Hungary’s Shootout Win over Serbia Headlines Euro Water Polo Men’s Quarterfinals

Edoardo Di Somma at the 2023 World Championships; Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala

Hungary’s Shootout Win over Serbia Headlines Euro Water Polo Men’s Quarterfinals

Hungary defeated Serbia in the shootout Friday in the first and most scintillating of the quarterfinals at the Euro Water Polo men’s championships in Croatia.

With its 15-14 win, Hungary will take on the host in the first semifinal Sunday after Croatia topped Greece, 13-8.

The other semi pits Spain against Italy. Spain routed Romania, 24-7, while Italy eased past Montenegro, 14-8.

Neither Hungary nor Serbia led by more than a goal in their affair, with Vince Vigvari scoring with 1:22 left to tie the game at 10. Both teams had chances to win in regulation but were denied.

Serbia’s Marko Radulovic missed in the second round of the shootout, and Hungary was perfect on penalties. Adam Nagy, Zoltan Pohl, David Marcell Tatrai, Vigvari and Gergo Fekete all scored to help the reigning world champs advance.

Vigvari scored four times in regulation. Tatrai added a hat trick and two assists, while Fekete scored twice.

Viktor Rasovic led Serbia with two goals and two assists. Petar Jaksic, Strahinja Rasovic and Dusan Mandic scored twice each.

Spain jumped out to a 6-2 lead after one quarter and salted the game away with a 7-1 edge in the third. Unai Aguirre stopped six of 10 shots before making way.

Alvaro Granados dominated with six goals on seven shots plus three assists. Roger Tahull and Bernat Sanahuja had four goals each. Spain shot 24-for-35, including 7-for-8 with the man advantage, and had nine assisted goals.

Croatia trailed at half before scoring the third quarter’s only four goals. Jerko Marinic Kragic had two of them, and Croatia pocketed four steals, holding Greece without a shot on goal.

Marinic Kragic scored four times. Loren Fatovic paired three goals with four assists. Marko Bijac made nine saves.

It’s a downer for Greece, which lost in the shootout to Hungary in the World Championships final in Fukuoka last summer. Alexandros Papanastasiou and Stylianos Argyropoulos scored twice each.

Italy made its move early, overturning a deficit after one quarter to Montenegro with a 5-0 edge in the second frame. Edoardo Di Somma supplied three of his team-high four goals in the stanza. Andrea Fondelli had two goals and two assists, Alessandro Velotto and Oscar Gonzalo Echenique scored twice each and Marco Del Lungo stopped 10 shots.

Vasilije Radovic led Montenegro, which shot just 8-for-28 and was 0-for-10 on action shots, with two goals.

The Euro water polo scene shifts Saturday to Dubrovnik for classification games from ninth to 16th places. Zagreb hosts Sunday’s semifinals and 5-8th classification games, with the medal matches on Tuesday.

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