Water Polo Men: Day 3: HUN 9 AUS 9
Officials had to drag out the rule book to decide the real winner between Hungary and Australia in their 9-9 encounter before deciding Hungary won second place in Group B on a fourth tie-break.
What a match this was — the 100th World Championship match for each team —with no team being separated in the four quarters. Probably what did separate the teams was the extra-man-attack situation where Hungary converted five from seven. The Aussie Sharks managed three from three, only the second time this tournament that a team has done 100 percent, following China’s four from four this morning.
The tiebreak rule states: 1. Points. 2. The result between the two. 3. The losing goal difference against the group winner, Serbia (3 each). 4. Who scored more goals against Serbia (HUN 10, AUS 9). No need for the flip of a coin.
Where Hungary nearly lost the match was not being able to control the firepower and accuracy of Richie Campbell. His five goals were all immaculate, especially his missiles from downtown. His fourth goal came off the near post on extra while heavily defended. That brought up 8-8.
After Marton Vamos appeared to seal the match at 9-8, it was Campbell who stood up to the plate and unleashed a 10m shot that stunned the crowd, let alone Hungary — 9-9 at 1:57. Hungary had chances to close the match, to no effect.
Despite Campbell’s supremacy, he will probably rue the shot that he missed, the three-on-one attempt that found the left arm of Attila Decker, who played exceptionally well with 11 saves, many in the first half.
Australia will also rue the missed penalty shot by captain Rhys Howden, but then Decker was in scintillating form.
Hungary is still young, still to gel, and needs time. This is the sort of pressure it thrives on.
Daniel Varga, back from injury, scored his second goal, Balasz Harai was dangerous and centre forward with his long arms and legs; Denes Varga scored from 8m and then with a sweet centre-forward shot for the go ahead goal at the start of the fourth period.
Hungary will be hoping not to meet a Campbell again at these championships.
Some consolation for Hungary with the 100th clash was that it has now been unbeaten in 74 matches at these championships — a record.
Match 18: 10:50, Group C, HUNGARY 9 AUSTRALIA 9
Quarters: 3-3, 1-1, 3-3, 2-2
Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Georgios Stavridis (GRE).
Extra Man: HUN: 5/7. AUS: 3/3
Pens: AUS: 0/1.
HUNGARY: Viktor Nagy, Miklos Gor-Nagy, Norbert Madaras, Bence Batori, Marton Vamos (3), Norbert Hosnyanszky, Adam Decker, Marton Szivos (1), Daniel Varga (1), Denes Varga (2), Krisztian Bedo, Balazs Harai (2), Attila Decker. Head Coach: Tibor Benedek.
AUSTRALIA: Joel Dennerley, Richard Campbell (5), Matthew Martin, John Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist (1), Aidan Roach, Aaron Younger (2), Joel Swift (1), Tyler Martin, Rhys Howden, William Miller, James Clark. Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic.
Marton Vamos (HUN):
“I am tired, it was a very exhausting match. Australia has a great team. Now, we will try to focus on the next match that we will play on Sunday.”
Tibor Benedek (HUN Head Coach):
“I prepared this match by watching them against Serbia, where they had some strange kind of tactics and movements. It´s never easy to beat that kind of play. Anyway, we were strong in mind. At the end I believed we could beat them, but I´m satisfied with the tie.”
John Cotterill (AUS):
“We are very satisfied because we played as we wanted. Hungary is one the best teams in the world. We had to play the full game with the same high intensity. We are proud to play in such a famous swimming pool with a lot of history. I am enjoying Barcelona and Spain a lot.”
Richard Campbell (AUS):
“It is always hard to beat Hungary, but we were confident to win this time. We did have a good momentum”
Elvis Fatovic (AUS Head Coach):
“Obviously we are quite proud to have drawn with such a strong team as Hungary, but at the same time I feel a bit frustrated with the final result because I don´t like to share points. For the next elimination game, I will change the tactics but obviously I cannot tell you how. We can meet Germany, Romania or Kazakhstan, I don’t have any preference because they are weaker teams than Serbia or Hungary. So I feel very confident.”
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