BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) - Hungary edged Montenegro 8-7 in the men’s water polo final to win gold at the world aquatic championships on Saturday.
It was the third world title for the Hungarians to add to their 12 European and nine Olympic gold medals as the tournament’s dark horses produced an enthralling final on a warm evening in Barcelona.
Hungary appeared set for a comfortable win after racing into an early 3-0 lead but the Montenegrins, who won the 2008 European championship in Malaga, stormed back thanks to the tournament’s joint top scorer Aleksandar Ivovic.
With the score tied at 4-4 in the second quarter, Hungary hit top gear again to regain the upper hand and carve out a two-goal lead before Ivovic netted his third goal of the night to take his overall tally to 20 when he leveled at 7-7 in the closing stages.
Incisive passing around Montenegro’s zone paid dividends time and again for Hungary in a titanic tussle, with Marton Szivos scoring the winner from close range after a flowing move.
Montenegro had a chance to force extra time in the dying seconds but Hungary’s outstanding keeper Viktor Nagy, who taunted his rivals after every save, had the last laugh when he kept out a feeble effort on the buzzer.
Earlier on Saturday, Olympic champions Croatia won the bronze medal after Maro Jokovic and Sandro Sukno, who also scored 20 goals in the tournament, netted a treble each to inspire a 10-8 win over 2011 world champions Italy.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade; Editing by Martyn Herman)