The USA Water Polo Men’s Senior National Team closed to within a goal in the second half but couldn’t complete their rally, losing to Hungary 13-9 earlier today in Russia.
Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) and Bret Bonanni (Huntington Beach, CA/Stanford/Stanford) each scored three goals in the match while McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/Regency) posted 10 saves in the loss. Team USA now moves on to a meeting with Australia on Saturday to determine seventh place. The match is set for 2pm local time/4am pt. There will be no streaming or television coverage but live updates will be available via Twitter by following @USAWP.
Hungary opened the match with a hot hand scoring in the opening minute on a score from Balazs Harai, the first of his four goals, for a 1-0 lead. Azevedo responded with a goal to tie the match at 1-1 but moments later Hungary turned to Daniel Varga to grab a 2-1 lead. Balazs Erdelyi connected for a score not long after to put Hungary up 3-1 but Bonanni returned fire to make it a 3-2 match with a little over a minute to play in the period. On the next possession for Hungary they ended the period as they started it with a goal from Harai and a 4-2 lead.
It was more Harai early in the second period as Hungary went up 5-2. Team USA tried to rally with a score from Josh Samuels (Villa Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) around the five minute mark but again Hungary had a response with a goal from Denes Varga for a 6-3 lead. Bonanni scored with less than two minutes to play but then Daniel Varga connected for another goal and Hungary maintained the three goal lead at 7-4 going into halftime.
The United States made their big push in the first three minutes of the third quarter. Luca Cupido (Newport Beach, CA/California/Newport) scored in the opening minute of play and then Bonanni delivered another goal and it was quickly a one goal game at 7-6. Unfortunately for Team USA they would get no closer as Hungary countered with two more goals to close out the period grabbing a 9-6 lead going to the fourth.
Hungary tacked on a goal in the opening thirty seconds of the fourth to grab a 10-6 advantage. Team USA would again try to rally as Azevedo countered with a goal but Hungary answered with two more goals to go up 12-7. Azevedo and John Mann (Newport Beach, CA/California/NYAC) would score two of the final three goals but by that point the damage was done as Hungary took the match 13-9.
Team USA went 2/10 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty while Hungary was 2/5 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot. By reaching the seventh place match Team USA has already improved upon a ninth place finish at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 9 (2, 2, 2, 3) T. Azevedo 3, B. Bonanni 3, J. Mann 1, L. Cupido 1, J. Samuels 1
HUN 13 (4, 3, 2, 4) B. Harai 4, De. Varga 3, Da. Varga 2, N. Hosnyanszky 2, N. Madaras 1, B. Erdelyi 1
Saves – USA – M. Baron 10 – HUN – A. Decker 4
6×5 – USA – 2/10 – HUN 2/5
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – HUN 0/0
Water Polo News is courtesy of USA Water Polo.