Game 1 – Hungary 17, Japan 7
With three ties in three games, Hungary’ men’s water polo team came into Friday’s match needing a win.
Win they did, and in decisive fashion, defeating Japan 17-7.
The 10-point win was the largest margin of victory for a men’s team in the Rio games. The previous high was eight goals and no other team has won by more than five.
Hungary was in control early, going into the half up 11-3. The game was actually tied at 1-1 before the Hungarians scored seven unanswered goals in the next eight minutes. Scoring came easy for Hungary, who shot 50 percent on the day, with five goals coming from the center spot.
Hungary’s Gabor Kis even had a long-distance behind-the-back goal early in the second quarter, proving that he and his team had the hot hand. Kis led all scorers with five goals on 11 shots. Teammate Krisztian Manhercz added four goals and Denes Varga had three.
Japan scored three goals in each of the third and fourth quarters, but struggled from all over the pool. They were 0-7 on action shots, and 0-8 on shots from beyond five meters. Three of Japan’s seven goals came on extra player opportunities.
Goalkeeper Viktor Nagy stopped 11-18 shots, and was a perfect 6-6 on shots his way from five meters.
Hungary (1-0-3) looks primed to move on to the quarterfinals with the win. They finish group play Sunday at 7:50 p.m. against Brazil. Japan (0-4) is all but eliminated at this point. They’ll complete their stay in Rio on Sunday against Serbia at 6:30 p.m.