What a comeback from Szolnok water polo club. The defending Hungarian champion once more beat visiting Ferencvaros 8:7 and the best of five final series is tied 2:2. The fifth match will be played in Budapest on Saturday.
A less than a week ago, Szolnok was cornered as Ferencvaros got to a 2:0 lead in the finals, but then Sandor Ceh’s team showed that it has a champions DNA.
Tonight, Szolnok started to fight hard from the very first second and never looked back. Tamas Mezei opened the scoring sheet for the home team and Gergo Zalanki secured a comfortable 2:0 lead two minutes before the end of the first quarter.
The home team continued in furious style, so Aaron Younger scored the third one at the beginning of the second quarter and two minutes later Milos Cuk gave Szolnok a 4:0 advantage.
But, as they say, when it rains, it pours. This was the case in the first half of tonight’s big match. So, two minutes before the halftime Zoltan Hangay scored the fifth goal for Szolnok and the home crowd went nuts.
Which was completely normal because this was supposed to be a duel between two rivals with the same level of water polo quality. But then, in last two minutes of the second quarter, Ferencvaros finally woke up and scored two quick goals thanks to Szilard Jansik and Marton Vamos.
And things then changed dramatically in the third quarter as Ferencvaros was the team which had the edge. Marton Vamos scored another brace to cut Szolnok’s lead to just one goal (5:4).
And those goals from Vamos were some kind of wake up call for the home team. Tamas Mezei finally found the net for Szolnok and Andrija Prlainovic gave them a 7:4 lead. Before the end of the third quarter, Ferencvaros answered once more with Stefan Mitrovic’s goal.
The real drama has begun in the last quarter when Krisztian Manhercz once more cut the Fradi deficit to just one goal (7:6). But the decisive moment happened four minutes before the end when Milan Aleksic scored the eighth goal for Szolnok and Nikola Jaksic just managed to make the defeat a little bit easier.
Szolnok 8:7 Ferencvaros
(2:0, 3:2, 2:3, 1:2)
Szolnok: Mezei 2, Cuk, Prlainovic, Younger, Aleksic, Zalanki, Hangay
Ferencvaros: Vamos 3, Jaksic, Manhercz, Jansik, Mitrovic