The team of Hungary won the gold medal of the 2018 FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup, after beating Australia by 10-4 in the final match of the tournament, held in Berlin (GER), from September 11-16. The bronze medal of the competition went to Serbia, who comfortably defeated the host squad by 15-9.
In the decisive game, the Magyars, silver medallists at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, took an important advantage of 4-2 over the Australians at the halftime. The third quarter was decisive for the final outcome, with the Hungarians scoring an essential 4-0. Despite a tie (2-2) in the last period, it was too late for the Aussies, who had to content with the silver medal. The best scorer of the final was Hungary’s Krisztian Manhercz, with four goals.
It is the fourth victory of the Magyars in this competition, after previous successes in 1979, 1995 and 1999. For the Australians, this is their best ranking in the history of the 16 World Cups contested so far, after a bronze medal in 1993.
The World Cup champions before the Berlin tournament, the team of Serbia, played the bronze medal match and had no difficulties in overcoming Germany. The Balkan squad, 2016 Olympic champion and five-time gold medallist in the World Cup (namely in the last three editions – 2006, 2010 and 2014), built-up their advantage in the first quarter, with a precious 6-2 lead. The subsequent periods were more balanced (3-2, 3-2 and 3-3), but the hosts couldn’t find the solutions to recover.
In the match for the fifth place, Croatia, the 2017 world champion, faced the USA and was also the dominant force in a game that saw the Europeans with a 5-1 advantage at halftime. In the end, the North Americans lost by 7-10.
Finally, in the game for places 7-8, Japan had an easy task against South Africa. The key period of the match was the second quarter, when the Asian team managed an unrecoverable score of 9-2. The final result was a convincing 21-9 for Japan, and the consequent seventh spot of the tournament.
The best scorer of the competition was Gavril Subotic, from Serbia, who netted 17 goals throughout the six-day event.
Final ranking of the 2018 FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup:
1. Hungary; 2. Australia; 3. Serbia; 4. Germany; 5. Croatia; 6. United States; 7. Japan; 8. South Africa.