Canada stunned the Hungarians on the opening day of the FINA World League Super Final in Belgrade. Though the Magyars rest their biggest stars, still, this defeat counts as an upset against the determined North Americans. In the opening match Croatia netted 20 goals to down Kazakhstan, later Spain downed Japan with ease too. The last match was extended well into the night as a thunderstorm hit the venue and the play had to be suspended in the game between host Serbia and Australia. The Aussies had a great start but after being 5-4 before the lightning, they lost the 'post-storm' part 3-8.
The Canadians have been transformed into a finely built team under the guidance of Italy's legendary player and coach Pino Porzio and they just showed that on the first day as they managed to earn a historical first-ever win over Hungary. They jumped to a 1-5 lead in the first half but the Magyars put everything together to climb back and after 4-7 they could equalise at 9-9. Still, Canada had the last laugh, a goal 90 seconds before the end and a second stopped Hungarian penalty soon, to gain a well-deserved victory.
Something went wrong with the Magyars, right at the beginning - Credits: Istvan Derencsenyi
The first game of the Super Final didn't offer too much excitements as Croatia was absolutely overwhelming in all fields of the game. After a relatively slow start the Croats rallied from 4-2 to 16-2 to win their first game with somewhat unexpected ease.
No, the Kazakhs were not flying at all...
The third game of the day was balanced for one and a half periods but Spain netted three goals in 72 seconds to jump from 4-5 to 4-8 and never looked back. The Spaniards were well-prepared to play against the Asians' special style and dominated the second half entirely to earn a convincing win.
Spain's young star Alvaro Granados had an outstanding game, 4 goals from 4 shots and an MVP award
The closing game of the opening day was already hit by the rain at the beginning but in aquatics water is welcome in any form, so the teams started playing. To be more precise, the Aussies started playing, rushed to a 3-0 lead before the Olympic champions woke up and came back to 5-4 by the end of the first period. However, the game had to be suspended at that point as lightning also struck nearby and it took 45 minutes before action could resume in the pool. This was more than enough for the experienced hosts to regroup themselves, especially their goalie Branislav Mitrovic came back as if he had gone through a metamorphosis. Thanks to their tightened defence, the Serbs enjoyed a 1-7 run in the following two periods and after 6-11 there was no way back for Australia.
Filip Filipovic and his team-mates stepped up once the storm went away