18 July: Australian Men’s Water Polo Team, Aussie Sharks, have gone down to hosts Hungary 3-13 in game one of the FINA World Championships in Budapest.
Hungary is a water polo crazed nation, with more than 8,000 fans flocking to catch the best of the best in action and filling the stadium.
The young Aussie Sharks outfit came up against an experienced Hungary side that were determined to deliver for their fans.
Australian Head Coach Elvis Fatovic said they were expecting a very physical game against the hosts on their home ground.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game because Hungary is one of the top four nations in this competition and especially playing at home.
“We started out well, we stuck to our plan to try to slow down their rhythm because we knew if we offered them too many counter attacks that would be too deadly for us.
“In the first quarter we played smart, but we didn’t make enough counter-attacks, but in the second quarter we offered too many counter-attacks,” said Fatovic.
The Aussies Sharks came out firing and were able to silence the crowds when Lachlan Edwards scored the opening goal off the left-post position after a pop pass from Captain Aaron Younger.
With some strong saves from Anthony Hrysanthos in goals for the Aussies, the visitors were able to control the game for most of the first quarter, with Hungary not getting on the scoreboard until the final two minutes of the first quarter.
Scores were locked 1-1 at the end of the first, but Hungary came back firing in the second to score four goals with Aaron Younger netting one for the Aussies to take the scores 2-5 at half time.
The third quarter was just as tough with Hungary’s Varga converting a penalty two minutes in and the Aussie Sharks almost converting a cross pass on one metre, but hitting the crossbar. Bela Torok capiltalised on extra man for the Hungarians with a reply from Aussie Joe Kayes saw scores 3-7 at the end of the third.
The Hungarian defence proved too strong for Australia in the final quarter, the hosts keeping the Aussie Sharks scoreless while securing six goals to steam home with their first win 13-3.
Opening goal scorer for Australia Lachlan Edwards, said the Hungarian team really made the most of the home ground advantage.
“It was an amazing experience playing in front of this home crowd and they really got behind Hungary, which made the game so much better.
“I think we learned that we have to take care of the ball, because they capitalised from our mistakes towards the end of the game.
“Hungary are extremely dangerous and I think they put a lot more pressure on us. They obviously turned up the intensity and we didn’t adjust to it and the scoreboard showed that,” said Edwards.
Australia will now face France on 19 July 9:30am (local time) in game two of the preliminary rounds.
To watch live – https://www.finatv.live
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AUSTRALIA 3 HUNGARY 13
Quarters: 1-1, 1-4, 1-2, 0-6
Penalties: HUN: 1/1.
Extra Man: AUS: 0/6. HUN: 2/5.
AUSTRALIA: Edward Slade, Timothy Putt, George Ford, Joseph Kayes (1), Nathan Power, Lachlan Edwards (1), Jarrod Gilchrist, Aaron Younger (1), Andrew Ford, James Fannon, Lachlan Hollis, Nicholas Brooks, Anthony Hrysanthos. Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic.
HUNGARY: Viktor Nagy, Bela Torok (2), Krisztian Manhercz (2), Gergo Zalanki, Marton Vamos (2), Norbert Hosnyanszky (1), Adam Decker, Miklos Gor-Nagy, Balazs Erdelyi, Denes Varga (4), Tamas Mezei (1), Balazs Harai (1), Attila Decker. Head Coach: Tamas Marcz.