Hungary beat Montenegro in the second semifinal of the ECH in Budapest 10:8 and achieved two objectives – they secured a medal and also earned an Olympic berth.
Hungary will play against Spain in the gold-medal match on Sunday. No matter what will happen in the final, Hungary booked the Olympic ticket, since Spain qualified for Tokyo last year at the World Championships.
Montenegro has to play at the Olympic qualification tournament in Rotterdam, with Croatia, Greece, Russia…
Hungary returned to the European Championships final after six years. Their previous appearance in the final was also in Budapest in 2014. But, the Hungarians don’t want to evoke memories on that game, as they were defeated by Serbia (7:12).
The men’s tournament, Day 6
Semifinals: Spain – Croatia 9:8, Montenegro – Hungary 8:10.
Semifinals 5th – 8th place: Italy – Russia 14:12, Serbia – Greece 12:9.
For 9th place: Georgia – Germany 8:9.
For 11th place: Turkey – Romania 3:20.
34th European Championships, men, Day 6
Montenegro: Radovic 3, Pjesivac 2, Draskovic 1, Petkovic 1, Djurdjic 1.
Hungary: Varga 4, Zalanki 2, Pohl 1, Erdelyi 1, Mezei 1, Vamos 1.
All the match’s and the players’ statistics: MNE-HUN
The second semifinal offered a hard battle and a lot of thrills, as well as the match Spain – Croatia. The Montenegrins had a better start, but the hosts turned the game into their favor during the middle two quarters.
Montenegro grabbed a 2:0 lead and silenced the five thousand home fans in the stands. In the 7th minute, Zoltan Pohl scored the first goal for the hosts, while Hungary’s captain Denes Varga equalized early in the second period with a beautiful backhander from six meters.
In the middle of the quarter, Djuro Radovic put the Montenegrins ahead (3:2). However, the Hungarians scored two goals by the middle break to earn their first lead in the match – 4:3.
Montenegro’s Marko Petkovic opened the second half with an equalizer for 4:4, but then the hosts took control. Firstly, they built a 2-goal lead (6:4), Pjesivac cut the deficit, but with two goals in the last two and a half minutes of this quarter (Varga and Zalanki) Hungary earned a solid 8:5 advantage before the final eight minutes.
Bogdan Djurdjic converted a man up in the 28th minute for 6:8, but Vamos immediately responded in the same manner. Hungary had a three-goal lead (9:6) with 3:30 minutes to go, and it seemed that everything was decided.
But, Montenegro didn’t give up and netted two consecutive goals (Pjesivac and Radovic) to reduce the gap to 1 (8:9) with just 47 seconds remaining on the clock.
That was an overture for the interesting finish of the game
Twenty-five seconds before the final buzzer, the Hungarians earned a 6 on 5 possession (Montenegro’s Ivovic was excluded) and their coach Marcz called the time out. But, the Montenegrins had nothing to lose. Their goalkeeper Dejan Lazovic left his goal and joined the players in the field in the Montenegrins’ efforts to do a miracle. But it didn’t work. Hungary didn’t make a mistake. Eleven seconds from the end, Erdelyi tried to score from a long-distance shot, but the shot wasn’t strong enough and the Montenegrins managed to defend the goal. But, they lost the ball. In the end, Hungary’s captain Denes Varga was the last one who got the ball in front of Montenegro’s unguarded goal, and he didn’t have a hard task to send it into the net for the final score.
For more information about the 34th European Championships visit our tournament page
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