This was a great uppset and in my opinion great day for water polo. Underdog Spandau beat might Szolnok.
It was the news that I really wanted to read more about. However, as I have learned before, there is always something controversial and maybe I should say stupid that comes out of the major water polo governing bodies. In this case it was from LEN. To see summary of this exciting game and score I visited main LEN site to read the article. One thing that immediately caught my eyes was the sentence in the article that highlighted the hero of the match, Mateo Cuk. In that sentence LEN in their official press release is making the claim that the player of the game Mateo Cuk is the brother of Milos Cuk who played on the oposite side. To people that don't follow water polo that would be hearthwarming story where two succesfull brothers are playing against each other in the highest pro water polo competition. For people that follow water polo this is laughable statement and for Mateo Cuk could be offensive. Mateo Cuk was born in Croatia in February, 1990. and was probably a year old when bombs and bullets where flying all over his home town. It is very likely that he spent some of his childhood in the underground bomb shelters. Those bombs and bullets were coming from the Serbian side where Milos Cuk comes from. Milos Cuk was born in December, 1990 in Serbia. So, yes they are on the opposite sides in every sense of the word, but far from being brothers. It is interesting how in our sport these gafs are something very common. It is like people that run the sport don't care about their followers, fans and in this case players. I wouldn't be surprised if there is outrage or some kind of complaint comming to LEN's address. Aside from LEN being so insensitive towards the players, how is it possible for the person that is writing the article to assume that these two are brothers. Is is just because they have same last name? Well, then everyone with last name Johnson or Peterson is to be assumed that they are brothers. This is just another example of incompetence and the lack of leadership in our sport.
From LEN website:
Upset of the day:
Spandau (GER) beat title-holder Szolnok (HUN) in Berlin with a goal scored 23 seconds from time. Olympiacos (GRE) overcame Brescia (ITA) in a huge fight with a last-grasp game-winner while Barceloneta (ESP) blew away OSC (HUN) with surprising ease. After three rounds only Recco (ITA) stands with three wins in as many matches.
Source: LEN communication
Every big run comes to an end once but Szolnok’s great march in the Champions League was halted in a somewhat unexpected place, in Berlin where underdog Spandau handed the Hungarians their first defeat since May 2016. The title-holders jumped to a 1-3 lead but three straight goals from the Germans signed that it wouldn’t be an easy cruise for the visitors. In fact, they were 4-6 down early in the third before they replied with three connecting goals, still, it stood 8-8 before the last period. Spandau took the lead again, then came six scoreless minutes with plenty of missed chances (including three man-ups from Szolnok) before Gergo Zalanki scored his third from a free-throw with 52 seconds to go. But it was Spandau which had the last laugh, hero of the evening, Mateo Cuk (brother of Milos who played in the opposite side) netted an action goal, his 4th, with just 23 seconds remaining. It means that the title-holder side lost its first encounter after it remained unbeaten in 15 consecutive Champions League matches.
Link to article: