After an epic battle, the men’s polo team won the European silver medal

Saturday, September 10, 2022 10:08 p.m

The Hungarian men’s water polo team was unable to defend its title at the European Championship in Split, because it lost 10-9 to the host Croatian team in the final.

European Water Polo Championship, men, final:
Croatia-Hungary 10-9 (3-3, 1-0, 4-4, 2-2)
Hungarian goalscorers: Molnár, Jansik 2-2, Zalánki, Német, Manhercz, Konarik, Vigvári 1-1

Zsolt Varga voted confidence in his usual 13 players, i.e. György Ágh and Viktor Vadovics were left out of the match squad. The manager, who was appointed in July, made his debut at the head of the national team in a warm-up match against the Croatians. At the beginning of August, the home team won 10-9 in Sibenik.

However, the Hungarians won the most recent match against each other in the world tournament in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympics, under the leadership of Krisztián Manhercz, who scored seven goals at the time, who is also the leader of the team, which has been thoroughly rejuvenated since then, as he was three goals short of catching up with Romanian Tudor- Andrei Fulea.

The excellent defense was there again

The match began in an excellent atmosphere in the packed Spaladium Arena, capable of accommodating 9,000 spectators, where the home team brought the ball to the ball, but the first shot was blocked by Manhercz – as is typical of the Hungarian defense. The Hungarian team got a man advantage in the middle of a huge whistle, but did not take advantage of the opportunity, so the Croatians took the lead for the first time, but Zalánki converted the second chance into a goal.

The Hungarians were also characterized by fantastic defense throughout the European Championship in the final, who ended the second match without a goal, and even Molnár scored from a corner kick. The third and fourth Hungarian exhibitions were already punished by the Croatian team, which could not be happy for long, because the 19-year-old Molnár unexpectedly scored a goal off the post from the right wing.

Photo: LEN Aquatics/Facebook

The second act was led by Vogel’s bravura saves, but the problem was that three Hungarian players – Nagy, Angyal and Fekete – already had two personal fouls, and in addition, the Croatians took the lead again from their sixth goal. On the other side, however, two man-advantage situations were missed, because first Zalánki’s shot and then Konarik’s close shot were saved by the Croatian goalkeeper. Since neither guard could threaten from action, no more goals were scored until the break, so Zsolt Varga’s wish before the match that his team stay close to the home team in the first two quarters was fulfilled.

However, after the turn, the Croatians scored immediately from the man advantage, so a two-goal difference was created for the first time, but the Hungarians, who missed four goals in a row, immediately came back with a German center goal, but in the end, Manhercz’s penalty brought the score to 5-5.

We stuck to the Croats fondly

The Croatian team again took advantage of two of the consecutive Hungarian penalties – Fekete scored – and between the two, the Hungarians also scored from an advantage for the fifth time. After a long time, the first action goal was Vigvári’s long-range bomb, but another Hungarian exhibition brought a Croatian goal again, so the last eight minutes started with an 8-7 Croatian lead.

The Hungarians overtook their rivals for the third time in a row, even at 8-8, because the team captain Jansik pulled Zalánki’s excellent pass into the Croatian goal, standing waist-high out of the water. After a long time, the Hungarian team could have taken the lead, but Vigvári hit the post with a volley and was sent off, but the opponent’s shot also hit the crossbar.

The referee then awarded an offensive error and another Hungarian suspension – Erik Molnár was also sent off for good – but then Vogel made a great save. However, less than three minutes before the end, even he could not help with the rival’s five-meter goal.

On the other side, however, Manhercz missed the penalty, and the Croatians got another five-meter penalty from the escape, and they scored it two minutes before the end to lead 10-8. After that, the missed Hungarian advantage actually finally decided the final, which became somewhat tense at the end. Although Jansik made it even better from five meters away, the Croatians blocked the ball with 32 seconds remaining, so a huge celebration began in the arena.

Source: by

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