Barça Intersport beat Academia Octavio and win their 25th victory in the Asobal League. Pascual’s men can now focus on the decisive Champions League match against AG Copenhagen this Friday
Barça, who top the standings in the League with a balance of 25 games won from 25 matches played, didn’t allow themselves to be surprised by a rival that is in dire need of league points
Ugalde and Aguirrezabalaga, with six goals, were Barça’s highest goal scorers this Monday evening. The team is only 5 goals away from the 20,000 goals-scored mark
FCB Intersport, 36
Academia Octavio, 25
FCB Intersport (21+15): Sjostrand, Rocas (4), Nagy (1), Noddesbo (5), Sarmiento (3), Mikel Aguirrezabalaga (6), Ugalde (6) -starting team- Raúl Entrerríos (3), Sorhaindo (-), Viran Morros (1), Víctor Tomás (3), Igropoulo (4,1p) and Saric (ps).
Academia Octavio (11+14): Javi Díaz (Lloria, m.24 a 45), Moledo (1), Dasilva (-), Cerqueira (2), Cacheda (6,1p), Arkaitz Vargas (-), Javier Fernández (-) -starting team- Frade (4), Nantes (4), J.A. Fernández Sedano (4), Polakovic (2), Fernando Martínez (1) and Barbón (1).
Scores in 5-minute intervals: 3-2, 6-4, 9-6, 13-9, 17-10, 21-11 (halftime); 22-14, 24-17, 28-19, 30-22, 33-24 and 36-25 (final).
Referees: Luque Cabrejas and Pascual Sánchez.
After barely 20 seconds of play, Mikel Aguirrezabalaga scored Barça’s first goal, and in the final minute of the match, Konstantin Igropulo score the 36th and definitive goal. The match was dominated from start to finish by Xavi Pascual’s men. Academia Octavio, who haven’t won a game in 2012, gave it their best shot, especially at the start of the match. In fact, they only trailed by one after 13 minutes (7-6). From that point on the Barça machinery snapped into action and 10 minutes later the result was 17 to 9.
Noddesbo and Aguirrezabalaga were on target at the start of the match, both players had netted four times each after 30 minutes. In the first half Barça came out with Igropulo playing on the right, Sarmiento defending on the left and Víctor Tomás in the middle. The Barça defence was a nightmare for Enrique Domínguez’ men, who went to the half with a 10-point deficit.
5 goals away from the 20,000 mark
At the start of the second half, Barça’s advantage varied in between 8 and 10 goals. The Catalans were lethal on the counter and unbeatable on defence. Barça, who didn’t exhaust all of their attacking options, finished the game 5 goals under the 20,000-goal mark after 22 seasons in the Asobal. The record will be broken next week in Cuenca on Ciudad Encantada’s court.
In the final stretch of the match, Ocatvio pressed forward but Sjöstrand, with two penalty saves that earned him praise from the stands, frustrated the comeback. The keeper finished the game having saved 42% of Octavio’s shots on goal. Xavi Pascual took advantage of the situation to rest key players like Daniel Saric and Shiarei Rutenka, who watched the game from the bench. Juanín García, Marco Oneto and Magnus Jernemyr weren’t named to the Barça squad.
Up next: AG Copenhagen
On Saturday the team played against Antequera and this Monday it was Octavio’s turn. That makes it 25 victories with 5 games still to go in the League. Now, it’s finally time, with the work done in the Asobal to focus on this Friday’s match against Copenhagen. Barça will take on the Danish side in the quarter finals of the Champions League. There are two matches left until the Final Four and the reigning European champions want to be there.