Game 43 (M): 16:50, HUNGARY 14 SERBIA 15 in extra time (FT: 13-13)

Shanghai 2011 - Water Polo Games Reports

Semifinal 1-4

Quarters: 2-1, 7-5, 3-3, 1-4, 0-1, 1-1

Referees: Boris MARGETA (DSLO), Georgios STAVRIDIS (GRE)

Extra Man: HUN: 5/17. SRB: 6/22

HUNGARY: Viktor NAGY, Miklos GOR NAGY, Norbert MADARAS (4), Denes VARGAS (1), Marton SZIVOS (1), Norbert HOSNYANSZKY (1), Gergely KISS (1), Zsolt VARGA, Daniel VARGA (2), Peter BIROS (1), Adam STEINMETZ (1), Balazs HARAI (2), Zoltan SZECSI. Head Coach: Denes KEMENY.
SERBIA: SORO Slobodan, Marko AVRAMOVIC, Zivko GOCIC (1), Vanja UDOVICIC (1), Marko CUK (1), Dusko PIJETLOVIC (1), Slobodan NIKIC (2), Milan ALEKSIC (1), Nikola RADJEN, Filip FILIPOVIC (3), Andrija PRLAINOVIC (3), Stefan MITROVIC (2), Gojko PIJETLOVIC. Coach: Dejan UDOVICIC.

HUN vs SRB - credit: Russell McKinnon
HUN vs SRB - credit: Russell McKinnon

Serbia needed extra time to defeat Hungary 15-14 after the game was locked at 13-13 by full-time. It was a game of character by both teams with Hungary making the play for all of the game, only going behind in the first period of extra time.
For Hungary it was damning shock to be overhauled by a team that was at one stage 5-1 down. Serbia started through PRLAINOVIC on extra from close in but STEINMETZ and HARAI gave HUngary the quarter-time lead. Then came the busiest quarter at these championships with 13 goals stirring the packed crowd. BIROS (drive left), MADARAS (cross pass) and Denes VARGA drag down on the post) had Hungary 5-01 ahead. Fantastic stuff. Serbia took a timeout to stop the train. UDOVICIC drove down the pool and rattled the ball off the right upright. Goals were then traded until the end of the period for 9-6.
Breathtaking stuff indeed. The Hungarians were on fire; head coach KEMENY was charging up and down the pool waving arm and water bottle violently; the players tried everything and Serbian coach Dejan UDOVICIC was relatively calm despite the storm. Outwardly that was. Inside he must have been steaming. MADARAS made it the 10th goal traded in perfect synchronicity at the start of the third period. CUK with a brilliant cross-pass goal and KISS with a drive right and lob goal took the game to 11-7 with more traded goals. The crowd of about 2000 was appreciating the action immensely. NIKIC scored nearly three minutes later when he accepted the second pass across the line, the last from UDOVICIC, who could have scored himself, for 11-8 at 1:19. KEMENY gained a yellow card for his outcry. Hungary had a timeout and HARAI scored off the far post on extra for 12-8. With only seconds remaining, FILIPOVIC worked himself into a frenzy and fired off a sidewinder, hitting the cross bar and dropping to the water for PRLAINOVIC to push in. The Hungarians claimed he used an elbow in the face to get to the ball. At 0:04, the game was poised for a final-quarter cracker with more fireworks expected.
The number of traded goals had reached 16. That was broken when PIJETLOVIC scored off the near post on extra to close the gap to two. MADARAS converted extra, as did PRLAINOVIC at the other end — 13-11 at 6:27. Hungary lost the ball and Serbia went on the charge. FILIPOVIC scored on extra and the game was tantalisingly close. Hungary bounced the ball over the top at the end of possession and Serbia charged again. ALEKSIC took a chance from the top left and sent it down the line for his third of the tournament and the game was 13-13. BIROS shot at the end of 30 seconds and the ball bounced into the crossbar. Serbia lost the ball and Hungary gained an exclusion. HOSZNYANSZKY blasted into the left upright and Serbia had a shot blocked by 2:35. BIROS had his pass intercepted. STEINMETZ (HUN) and UDOVICIC went on a double exclusion with Serbia on attack at 2:10. SZECSI saved a shot on the line, Hungary lost the ball and Serbia advanced at 1:33. CUK shot from well out but it was saved and Hungary cruised into the last minute with the ball. Another double exclusion with ALEKSIC and MADARAS ousted. KISS tried a shot off a five-metre throw but it was too high. Serbia used its second timeout at 0:37.
ALEKSIC was indecisive with his shot and it went nowhere. Hungary snapped it up and KEMENY called his second timeout at 0:16. The ball was taken in, went right and back to the top. The ball was passed to the centre forward but the pass was wayward and ALEKSIC stole the ball, forcing the game to extra time. It took until 0:30 of the first period of extra time for Serbia to take the lead through FILIPOVIC after extra-man period had elapsed. Hungary had its shot blocked and the ball went to the breaking GOCIC. He gained an exclusion on his opposite No 3, MADARAS just as the siren sounded. Serbia had a chance for extra if it could win the swim. Serbia played the game of pulling the goal forward at the start. Daniel VARGA won the swim so no extra-man attack for Serbia.  PIJETLOVIC was excluded and Daniel VARGA levelled the game at 14-14 at 2:15. Zsolt VARGA was excluded and NIKIC's smack shot after the extra period went wide. Denes VARGA tried to tip on a shot but it hit the crossbar. Serbia regained and HARAI was called for a major foul. Serbia took a timeout at 0:49 and the ball sped to MITROVIC on the deep left. He converted for 14-15 at 0:44. Hungary's STEINMETZ gained an exclusion on PIJETLOVIC and Hungary claiming rotated the team on attack. The final shot came from HOSZNYANSZKY but it failed to get through the forest of arms. Serbia snapped up the ball and the Serbian bench went wild with delight, led by coach UDOVICIC. Serbia would defend its title in the gold-medal final.