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In the end of a thrilling battle to the finish, the Americans returned to the throne

In the end of a thrilling battle to the finish, the Americans returned to the throne

If you have already avoided it, I welcome Tamara Talasi with these lines as a strange surprise. The reaction to our article about Hungarian fans in Doha was that the former top skater also lives here (we knew that – he works as a coach at the ice rink in Villaggio) and that he and his family support Hungarian water polo. The national team in every match immediately (not this). I estimate that about a hundred Hungarians in Doha in the stands for the Hungary-USA match finally thought this was their place.

Cristina Garda scores the first Hungarian goal (Photo: MTI/Tamás Kovács)

The phrase “Ria-ria-Hungária!” was also heard, and the crowd's support was completely sold out, because based on the paper model, the United States, as champions of the last three Olympic Games, were favorites for the final. In the beginning, Vanda Vali showed that she could swim faster than the Americans, as she brought the ball easily.

The start was difficult, as the United States trailed 3-0

But what we couldn't handle at first was that our first two attacks were fruitless, while the Americans scored two out of two goals, the first being by Maggie Stevens, also known in Hungary. After 0-2, our first joy was that the Americans wasted two chances, or Alda Maggiari saved, but they were not able to score a goal until the end of the sixth minute, and the score was 0-3. Who else, Garda Cristina, would have found the gap from the middle range. Then Burks scored a beautiful goal from the middle, and after a biased start we were able to lead 3-2 at the end of the first quarter.

Vale got off to a good start a second time, but Fattal scored the first goal of the quarter with a second or two left in offensive time – and Attila Mihok was also pissed off. Kesteli converted the double-man advantage into a goal (3-4), and the American response came quickly (3-5). After that, Attila Mihok made the usual goalkeeping change, replacing Magyari with Boglárka Neszmély.

The final quarter started at 5-5

But there was not so much a problem in defense as there was a problem in attack, and it is no coincidence that Alda Maggiari also respects Ashley Johnson as a role model, with the American goalkeeper making several impressive saves. Camila Farago finally got the better of him with an unexpected flat shot (4-5). Scary scenes followed. We sold the ball twice in front of our goal, but we escaped without a goal. It seemed as if initial American confidence had waned. We can still attack to equalize, but after a bad start, we can't be sad because the score was 4-5 at half-time.

Rani broke the American's long scoreless streak, that's what we thought at first, but fortunately the VAR confirmed that the attacking time had already run out. We had several chances to equalize, and with the increasing encouragement of the Hungarian camp, Gorisatti equalized at the start of the 23rd minute (5-5). We could have gone ahead, but we lost the ball again by one man. But let's not get complacent, after all, we didn't come out badly from the frenetic eight minutes, the final quarter starting at 5-5.

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Short circuit for four minutes

Vale brought the ball for the fourth time, but the Americans scored a goal (5-6). Another bad pass in the man's favor, annoying to say the least… And after a long time, the difference was once again two (5-7). In fact, there will be three (5-8).

The Hungarian team did not give up, with a goal by Garda, they came back with a score of 8-7, and even in the end they could have attacked to equalize, but they could not score.

The United States won 8-7 and is back on the throne, but our throne deserves praise, too.

Cover image: The Hungarian team is disappointed, but there is no reason to be ashamed (Photo: MTI/Tamás Kovács)

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