Hungary water polo team will play against Montenegro for the trophy at the FINA World League Superfinal in Budapest. The Hungarians had to survive a real water polo drama at their own swimming pool to get a narrow but important victory for the place in the final.
The home crowd was literally silenced after the first half in which Japan took a 5:2 lead, after a stunning four consecutive goals. Hungarians played very bad in the second quarter, and also Japanese goalkeeper was at the very high level.
Only in the second half, the Hungarians reacted as it is expected from such a water polo powerhouse. They scored seven goals in that period and cut the deficit to 9:8. In the last quarter, it was the Hungarians experience which brought them a victory for the first World League final since 2014.
Zalanki, Batori, Vamos, and Bedo all scored two goals each to secure home fans another water polo spectacle on Saturday.
Montenegro national team also had a tough job against Spain, but it was not such a drama as with the Hungarians. Montenegrins built their lead step by step as the game passed by.
This is also a return to the World League finals for the Montenegro water polo after eight years. It was Djuro Radovic best goal on the tournament so far as he scored four goals.
Croatia had a chance for the revenge against the USA for the defeat in the group phase of the competition and they took it. The stakes were not high in this match, but nevertheless, both teams got a red card in the swimming pool, while also Croatia head coach Ivica Tucak was sent off. The defending world champions were dominant in the second half, so in the relatively easy way, they secured a win.
The Croats will fight for the fifth place against Australia. The Aussies had an easy jog against Kazakhstan as they took the control of the game from the first play.
Australian water polo players started the game with a 4:1 lead in the first quarter. The only goal for the Kazahks was after the ball hit the goalkeeper’s head. The Asians got a bit closer in the second at 5-3 but that was it.
In the second half, both teams continued to score goals, while the defense was not on the agenda. Campbell, Aaron Younger, and Andrew Ford all scored hattricks.
Croatia 10:7 USA
(3:2, 0:1, 3:1, 4:3)
Croatia: Lovre 2, Garcia 2, Benic, Buljubasic, Buslje, Vrlic, Setka, Krapic
USA: Cupido 2, Bowen 2, Irving 2, Hallock
Australia 15:11 Kazakhstan
(4:1, 5:4, 4:2, 2:4)
Australia: Campbell 3, Younger 3, Ford 3, Power 2, Brooks, Roach, Kayes, Putt
Kazakhstan: Shakenov 2, Ukumanov 2, Ruday 2, Godoyanyuk 2, Medvedev 2, Verdesh
Hungary 10:9 Japan
(2:1, 0:4, 7:3, 2:1)
Hungary: Zalanki 2, Batori 2, Vamos 2, Bedo 2, Angyal, Manhercz, Erdelyi
Japan: Araki 3, Yoshida 2, Okawa 2, Adachi, Inaba
Spain 8:10 Montenegro
(2:3, 2:2, 1:3, 3:2)
Spain: Perrone 3, Munarriz 2, Cabanas, Tahull, Mallarch
Montenegro: Radovic 4, Janovic 2, Djurdjic 2, Ivovic 2
SATURDAY, June 23
USA – Kazakhstan
Japan – Spain
Hungary – Montenegro