There were a number of exciting matches on the opening day of men’s water polo in Budapest, while there were also a few blowout victories for the favorites.
Italy beat Croatia, 8-6, highlighting an action-packed Day 1 of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League European finals Thursday in Montenegro.
In Group B, FTC Telekom Budapest won an 11-2 blowout over Jadran Herceg Novi, while Pro Recco, Olympiacos, and Jug Adriatic improved to 2-0 in Group A.
2019 runners-up Olympiacos started off with a win, downing CC Ortigia 6-4. Olympiacos goalkeeper Emmanouil Zerdevas blocked 11 of 15 Ortigia shots on goal.
Spain and Italy will face off on Saturday, seeking their third and fourth World Championships titles respectively, after posting semifinal wins on Thursday.
Italy, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia claimed the first four spots in the men’s water polo quarterfinals at the World Championships.
Day 1 of men’s water polo at the World Championships began and ended with draws, while the middle six matches were won by a minimum of nine goals.
Serbia squeaked past Croatia for the gold, earning its 10th Super Final title, and more importantly a ticket to the 2020 Olympics, with a 12-11 win.
Australia was the surprise of the quarterfinals, ousting Hungary in a penalty shootout victory, while Croatia, Spain and Serbia followed with dominant wins.
The Men’s Water Polo World League Super Final kicked off with a bang as newcomer Canada bested the 2018 silver medalists from Hungary 10-9 amid two blowouts.
For the first time in the history of the European Water Polo Championships, the penalty shootout decided the title and it was retained by Serbia, despite an electrifying performance of the host Spaniards.
After 14 years, Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) clinched its second title in the Champions League after upsetting 8-time winner Pro Recco (ITA) in its own pool.
Olympiacos (GRE) meets Barceloneta (ESP) while Recco (ITA) faces Jug (ITA) in the semi-finals.
Serbia held off a last-quarter surge from a strong Italian squad to advance to the gold medal match in the 2016 Olympic Games men’s water polo tournament.
Serbia moved on to the semifinals in the men’s water polo tournament with a 10-7 win over Spain on Tuesday.