Apollon Smyrni earn ticket to LEN Champions League
Apollon Smyrni defeated Ethnikos in a winner take all game three and booked their ticket to next year’s LEN Champions League for the first time in club history.
Friday was a historic day for Apollon Smyrni as the club’s water polo team booked their ticket to next year’s LEN Champions League. The Smyrni club put together a dominant display in the third quarter, pushing them to victory a 9:5 victory over Ethnikos, in the third place series’ winner take all game three matchup.
Apollon Smyrnis won the opening match of the series 9:8 before Ethnikos leveled the series at 1:1 in a thrilling encounter that ended 11:10. Apollon Smyrni were eliminated in the semi-finals by Vouliagmeni while Ethnikos Piraeus were swept by Olympiacos.
With the 2:1 series win, Apollon claimed third place in the A1 Water Polo League and as a result, secured a place in Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in club history.
It is an outstanding accomplishment for the Elafra Taxiarchia, who formed a Water Polo club only a few years ago under the influence of Georgios Afroudakis. Last season, Apollon remarkably qualified for the playoffs and this season, they qualified for the semifinals of the playoffs and secured a ticket to continental water polo for the new campaign.
Fourth placed Ethnikos will compete in next year’s LEN Euro Cup along with fifth placed PAOK.