Men’s water polo quarterfinals recap

Game 1 – Montenegro 9, Hungary 9 (4-2)

Montenegrin goalkeeper Milos Scepanovic made 13 saves on 22 shots in regulation of Montenegro’s quarterfinal matchup Tuesday morning against Hungary.

It was his final two saves, though, that were arguably the best.

After finishing regulation tied 9-9, the two teams went to a penalty shootout to decide which team would get to move on to the semifinals, and Scepanovic came away with two more big saves to help Montenegro win the shootout 4-2.

Scepanovic had eight saves on 11 shots from beyond five meters, and saved two of three extra player shot attempts in regulation.

The Montenegrins never trailed in the match, maintaining a two goal lead through the first three quarters. It was the fourth quarter when Hungary made a run. After going more than five minute without either team scoring a goal, Hungary’s Denes Varga threw up a shot from way beyond the five-meter line while falling backwards to tie the game at 9-9 with 1:11 left to play.

Montenegro had already missed a shot on a 6-4 opportunity that would have given them a two goal lead, and missed twice more in the final minute to send the game to a shootout.

After both teams made their first two shots, Montenegro’s Darko Brguljan hit his chance to go up 3-2. Scepanovic then stopped the next two shots, and teammate Vjekoslav Paskovic made his on Montenegro’s fifth attempt to end the game and send Montenegro to their third straight men’s water polo semifinal.

Five of Montenegro’s nine goals in regulation came from beyond five-meters. Aleksander Ivovic had three goals on five shots to lead the Montenegrins. Drasko Brguljan added two goals of his own.

Marton Vamos and Balazs Erdelyi had three goals each for Hungary.

The loss eliminates Hungary (2-1-3), the most decorated men’s water polo team in Olympic history, from medal contention. Montenegro (3-2-1) moves on to face the winner of Brazil and Croatia Thursday.