhythm so after two quarters the game slows down and anything can happen, therefore we have to take care of the first part of the match. From the middle of the game we'll need to roughly be on level terms - then a new match starts which will be a battle of nerves", added the Eger coach.

Meanwhile, Brescia's coach Alessandro Bovo was less talkative, although of course he had less reason to be than his counterpart did.

"Basically we played a good match and my team brought out of themselves what they were capable of, but that was only enough [to achieve what we did]", the Italian coach said.

Eger defender Dániel Angyal emphasised that it was difficult to remain composed until the end because Italian water polo is very strong so therefore it was a particular delight that it wasn't Eger but their rivals who lost their patience.

"However much the contest took out of us, it can give us extra energy that we have made club history. In any case we had prepared for three matches in three days so we're going to cope with it".

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

ZF-Eger 6–4 AN Brescia (ITA) (2–2, 1–1, 1–1, 2–0)
Duna Aréna, officials: Putnikovic (SRB), Schwartz (ISR)

EGER: Mitrovic – Cuckovic 1, Hosnyánszky, Csuk, Erdélyi, Vapenski 1, Hárai 3. Replacements: Angyal, Decker Á., Lőrincz, Kovács G. 1, Bedő. Head coach: Dabrowski Norbert

BRESCIA: del Lungo – C. Presciutti, Randelovic, Paskovic 1, Muslim 1, Nora 2, Bertoli. Replacements: Guerrato, Manzi, N. Presciutti, Ubovic, Napolitano. Head coach: Alessandro Bovo

Rest of the schedule

Friday 26th May – Semi-finals
Olympiakos - Brescia (5th-place play-off), 17:30
Jug Dubrovnik - Pro Recco, 19:00
ZF-Eger - Szolnoki Dózsa-Közgép, 20:30

Saturday 27th May
Bronze-medal match, 15:15
Final, 16:45