U.S. Wins Bronze at World Aquatics World Cup After Appeal Leads to Replay
Team USA lost the bronze-medal game to Hungary at the World Aquatics World Cup on Sunday. Until it didn’t.
A refereeing appeal reversed what had been a win by Hungary, leading to the final four minutes, 24 seconds being replayed and the U.S. winning 14-13.
Hungary won the first run of the game, 18-16 in a penalty shootout. But officials from Team USA appealed a miscarriage of refereeing. Let the USA Water Polo press release explain:
At 4:24 during the fourth quarter of the regulation period, Team USA drew an exclusion and a subsequent penalty shot. Hungary blocked the penalty shot and the player from the exclusion corner was waived in. The teams were then “even”, even though there was :07 left for the player in the exclusion. USA appealed; it was deemed a “correctable error” and determined to be replayed from the spot of the error.
Instead of the Hungary win, the teams were reconvened after the gold-medal match, at the University of Southern California, to replay the final 4:24. It started with the U.S. trailing 13-12, though Max Irving scored the re-done penalty shot to knot the score at 13. Adrian Weinberg made two big saves, Ryder Dodd came up with a crucial steal, and Ben Hallock scored with 40 seconds left to put the U.S. up 14-13. The Americans had to fend off a final power play for Hungary, but a shot sailed wide to give the Americans bronze.
Irving scored four goals. Hannes Daube added a hat trick, and Luca Cupido and Johnny Hooper scored twice. Weinberg largely struggled with five saves but provided them when needed.
Denes Vargas led Hungary with three goals, followed by a quartet of two-goal scorers. Hungary was outscored in the final quarter, 4-1 … the second time, at least.
Elsewhere on the final day of the World Aquatics World Cup Sunday, Spain capped a dominant tournament by dismissing Italy, 10-4, in the final. It’s Spain’s first ever World Cup gold medal, while the silver is the fourth for the Italian program.
Last year’s world champs were led by goalkeeper Unai Aguirre, who was named the tournament’s best goalkeeper. He made 11 saves to keep Italy under control.
Ortega Granatos scored four times to lead Spain, and Felipe Perrone Rocha added a hat trick, named the Best Player in the Final Match. Spanish coach David Martin won the tournament’s best coach honor.
Italy’s Edoardo DiSomma was voted the tournament’s best player.
Greece topped Romania, 11-8, in the fifth-place match, thanks to a 3-0 run over the game’s final 3:40. It erased an early three-goal lead by the upstart Romanians. Konstantinos Genidounias scored four times. He combined with Drew Papanastasiou and Dimitrios Nikolaidis on the final 3-0 run, Nikolaidas supplying his second tally.
Serbia rallied from a disappointing tournament to salvage seventh place by topping Germany, 15-8. Strahinja Radovic, Nikola Jaksic and Radomir Drasovic each recorded hat tricks for Serbia.