Surely Serbia was the favorite in the 16th men’s Water Polo World Cup, having won the last three and then co-leading Group B in the group phase of the tournament in Berlin (GER).
But the decisive game came in the championship semifinals, as Hungary, second in Group A, managed a 12-11 win to advance to the title contest against Australia. The Aussies were only third in Group A, but had beaten group-winner Germany, 10-9, and faced the Germans again.
The result was the same, almost to the score: Australia 11, Germany 10.
That set up the final and the Hungarians won the World Cup title for the first time since 1999 and their fourth title overall with a commanding 10-4 win. Hungary took a 4-2 halftime lead and then took an 8-2 lead in the third quarter and cruised home. Australia won only its second medal in this event, previously a bronze in 1993; Australia’s Aaron Younger was named as the best player in the tournament.
The Serbians won their fourth straight World Cup medal, defeating Germany, 15-9, in the bronze-medal match. The U.S. finished sixth, losing to Croatia, 10-7, in the 5-6 final. The complete results are here.