Hungarian Women Defeat S. Korea 64-0 in Most Lopsided Match in Worlds History

The women’s water polo team from 2019 FINA World Championships host nation South Korea suffered the worst loss in the history of the event Sunday night, falling to powerhouse Hungary 64-0.

As the host nation, South Korea received an automatic bid to enter the 16-team competition. The team is comprised of all swimmers, and was put together only a month before the competition began. Every team member except the captain Oh Hee-ji is in her teens. Hungary, conversely, is a two-time world champion and finished fourth at the last three Olympics.

“I was impressed with how much heart my team had,” said South Korean head coach Keun Ji. “It was their first game and after the game they were very happy. The team learned a lot from Hungary about water polo. All my players are swimmers so now they need to learn how to play a team sport.”

The Hungarian women took 71 shots in the match’s 32 minutes – good for a 90% shooting percentage – scoring for the first time just 12 seconds into the game. Rebecca Parkes led the way with 11 goals in 12 tries. South Korea took just three shots.

Prior to Sunday, the most lopsided match in Worlds history occurred when Croatia’s men defeated New Zealand 38-1 in 1994. Another match Sunday came close to the record, as well: the Netherlands women’s team defeated South Africa 33-0.

“After the game, we told each other we’ll try to do better next time,” Yeseo Song, one of three South Korean players to take a shot on goal, said. “We’re still a fledgling team. It was an honor to play a team that we’d only watched on YouTube. They were bigger and stronger than we thought.”

Much like in soccer’s World Cup, goal differential is the fifth tie-breaker in the later rounds of Worlds. While it may appear unnecessary for Hungary to run up the score as they did Sunday, just as when U.S. women’s national team caused a stir by defeating Thailand 13-0 in the opening round of their championship run this year, Hungary might need that goal differential later on.

Rules for classification in water polo: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal difference; 4) head-to-head number of goals scored; 5) goal difference.

“We had no idea there was a record and we did not go for it,” Hungarian head coach Attila Biro said. “We had to show the team respect and play our normal game.”

While in swimming, there can be virtually limitless universality entries from underqualified countries without drastically impacting the elite participants, in the team format of water polo, a limited number of available entries can lead to a team like this drastically throwing off the balance of a competition.

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2 years ago

If the South Korean women had Park Tae Hwan on their team, they would’ve had a chance…

Reply to  Pebwick
2 years ago

I wonder what would happen if you grabbed the top male swimmers and put them against the Hungarian womens water polo team

Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
2 years ago

I guarantee the women would win.

Reply to  GoGophers
2 years ago

I highly doubt that. Many top men swimmers have dabbled with water polo in the past. Add the fact that the women would look like comparative snails in the water and be both massively undersized and overpowered physically. Take a look at mixed relays and see how fast the top men swimmers run away from the top women swimmers who are lighting fast comparable to their water polo counterparts. The average Hungarian national team player is about 5-10, 165lbs at best. Just think of likes Nathan Adrian (6-6, 220), Dressel (6-3, 195), Matt Grevers (6-8, 230) and Kevin Cordes (6-5, 195) in goal with another couple beasts in the line up……how many 4-0 against their goalie do you think would… Read more »

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  Dave
2 years ago

The idea that women are not a special or a deserving category to just play against women is certainly being promoted.
If I had a daughter today Id still put them into asuitable individual sport but never a team sport . The latter is going to be imposdible ., politically & SjWise .

Reply to  Dave
2 years ago

I also guarantee the women would win. I am very knowledgeable about both sports and I am correct.

Reply to  Pebwick
2 years ago

For one goal 🙂

2 years ago

“Haha that’s cute” -the Hungarian women’s wapo team after watching the USA-Thailand World Cup game

2 years ago

Even more lopsided than us vs Thailand in soccer

2 years ago

I don’t even think I’ve seen a polo team crack 30 before, this is hilarious

Reply to  Sccoach
2 years ago

It’s happened twice already in Gwangju. The Dutch women beat South Africa 33-0.

Jim C
2 years ago

We could reduce running up the score if the fourth tie breaker were goals scored with the team scoring the fewest goals advancing.

Reply to  Jim C
2 years ago

No but they could disregard the score against the 4th and non advancing team in the group. For example in Hungary’s group only the scores in the games between Hungary, Russia and Canada would count for goal difference.

Reply to  Tm71
2 years ago

Agree, that would be far better. Anyway I wish they had scored less ..

Captain Ahab
2 years ago

South Korean women athletes excel in individual sports that make money (i.e. golf and billiards).

Human Ambition
Reply to  Captain Ahab
2 years ago


Philip Johnson
2 years ago


About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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