Water Polo Women, Day 5: HUN 11 NED 7

BCN2013 - Water Polo

HUN vs NEDShooting efficiency proved the killer punch as Hungary produced a stunning 7-1 opening half and finished 11-7 over Netherlands in the third quarterfinal at Bernat Picornell Pool this evening. Hungary became the second top-four team to make the semifinals after Australia earlier beat Greece.

The statistics say it all with Hungary shooting at 44 per cent with its 25 attempts. Netherlands, looking so nervous as the whistling of accurately fired yellow balls whipped past their heads on a regular basis, could manage just 21.9 percent from 32 shots. The Dutch could not say they didn’t have their chances.

Throw in another vital factor and the result spelt doom for the Dutch — Hungarian goalkeeper Flora Bolonyai made 15 saves compared with Ilse van der Meijden’s six.

The statistics keep coming. On the crucial extra-man-attack situations, Hungary converted five from eight and Netherlands two from nine.

While Hungary was hell bent on settling the result early, the Dutch were tentative and lacked punch. Why? When it came to the crunch at 9-4 down with just a quarter remaining, head coach Mauro Maugeri from Italy, must have found the light switch that shed light on the horrific situation.

Netherlands fired in three consecutive goals for 10-7, conceivably a chance of forcing the match to a draw… possibly.

The Dutch looked like the team of old with positive direction and two goals on extra. However, the dream died when Kata Menczinger scored on the deep left at 1:41. Both teams went to a timeout and that something unusual happened when van der Meijden decided she did not like being in goal and went to halfway to foul an opponent. Dora Antal said “thank you”, loaded the cannon and shot the ball down the pool into goal for 11-7 at 0:11.

In that 7-1 dash to the halftime drinks, Hungarian Rita Keszthelyi did her team proud, as she has all championship, with four goals to lift her tally to 16.
The one down point for Hungary, plus a plus for the Dutch, was the defence and almost shut-out, smothering defence of centre forward Barbara Bujka. She had hoped for some majors against her but Netherlands was determined that her threat would be nullified. Now, if only they did that to Keszthelyi!

More statistics? Sure! Hungary became the first nation to win 50 World Championship matches. Who’s second? Ironically, Netherlands with 46! The previous six meetings between the pair were decided by a one-goal margin or ended in a draw, so this was a quantum shift by comparison.

Match 35: 20:15, Quarterfinal, NETHERLANDS 7 HUNGARY 10
Quarters: 1-5, 0-2, 3-2, 3-1
Referees: German Moller (ARG), Manol Taylan (TUR).
Extra Man: NED: 2/9. HUN: 4/8.
Pens: Nil

NETHERLANDS: Ilse van der Meijden, Yasemin Smit (1), Marloes Nijhuis, Biurakn Hakhverdian (1), Sabrina van der Sloot (1), Nomi Stomphorst (1), Iefke van Belkum (1), Vivian Sevenich, Carolina Slagter, Dagmar Genee, Lieke Klaassen (2), Leonie van der Molen, Anne Heinis. Head Coach: Mauro Maugeri.
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Anna Illes, Dora Antal (2), Dora Kisteleki (1), Gabriella Szucs (1), Orsolya Takacs, Ibolya Miskolczi (1), Rita Keszthelyi (4), Ildiko Toth, Barbara Bujka (1), Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger (1), Orsolya Kaso. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.


Gabriella Szucs (HUN):
“We started very strong, we played a great defence and a faster attack, trying different movements and tactics. Although the Netherlands got closer in the second half, we always had the game under control. For the next game both USA and Spain are very difficult teams, Spain is playing at home and the USA is the current Olympic champion.”
Barbara Bujka (HUN):
“We did everything perfect at the beginning, and at the end maybe we were a bit tired, but it was never in discussion that we were going to win the game. We have to win the next game no matter who is the rival.”
Andras Meresz (HUN Head Coach):
“We had an excellent start, we did everything perfect with a very strong defence and fast attack.
In the second half they used many counter-attacks that let them get closer, but we controlled the game all the time. We are a very young team and we have played five important championships in the last few years, always qualifying among the top five. Being among the final four is very important for us.”
Vivian Sevenich (NED):
“Things went down too fast in the first quarter, we made many mistakes, but we kept fighting and fighting. The gap of the first quarter was too big, and we reacted too late.”
Sabrina van der Sloot (NED):
“Had we played from the beginning as in the last quarter, the final result would have been different. We know them very well, we’ve played several times against each other, and we could have achieved a better result.”
Mauro Maugeri (NED Head Coach):
“We reacted too late, we scored first but then we didn’t score more in the first quarter. We knew Hungary was strong, they shot well and played better. We should improve our performance. We expected a more balanced game, but we reacted too late.”