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Centurions Hungary and Australia battle out draw in second-place decider
The team with the highest winning record in Championship history was denied victory in its 100th match on the third day of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World Championships at the Bernat Picornell Pool.
It was the end of the group stage and Hungary was fighting Australia for second in Group C. It was the closest match of the championship with four tied periods and a man called Richard Campbell denying Hungary what was rightfully its to take.
However, by coincidence, it was also Australia’s 100th match at World Championship level and a draw with the country that has won more Olympic gold medals than anyone else (9), would have been unheard of some years ago.
Under the coaching of Croatia Olympic champion assistant coach Elvis Fatovic, the Aussie Sharks took the lead at 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4 and then later levelled at 7-7, 8-8 and 9-9. Campbell featured with five of those goals, including his fifth from the 10m line!
Hungarian head coach Tibor Benedek was happy with the draw that needed delving into the rule book and shovel down to the fourth tie-break rule to find out who gains second place. Serbia won the group with a 16-9 defeat of China.
In Group A, the main match was the group decider between Spain and Greece — the last match of the day. Spain disappointed the near-capacity crowd when bowing 8-7 after playing catch-up water polo for three-quarters of the match. Montenegro had earlier beaten New Zealand for four points and what turned out to be second place.
In Group B action, Croatia topped the quartet with an 18-0 romp over South Africa who had a goal disallowed in the final six seconds. United States of America had the better of Canada for second place, winning 8-7.
Italy swam away with Group D in defeating Kazakhstan 12-6 and Germany battled to a 9-8 thriller over winless Romania.
Group A: GRE 6, MNE 4, ESP 2, NZL 0.
Group B: CRO 6, USA 4, CAN 2, RSA 0.
Group C: SRB 6, HUN 3, AUS 3, CHN 0.
Group D: ITA 6, GER 4, KAZ 2, ROU 0.
Sunday, July 28 (times to be decided):
GRE vs RSA
MNE vs CAN
CRO vs NZL
USA vs ESP
SRB vs ROU
HUN vs KAZ
ITA vs CHN
GER vs AUS