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Class tells as Maltese side lose heavily

Steaua Bucharest proved too strong for Valletta, yesterday.

Steaua Bucharest proved too strong for Valletta, yesterday.

Not surprisingly, Valletta found Steaua Bucharest, of Romania, well beyond their reach when the teams faced each other in yesterday’s first match of the LEN Champions League Group D qualifying round.

As a result, and understandably, the Maltese boys’ priority was a damage-limiting exercise which was also complemented by their honest challenge when in possession.

The superior technical and physical skills of the visitors were evident from the very beginning of the match as they gradually built a commanding lead which put them ahead 11-5 by the halfway mark.

After that it was even more downhill for the Romanian champions while also allowing for the locals’ generous efforts to unmark themselves in search of a clear pot at goal.

That was a fleeting possibility, more so after Valletta’s leading scorer, Matthew Zammit, had to retire injured in the third session.

The Maltese side had trimmed the leeway to 6-3 in the second quarter but that is as far as they could get as Pavel Popescu (5), Ivan Krizman (4) and Adria Delgado’s (4) scoring momentum could not be halted.

The other goals came from Daniel Robu (2), Djordje Filipovic, Julian Radoi, Andrei Busila and Alexandru Ghiban.

Steaua’s shooting, ability to unmark themselves and break their passes effectively were telling factors as they finished 19-6 winners.

The Maltese side’s goals came through Matthew Zammit and Michael Spiteri Staines (two each), Nicholas Bugelli and Edward Aquilina.

The tournament comes to a close today.

Results

Steaua Bucharest 19
Valletta 6

Sessions: 6-2, 5-3, 4-1, 4-0

VK Jadran Hercog 23
KS Arkonia 3

Sessions: 5-0, 7-1, 7-1, 4-1

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