Forte dei Marmi 4-4 FC Barcelona: Draw to close the group
Fightback from two goals down in last European fixture before May's Final Eight
Barça have closed their European group with a draw in Italy, despite trailing for most of the game. They still top the group and will play Barcelos of Portugal in the Final Eight next May 4 in Viana do Castelo.
The game started half an hour late because the match officials were delayed, but that just seemed to fire the home side up even more, who still had a chance of pipping Valongo to second place, but it wasn't to be after the latter won against Lodi.
They led 2-0 after just two minutes and still led 2-1 at the break, after Panadero scored in the 12th minute.
The Italians then went 3-1 up, but Marc Grau promptly pulled one back, beginning a charge that saw Joao Rodrigues scored twice in quick succession to get the Catalans a goal up.
But a fascinating game was quickly levelled at the other end and had it not been for some splendid late saves from Barça keeper Carles Grau, the game would have been lost.
Forte dei Marmi: Ricardo Gnata, Federico Ambrosio, Pedro Gil, Elia Cinquini, Enric Torner, Marc Gual, Andrea Borgo, Domenico Illuzzi & Francesco Rossi.
Barça: Carles Grau, Ignacio Alabart, Pau Bargalló, Joao Rodrigues, Helder Nunes, Joan Pascual, Sergi Panadero, Marc Grau & Sergi Llorca.
Goals: 1-0, Enric Torner (min. 2); 2-0, Federico Ambrosio (min. 3); 2-1, Sergi Panadero (min. 12); 3-1, Federico Ambrosio (min. 26); 3-2, Marc Grau (min. 27); 3-3, Joao Rodrigues (min. 37); 3-4, Joao Rodrigues (min. 42); 4-4, Enric Torner (min. 43).