Dora Antal scored undoubtedly the two biggest goals for Hungary in the Rio Games Monday against Australia.
Down a goal with 2:59 remaining in the fourth quarter, Antal caught a pass from across the pool and bounced a shot into the goal to tie the game at 8-8. With no more goals coming the rest of the way, the game ended in a tie and went to a penalty shootout.
Antal’s four teammates made all of their penalty shots, while Australia missed one, meaning all Antal had to do was score on the fifth and final shots and Hungary would advance to the semifinals.
The Hungarian driver did just that, throwing a shot past a diving Lea Yanitsas in goal for Australia to cap off the win for Hungary 13-11.
The loss marks the first time Australia has failed to make the semifinals in the Olympics since women’s water polo was introduced in 2000.
Australia held a sizable lead early, getting out to a 5-1 lead in the first quarter. Hungary kept swinging though, and pulled within a goal after three quarters, to head to the fourth down 7-6.
Australia’s Bronwen Knox scored first in the fourth to go back up two, but Hungary’s Barbara Bujka answered with a left-handed shot from the center of the pool that skidded its way into the net to.
Hungary had two shots saved as the clock wound down in the fourth, but finally found the net again on Antal’s goal with just under three minutes remaining.
Knox was the lone shooter to miss her penalty shot, throwing the ball off the post while shooting third for Australia.
Bujka and Rita Keszthelyi had two goals each in regulation to lead Hungary.
Australia’s Ash Southern led all scorers with three goals on three shots. Yanitsas had 12 saves in regulation.
The loss officially eliminates Australia (2-2) from medal contention. Hungary (2-2) will move on to face the U.S. on Wednesday.
For the second game in a row the lower-seeded team came away with an upset in the women’s water polo quarterfinals. This time the team was Russia, who defeated Spain 12-10 to move on to the semifinals.
The two teams tied seven times in the back-and-forth contest, with neither team going up by more than two goals until the fourth quarter.
After going into the half tied 5-5, the third quarter featured eight combined goals – five from Russia and three from Spain. Down one with three minutes remaining in the third, Russia scored an extra player goal by Anastasia Simanovich, and on a fast break feed to Ekaterina Prokofyeva to take their largest lead of the game into the fourth quarter, 10-8.
Russia didn’t allow Spain the chance to tie again at any point in the fourth quarter, maintaining a lead throughout the final eight minutes.
Nadezhda Glyzina finished with four goals on five shots for Russia. Prokofyeva and Simanovich added two goals each. As a team Russia shot 44 percent in the match.
Roser Aymerich and Laura Ventosa had three goals each for Spain.
The loss eliminates Spain (2-2), the No. 2 seed in Group B, from medal contention. Spain won the silver medal in the 2012 London Games. Russia (2-2), the No. 3 seed in Group A, will move on to the semifinals Wednesday. It is Russia’s first trip to the women’s water polo semifinals since the 2000 Olympics where they won bronze.
Italy made it through group play unscathed, going a perfect 3-0 to clinch the No. 1 seed out of Group A.
The Italian team started the knockout rounds much the same, easily defeating China 12-7 to move on to the semifinals.
Despite finishing the first quarter tied 1-1, Italy outscored their opponent 2-1 in the second, and doubled that in the third to take an easy 8-4 lead into the final quarter.
China made it interesting in the fourth, scoring twice within a minute on shots from beyond five meters by Huanhuan Ma and Zihan Zhao. But it didn’t take long for Italy to regain their stride on a penalty shot by Roberta Bianconi to take the lead back to 10-6 midway through the quarter.
Bianconi led Italy with three goals on four shots. Arianna Garibotti, Tania Di Mario and Guilia Emmolo added two goals each.
Goalkeeper Guilia Gorlero had 14 saves on goal for Italy, stopping nine of 15 shot attempts from beyond five meters.
Cong Zhang led China with three goals.
The loss eliminates China (0-4) from medal contention. Italy (4-0) will move on to play Russia in the semifinals Wednesday.