Ferencvaros cruises to the final, Verona struggles but prevails
The so-called dream final featuring the strongest sides of the competition has been set after both title-holder Ferencvaros (HUN) and Verona (ITA) ticked the semi-finals with double wins over their respective rivals. The Italians had to overcome some scares against Marseille (FRA), though.
Both legs produced the same scenario in the in-house battle of the Hungarian sides: the Miskolc players forced a really tough and close fight but in the finish Ferencvaros had more left in the tank and secured multiple-goal wins. A month ago the title-holder led 8-7 after three periods but at the end they won 13-9. Now, in the second leg in Miskolc the host side was ahead for most of the time, with 3:10 to go in the third they led 8-7 but in the remaining part of the game only Ferencvaros could score. They did it six times, in fact, so they secured their second straight Euro Cup final with a fine 8-13 win.
They are to meet Verona as the Italians beat Marseille once again. But it wasn’t that easy: back in France the Italians gained a five-goal lead but let the hosts climb back to 9-11 by the end. This almost hit back in Verona as Marseille came up with great ‘all-in’ performance and late in the second period they stood better in aggregate (4-7). The Italians didn’t start panicking, they pulled one back shortly before halftime and with a devastating third period they sailed back to safe waters. With another goal in the fourth they were already in a 6-0 run – then Marseille staged a late surge, after 15:38 minutes they scored again, added two more for 10-10 with 1:31 to go. That was their last laugh, however, as Antonio Petkovic’s goal from a 6 on 5 sealed another win for Verona and the first-ever European cup final in the club’s history.
Euro Cup, Semi-finals, 2nd leg
PannErgy Miskolc (HUN) v PQS Ferencvaros (HUN) 8-13
Banco BPM SM Busto Verona (ITA) v CN Marseille (FRA) 11-10