Men’s Water Polo: Hungary Edges Greece in Shootout to Win First World Title in a Decade


Hungary captured its first men’s water polo world crown in a decade with its 14-13 penalty shootout victory over Greece in the final of the 2023 World Championships on Saturday in Fukuoka, Japan.

Hungary jumped out to a 4-2 lead and took a 5-4 lead into halftime, but Greece tied the game on its first possession of the second half. The two sides went back and forth for the final two periods, knotting up at 10-10 at the end of regulation. Just like the women’s final, a shootout was needed to determine the world champion.

Hungarian goalkeeper Soma Vogel came up clutch with four saves in the shootout to clinch his country’s first Worlds victory since 2013 in Barcelona. Hungary only placed 7th last year in Budapest. Meanwhile, Greece still made history in defeat, reaching the Worlds final for the first time ever. Both Hungary and Greece booked their spots at the Paris 2024 Olympics by virtue of making the Worlds final.

Greece’s Konstantinos Genidounias led all scorers with five goals while Hungary’s Gergo Zalanki and Marton Vamos tallied four goals apiece. Vogel totaled 12 saves while Emmanouil Zerdevas stopped 11 shots for the Greeks. Zalanki earned tournament MVP honors while Zerdevas was awarded best goalkeeper.

In other men’s matches from the weekend, Spain beat Serbia (9-6) for the bronze medal, Italy cruised past France (16-9) for 5th place, and the United States snuck past Montenegro (17-15) for 7th place.

Final Men’s Water Polo Standings

1. Hungary
2. Greece
3. Spain
4. Serbia
5. Italy
6. France
7. USA
8. Montenegro
9. Croatia
10. Australia
11. Japan
12. Canada
13. Argentina
14. Kazakhstan
15. China
16. South Africa

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

Read More »