Greece’s national men’s team started its fight at the European Water Polo Championship in Zagreb, Croatia with a victory over Hungary 10 – 8.
In the first eight minutes, the two teams entered without taking many risks. The ones who opened the scoring in the match were the Hungarians, who after a steal launched a counter attack.
After the goal, the Greek team of Thodoris Vlachos tried to include the strikers in their game, which immediately gave them the equaliser with Nicolaidis hitting from close range to level the score. Nicolaidis also scored a penalty later in the match.
The second period had nothing to do with the first. Greece took a two-goal lead early on (1-3), but Hungary responded immediately (2-3). This task was repeated with the two teams scoring one goal each, in the same order, and the score becoming 3-4 in favour of the “blue and white.” The end of the first half found Greece at +2 (3-5), after a lucky goal by Ioannis Fountoulis.
At the beginning of the second half, the Hungarians entered better, immediately reducing to a minimum with Tatrai’s goal (4-5), but the Greek national team immediately found it with Kakkari in an attack with one more player (4-6). The Hungarians again managed to reduce the score with Fekete, to whose goal the “blue and white” found an immediate answer with Fountoulis to maintain +2 (5-7). However, before the end of the eighth minute, the Hungarians found their way to the net, with Burian making it 6-7.
In the last eight minutes, Greece regained the lead of two goals (6-8), receiving an immediate response from the Hungarians. Of course, the team of Vlachos improved defensively and with the right choices in the attack sent the difference to three goals, forming 7-10. All Hungary did in the final minutes was cut to two goals, with Greece taking the win 10-8.
Greece’s victory avenged their loss to the Hungarians in the 2023 World Cup final and they will next play Italy on Saturday.