REVIEW: Hungary have beaten Serbia 26:25 in the World Championship Play-offs but let a much higher win too easily slip from their hands
Late comeback lets Serbia hope
Despite a 26:25 defeat at home against Hungary on Friday night in the first leg of the World Championship Play-offs, a very late surge in the game has kept Serbia's hopes alive to qualify for the final tournament in France.
Trailing temporarily by eight goals, Serbia caught up and brought the gap eventually down to one goal - something to give them confidence ahead of the second leg on Wednesday.
Men's World Championship Play-offs
From the start of the game Hungary seemed to be eager to decide this play-off encounter already in the first match. The visitors forged ahead to a 4:0 lead and kept this four-goal lead for the following minutes.
Serbia reduced the gap to two goals a couple of times, but Hungary were always able to react and score two consecutive goals themselves - and a counter attack in the last seconds of the first half, converted by right wing Tamas Ivancsik, even saw them leading by five goals at half-time (13:8).
Hungary then continued to dominate at the start of the second half, increasing their lead to eight goals at 17:9 and 18:10 - at this point, however, the game changed.
No less than seven consecutive Serbian goals changed the score from a 19:13 lead for Hungary into the first Serbian lead in the match at 20:19.
Although this should remain the only time the home team enjoyed a lead because Hungary fought back and soon took the lead again and kept it until the end.
Going into the second leg with a 26:25 lead, Hungary still appear to be the favourites to qualify before the return match in Veszprém on Wednesday, but the impressive comeback should allow the Serbs to hope.
Top scorer for Serbia was Petar Nenadic with 10 goals, Ivancsik scored six times for Hungary.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
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