Hungary shakes off dominant Montenegro
It’s not often that Hungary finds itself in a two-goal-down situation twice in a match but it did not seem to phase the team that has won the past three Olympic titles.
Hungary, however, needed a 4-1 final quarter to turn the tables on Montenegro in Group A action in what was an exhilarating start to the men’s water polo competition at the Natatorium.
Super coach Denes KEMENY urged his players on but the writing was on the wall and Montenegro looked good to win the match at the final break.
Hungary poured on the power and the goals with three from extra-man advantage to go 11-9 ahead inside two minutes, giving up a Montenegro goal at 1:26 and hold on for victory.
The match was in stark contrast to the other Group A match where Spain stumped Kazakhstan 18-5 with a 10-1 start.
Group B offered its own excitement when Romania looked odds on to beat Australia before the Aussie Sharks clawed back from 4-1 down and needed 4-1 in the final period to win 9-8.
There were gasps of excitement and despair at the final whistle as Romania rued the lost opportunity in a group featuring world champion Serbia.
Serbia appeared to spend little energy in swatting aside China 17-5, although the home team put in a tremendous effort against insurmountable odds.
Group C action in the first session saw 2007 world champion Croatia defeat Brazil 14-5 with Miho BOSKOVIC scoring three goals in 90 seconds in the opening quarter and finishing with four.
Canada also gained a win, defeating Japan 11-5 by keeping it scoreless in the third period and ramming home the final three goals.
Group D started with Germany’s destruction of United States of America, going 5-0 ahead before USA brought the game to within one goal three times only to see the game slip away.
Italy took the early group lead with a 17-1 romp over South Africa.
Germany - Credit: Giorgio Scala