Croatia is the new world champion, for the second time in their history! The Croats defeated the host team Hungary (8-6) in the finals of the 2017 FINA World Championship held in Budapest. First world gold Croatia won in Melbourne ten years ago.
Croatia jumped off to a great start and won the first quarter 4-0. Croatia defensed really well and Hungary’s offense was really ineffective in the beginning.
Hungary started the second quarter much better with the lead of Vamos, who scored their first goal and had a steal right after that. The host team stepped up its defense and shut down the Croatian team in the second period, there was 4-2 on the scoreboard at half time.
Hungary had the momentum and goals by Erdelyi and Manhercz meant that five minutes into the second half, the teams were even (4-4). This was the moment that woke Croatia up, Javier Garcia scored twice, both of them were deflected shots, so Hungary was a bit unlucky at the end of the third quarter.
After Sukno’s goal, Croatia lead by three, but Vamos scored twice. The second was on a crucial extramen situation and he decreased Hungary’s deficit to one, when there was only two minutes on the clock. Sukno’s third goal meant a two goal lead again and eventually Croatia’s win in the final, so they became world champions.
Finals of the 17th FINA World Championships:
Hungary-Croatia 6-8 (0-4, 2-0, 2-2, 2-2)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex, 7800 spectators, referees: Severo (ITA), Alexandrescu (ROU)
Hungary: Nagy V. – Gór-Nagy, Hosnyánszky, Vámos 3, Varga Dénes, Erdélyi 1, Mezei. Subs: Manhercz 1, Zalánki, Hárai, Török 1, Decker Á. Head coach: Märcz Tamás
Croatia: Bijac – Loncar 1, Buljubasic, Garcia 2, Setka, Sukno 3, Jokovic 1. Subs: Macan 1, Fatovic, Vukicevic, Krapic, Buslje. Head coach: Ivica Tucak