The Hungarian men’s water polo team got off to a good start on home soil in Budapest, securing a confident 12-8 victory over Montenegro at the 2022 FINA World Championships on Tuesday.
Although the Hungarian team’s performance started out a bit shaky in the first quarter, they later gained strong momentum and maintained it throughout the game. Hungary won all quarters except the first one, thus securing a clean victory by four goals (12-8).
Following their triumph over Montenegro, the Hungarian team will play against Brazil on Thursday, and Saturday against Georgia. The special award for the player of the match, named after former Hungarian water polo player Tibor Benedek (widely regarded as one of the all-time greatest), went to Hungary’s goalkeeper Soma Vogel, who saved 11 of the 19 Montenegro shots.
The Hungarian water polo team has been among the best in the world over the last few years, winning silver at the 2017 Worlds, placing fourth in 2019, and then winning bronze last year at the Olympics. The team also won the 2020 European Championships after defeating Spain in the final.
Following the victory, Gergő Zalánki, who scored four goals during the match, talked about how fantastic it felt to jump into the pool in front of the home crowd again, and fans certainly did not let the team down this time either.
“The team is not in the best shape yet, our performance was unsteady, and that can’t work against a stronger team. We made a lot of small mistakes, but we still have a few days before the quarter-finals, we can practice in the next two easier games, but first of all, we have to clear things up between ourselves,” said the Olympic medalist Hungarian star player.
Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI