After five gold medals in the World League, Serbian national water polo is unlikely to play this year’s final tournament of this competition. In the decisive match of the preliminary phase, Montenegro won against Serbia 11:8 (3: 2, 4: 2, 1: 1, 3: 3) in the newly opened swimming pool in Podgorica.
In the first duel of these two teams Serbia also won by three (7:4) and tonight Draško Brguljan scored the decisive 11th goal for Montenegro from penalty six seconds before the final whistle.
That win will be enough for the Montenegrins to qualify for the Super Final tournament if they beat Romania away in the last match (April 10) with more than five goals difference.
Serbia is still the first in the group with three points more than Montenegro, but it would be a sensation if Montenegrins do not triumph in that match and confirm the place in the final event of the World League.
Montenegrin water polo players got off the better start of the match and quickly gained three goals advantage (5: 2). In the middle of the match, Montenegrins made a series of three consecutive goals (from 5:4 to 8:4), but Serbia somehow quickly responded and came close to a deficit of two goals (6:8).
In the last quarter, Serbia continued in the same rhythm. Stefan Mitrovic and Gavril Subotic both found the net and after that Montenegro had just one goal lead 9:8.
But then, the home team woke up, Ukropina scored the 10th goal for Montenegro water polo team and Drasko Brguljan gave the much-wanted win with a three-goal difference.
“It is a deserved triumph of Montenegro, now they are close to the final success, but I must say that I think that the penalty did not exist at all in the end, and we are not happy with some referees decisions. About the game I can say that after the first two quarters in which we looked asleep, we played as it should be”, said Dusan Mandic of Serbia.
His compatriot Viktor Rasovic added.
“We did not have aggressiveness in the first two quarters, but we started to play in the third quarter. I never talk about the referees but I think they directly damaged our chances to secure a place at the final tournament”, said Rasovic.
In the other match of the night, Hungarian water polo team trashed Netherlands 13:1 to take a three-point lead at the top of their World League qualifying group. In the last round of this phase of the competition they play against Spain and after that match the winner of the group will be decided.
What is there to say about a game in which Hungarians had a 9:0 lead after the first three quarters? Lindhout scored the only goal for the visiting team and after the 32 minutes, Erdelyi Balazs was the best scorer with three goals, while Batori Bence, Gergo Zalanki, and Viktor Vadovics each found the net twice.
Montenegro 11:8 Serbia
(3:2, 4:2, 1:1, 3:3)
Montenegro: Brguljan 3, Ukropina 3, Ivovic 2, Misic 2, Spaic,
Serbia: Mandic 2, Lazic 2, S. Mitrovic, Jaksic, V. Rasovic, Subotic
1. Serbia 4 games – 9pts
2. Montenegro 3 – 6
3. Romania 3 – 0
Hungary 13:1 Netherlands
(2:0, 2:0, 5:0, 4:1)
Hungary: Erdélyi 3, Vadovics 2, Zalánki 2, Bátori 2, Mezei, Sedlmayer, Manhercz, Bedő
1. Hungary 3 – 9
2. Spain 3 – 6
3. Netherlands 4 – 0