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Before we jump into the broadcast, let’s review the most important data.
- After 2005, the Hungarian women’s water polo team was again interested in the World Championship final.
- Then they managed to beat the United States 10–7 after overtime.
- This time, the opponent is the American team, which won the last three Olympics, their rivals could only score 5 goals each time in the finals.
- In the group match at the Tokyo Olympics, Hungary won 10-9, from that match you can draw strength against the towering favourite.
- The USA overcame the Spaniards in the quarterfinals (13-8) and defeated the Italians 14-6 in the semifinals.
- Six of the American team that won the Olympics remained, their most successful player was Stephanie Haralabidis.
Attila Bíró’s team lost 10-9 to the Italians in their group, then beat Canada (11-7), Argentina (23-6) to reach the quarter-finals, Australia (7-6) in the quarter-finals, and the Netherlands (13-6) in the semi-finals 12).
The Hungarian national team has nothing to lose, as team captain Rita Keszthelyi pointed out, it will be a holiday in their lives, because they rarely play finals. He also said that he would like to enjoy the atmosphere created by the domestic audience, the five thousand enthusiastic spectators. Meanwhile, of course, they will cling to the opponent as much as possible and try to keep them under pressure for as long as possible.
There was a festive atmosphere in the stands, we even saw an engagement just a quarter of an hour before the match. The Hungarian fans commemorated the three-time Olympic legend Tibor Benedek, who died two years ago, with a large banner during the National Anthem.
First quarter: 1–2
Vanda Vályi brought the ball, we had a man advantage, but it missed, the Americans didn’t reach the lead either. Two and a half minutes into the match, Gréta Gurisatti scored the ball from two meters from Szilágyi’s pass. Musselman equalized from the lead. The next Hungarian attack was shut down, then Rybanska was sent off, and Musselman scored the second goal to turn the score around. (1-2) Magyar’s saves and Keszthely’s block were very necessary to keep the score at this level at the end of the first eight minutes.
Second quarter: 3 – 4
Vályi brought the ball again, but again he was missed in our man-advantage situation. Ours also defended well when they were behind, and Keszthelyi equalized from six meters, hitting the ball into the bottom right corner. Musselman was unstoppable on the other side, he also had the third hit. In the next Hungarian attack, Keszthelyi’s shot from the top right was blocked by goalkeeper Johnson. However, the keeper could not deal with Gurisatti’s accurate snap, so we equalized again. Rybanska turned her defender around, but she disappeared under the water, she couldn’t shoot, the judges didn’t see any foul play, and when they swam back, the Hungarian center was sent off. Hungarian saved with a lightning-quick move in the man advantage. With 39 seconds left before halftime, Steffens was left empty-handed, and he made no mistake from close range. Garda’s shot to the center was not good, so the score remained 3-4.