Montenegro and USA national water polo teams won top places in their groups at the FINA World League Superfinal tournament in Budapest. Both teams scored a perfect record with three wins.
In the match of Round 3, Montenegro beat Australia 10:8. It was a tough game, but Montenegrins managed to keep it under control no matter how hard the Aussies fought. Nevertheless, in the second half, they never came closer than two goals.
USA water polo team had a much tougher job against Croatia, but eventually won 11:10. Americans were in the lead during most of the game. It seemed that all was over after Alexander Bowen scored a brace to give USA a 10:6 lead. But late in the game Croats went all out attack and by the midway through they cut the deficit to 11:10.
In the last minutes McQuin came up with a couple of big saves, and the USA survived two Croatian attacks with a man down.
Montenegro started the tournament with a win against Japan – 14:8. In past Japan knew how to surprise Montenegrins, but it was not the case this time. Montenegro definitely decided the winner in the third quarter. Janovic was the best scorer with four goals, while Ivovic added a hattrick.
On the second day of the competition, Montenegrins had a much tougher task because they faced the home team, Hungary. But, they showed some great character and won 12:9. It was an exciting water polo duel in which both teams had a lead in the first three quarters.
At the end of the third period, when Manhercz gave Hungary a 9:7 lead, it seemed that the home team is in a good position to close the game. But, Montenegro answered in style, by scoring five goals and conceding none in the rest of the game.
It first started with two quick goals in the finish of the third quarter and Montenegro equalized. And in the last quarter, it was Ivovic and Janovic who gave Montenegrins the lead and sealed a game for a big win.
USA water polo team started the competition with a kind of a surprise win against Spain – 6:4. Spaniards had a 4:2 lead, but then it looked like the forgot how to score a goal. In the last 12 minutes, Spain did not find a way to the net, while the USA scored four times.
On the second day in Budapest, USA maintained the perfect record with an easy win against Kazakhstan – 11:4. Americans opened the game with a 3:0 lead and never looked back. Daube was great with a hattrick, while Roelse found the net two times.
The surprise of the Day 2 in Budapest was a Spain win against the defending world champion, Croatia after penalties. La Furia Roja had a lead throughout most of the game but was never able to lock the game down. So they lost a point, but at least managed to secure a win after drama. Their goalkeeper Dani Lopez saved two shots from Croats.
Monday, June 18
Croatia 15:5 Kazakhstan
(3:1, 3:1, 4:3, 5:0)
Croatia: Fatovic 5, Lovre 2, Buslje 2, Basic 2, Benic, Vukicevic, Garcia, Krapic
Kazakhstan: Ukumanov 2, Medvegyev, Aubakirov, Shmider
Montenegro 14:8 Japan
(4:1, 3:4, 5:2, 2:1)
Montenegro: Janovic 4, Ivovic 3, Misic 2, Spaic 2, Brguljan, Petkovic, Djurdjic
Japan: Siga 2, Adachi, Koppu, Josida, Inaba, Okawa, Araki
USA 8:6 Spain
(2:3, 3:1, 1:1, 2:1)
USA: Hallock 2, Cupido 2, Daube 2, Hooper, Bowen
Spain: Mallarach 4, Munarriz 2
Australia 5:12 Hungary
(1–3, 1–1, 2–5, 1–3)
Australia: Kayes 2, Power, Roach, Ephick
Hungary: Zalanki 3, Vamos 2, Erdelyi 2, Batori 2, Kovacs, Manhercz, Bedo
Tuesday, June 19
Australia 11:7 Japan
(4:1, 2:2, 2:1, 3:3)
Australia: Younger 6, Kayes 2, Power 2, Edwards
Japan: Inaba 3, Adachi 2, Koppu, Okawa
Croatia 10:13 Spain
(4:3, 1:4, 3:2, 1:0 – 1:4)
Croatia: Javier Garcia 4, Vukicevic 3, Fatovic, Buslje, Krapic
Spain: Perrone 3, Mallarach 3, Fernandez 2, Espanol 2, Munarriz, Granados, Tahull
Montenegro 12:9 Hungary
(3:2, 3:5, 3:2, 3:0)
Montenegro: Janovic 3, Radovic 2, Brguljan, Ivovic, Spaic, Petkovic, Vidovic, Misic, Djurdjic
Hungary: Zalanki 3, Angyal 2, Vamos 2, Mezei, Manhercz
USA 11:4 Kazakhstan
(2:0, 3:2, 3:0, 3:2)
USA: Daube 3, Roelse 2, Hooper, Vavic, Hallock, Cupido, Bowen, Irwing
Kazakhstan: Ukumanov 2, Sakenov, Ruday
Wednesday, June 20
Croatia 10:11 USA
(1:2, 2:5, 5:4, 2:0)
Croatia: Vrlic 2, Vukicevic 2, Fatovic, Krapic, Milos, Setka, Garcia
USA: Bowen 5, Cupido 2, Daube, Irving, Roelse
Montenegro 10:8 Australia
(3:2, 3:2, 3:2, 1:2)
Montenegro: Ivovic 2, Djurdjic 2, Janovic 2, Radovic, Brguljan, Misic, Draskovic
Australia: Younger 2, Roach 2, Edwards, Power, Hollis, Brooks
Kazakhstan 3:11 Spain
(0:2, 1:2, 0:4, 2:3)
Kazakhstan: Shakenov, Ukumanov, Ruday
Spain: Mallarch 3, Espanol 2, Granados 2, Munarriz, Cabanas, Larumbe, Bustos
Japan 7:14 Hungary
(1:5, 2:3, 2:3, 2:3)
Japan: Inaba 5, Adachi, Okawa
Hungary: Mezei 3, Erdelyi 2, Vamos 2, Bedo 2, Jansik, Batori, Pohl, Angyal, Zalanki
3. Croatia 4
Thursday, June 21st – Quarter-finals
Hungary – Croatia
Japan – USA
Australia – Spain
Montenegro – Kazakhstan