Hungary stunned host and title-holder Croatia in the World League Europa Cup finals by winning a thrilling gold medal match in front of 2,000 fans in Zagreb. Spain beat Italy for the bronze and booked the last available Super Final berth.
In the last match of the tournament in Croatia, the locals could not sustain Hungary, who won by 10-8 (2-2, 3-1, 3-2, 2-3). Viktor Nagy, the Magyar goalkeeper, was the MVP of the game, making some decisive saves for his team. Denes Varga, also from the Hungarian side, was considered the best player of the entire tournament.
In the bronze-medal game, giving the last qualifying spot for the Super Final – Serbia, as host, is automatically qualified – Italy and Spain fought hard, but in the end the Iberians were better, winning by 9-7 (3-1, 0-2, 5-3, 1-1).
In the other two matches of the day, the Balkan duel between Montenegro and Serbia was won by the Montenegrins (16-14), while Greece got the seventh spot of the tournament, by beating Russia 15-14.
Hungary, Croatia, Spain and Serbia will join Australia, Canada, Japan and Kazakhstan, the non-European qualifiers, in the Super Final of the 2019 Men’s World League.
Final ranking of the 2019 FINA/LEN Men’s Water Polo World League Europa Cup:
1. Hungary; 2. Croatia; 3. Spain; 4. Italy; 5. Montenegro; 6. Serbia; 7. Greece; 8. Russia.
2019 FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Super Final – June 18-23, Belgrade (SRB):
Group A: Hungary, Japan, Canada, Spain
Group B: Australia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Serbia