Italy-Hungary 8-10 (2-3, 2-3, 2-2, 2-2)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Rotsart (USA), Buch (ESPl)
Italy: Gorlero – Garibotti 3, Queirolo 1, Radicchi, Aiello, Bianconi 4, Emmolo. Subs: Tabani, Picozzi, Cotti, Dario. Head coach: Fabio Conti
Hungary: Gangl – Czigány 2, Csabai 1, Szücs, Keszthelyi 3, Szilágyi 2, Bujka. Subs: Antal 1, Gurisatti 1, Illés, Tóth. Head coach: Attila Bíró
Disappointment belongs to the past, both the Hungarian and the Italian team managed to win after losing their quarter final. Italy and Hungary faced off each other at the closing day’s second match in the hope of a better result, namely the 5th place.
Dóra Czigány took the lead for Hungary, this was equalised by Roberta Bianconi, the leader of the goal scorers’ list. The venue was almost full, about seven thousand people watched the clash of the two teams, probably a record for a qualification match.
The participants met each other many times in the past few years, for instance, the Hungarian national team managed to win against Italy in this year’s World League qualifying rounds. We may well mention last year’s European Championship semi-final, won by this year’s hosts. All in all, the latest memories suggested to us the victory of Attila Bíró’s team.
Dóra Szilágyi and Dóra Antal managed to show their presence to the Italian goalkeeper, Gorlero, in the middle of the first half. The Hungarians went ahead with the score of 3-1 but due to Bianconi’s hit, the difference was one goal by the end of the first part.
Rita Keszthelyi started by scoring a goal in the second quarter, Garibotti gave an answer five minutes before the middle break. The Hungarians struggled with making use of the situations in the centre in the first part of the game. Cross shots worked, of course, as Keszthelyi proved it, there was a two goal difference again.
Italy could only get closer, but the Hungarians usually responded (4-6). Keszthelyi tried a spinning shot but it only hit the bar of the goal.
The second half started with a Szilágyi-goal, but by the end of the third quarter, the Hungarian advance decreased to one goal due to Garibotti’s successful shot. Attila Bíró asked for a timeout. It was worth it, Keszthelyi completed the attack, the Hungarians lead 8-6 by the end of the third part.
Dóra Csabai grew the lead to three goals five and half minutes before the end, the Hungarians kept control of the game. Even with two exclusions, the hosts managed to defend against the Italians’ offensive.
In the end, they succeeded in winning the match, the Hungarian national women’s water polo team finished 5th.
Attila Bíró, head coach (HUN):
„We suceeded in making the end more beautiful for the team but we still have the memories of the Canadaian match. These games showed us the potential and the eloquence of the team. It was difficult to live all that happened, both for the girls and for the staff. I was a bit broken in the past few days. It was difficult to recognise all that happened but I’m proud of the girls, that they stood up and won the last two matches. We chose tougher tactics for today, that’s why we got the exclusions. Finishing 5th is a disappointment. With this game we could beat everybody except for the United States. It seems the team’s not ready to perform in an outstanding way for six-seven games following each other. But it’s important to emphasise: except for the US, nobody’s capable to do so.
Australia-Greece 6-8 (0-1, 1-4, 3-3, 2-0)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, referees: Florestano (BRA), Franulovic (CRO)
Australia: Yanitsas – Gofers 1, Buckling 1, Halligan, Bishop 1, Ridge, Webster 1. Subs: Zimmerman, Arancini, Mihailovic, Baxter 1, Steere 1. Head coach: Athansios Kechagas
Greece: C. Diamanthopoulou – Tsoukala 3, V. Diamanthopoulou 2, Avramidou 1, Asimaki, Manolioudaki, E. Plevritou. Subs: Eleftheriadou, M. Plevritou, Chydirioti, Kotsia 1, Xenaki 1. Head coach: Georgios Morfesis
One of the matches of the group rounds was repeated as today’s encounter for the 7th place. At that time the Greeks won 11-8, and they ended up on the more succesful side today too, especially due to the four goals they scored in the second quarter.