Men’s Water Polo: Favorites Advance Through 1st Round of Champions League

The first qualification round of the LEN Champions League water polo tournament brought the expected results as the big favorites all went through, and Lithuanian EVK Zaibas and Portugal’s Vitoria also managed to join them.

No hiccups occurred in the past weekend: the five sides which had a rich European history with trophies and finals all made the second round between Hungary’s Vasas, Croatia’s Mladost, Italy’s Savona and the two Montenegrin sides, Primorac and Jadran. Both Romanian teams, Oradea and Steaua also cleared this first hurdle, just as France’s upcoming club Tourcoing and Greece’s Panionios.

Lithuania’s EVK Zaibas could join them after downing Enka Istanbul and Portugal’s Vitoria Guimaraes also claimed a fine win over Denmark’s Kastrup to clinch the qualifying spot in Group D.

The eleven advancing sides now will be drawn together with the eight clubs representing the wild-card holders countries. These teams are: VK Jadran Split (CRO), CN Barcelona (ESP), CN Noisy Le Sec (FRA), Vouliagmeni NC (GRE), ASC Duisburg (GER), OSC Budapest (HUN), AN Brescia (ITA), VK
Sabac (SRB).

The draw is to take place on Monday and three groups of five and one group of four shall be formed. Two sides will qualify for the third round, where the four winners of the qualification playoffs shall join the Champions League main round.

Qualification Round 1

Teams in bold qualified, the remaining teams will play in the preliminary round of the new Challenger Cup.

Group A (Nijverdal)

1. A Hid Vasas-Plaket (HUN) 12, 2. Primorac Kotor (MNE) 9, 3. Steaua Bucharest (ROU) 6, 4. Het Ravijn (NED) 3, 5. Nepobjedivi Invictum Sarajevo (BIH) 0

Group B (Oradea)

1. CSM Oradea (ROU) 9, 2. RN Savona (ITA) 6, 3. Galatasary Istanbul (TUR) 3, 4. ASA Tel-Aviv (ISR) 0

Group C (Herceg Novi)

1. HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO) 12, 2. Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE) 9, 3. EVK Zaibas (LTU) 6, 4. Enka Istanbul (TUR) 1, 5. Klub VP Novaky (SVK) 0

Group D (Mouscron)

1. EN Tourcoing (FRA) 12, 2. Panionios GSS (GRE) 9, 3. Vitoria Guimaraes (POR) 6, 4. KVIK Kastrup (DEN) 3, 5. Banja Luka (BIH) 0

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