22 Jan. 2023
Hungary made their side of the deal and won against Cape Verde on the last day in Gothenburg. With six points and second place in the Main Round Group II, Chema Rodríguez's team kept their hopes of a quarter-final spot alive. Hungary now awaits a top-notch match between Sweden and Portugal at 20:30 CET and must cheer for Sweden.
Main Round Group II
Cape Verde vs Hungary 30:42 (15:22)
Hungary, with the burden of a must-win situation, started off well by setting a 5:2 lead with a third goal from Egon Hanusz. The centre back scored three goals and assisted two times, making him the first name of Hungary in the opening minutes.
Cape Verde tried to catch up and managed to do so in the seventh minute when they narrowed the gap to 5:7, but the fatigue, inexperience and high pace imposed by Hungary stopped the African side from doing more.
Hungary went on a 4-0 goal run while Cape Verde could not penetrate the Hungarian defence and Cape Verde's top scorer at the World Championship, Paulo Moreno, kept trying but could not do it alone.
As the clock hit the 20th minute, Hungary were in front by seven and Cape Verde's strategy was to try to close the gap with man-up in the attack, gaining a slender advantage against Hungarian defence players. It worked well enough to prevent Hungary from making too much of a difference between the two.
Edmilson Araujo was efficient from the left back as he scored Cape Verde's three last goals and had three more attempts, all in the last eight minutes. The Hungarian block read his desires well and kept their seven-goal lead at halftime.
Hungary played disciplined in both directions, especially in defence, as their first two-minute suspension came in the 38th minute of the match. Both sides kept playing with enough strength to maintain the desired level of pace.
Mid-way through the second-half, the score stretched to 29:22 as Mikols Rosta netted his fifth goal in the contest. Cape Verde, until this point, scored with more efficiency as they upgraded their shot efficiency from 54% at half-time to 65%.
Hungary were close to hitting the double-digit lead in the last ten minutes as turnovers started to hurt Cape Verde and Pedro Álvarez Rodriguez netted for 36:28 eight minutes before the final whistle. The ten-goal gap was hit in the 55th minute as the 7v6 Cape Verde's play kept punishing all mistakes in the attack.
The Hungarians were on course for victory and Rosta, the team's top scorer with seven goals in total in only 15 minutes of playing time, sealed the deal for the 41:30 and another turnover in the Cape Verde row allowed Bendegúz Bóka to set the final 42:30 with the buzzer.
"I like to share my admiration for head coach Ljubomir Obradović. We know each other very well. We played well in the second half, but we had a problem with their 7 versus 6 play. I am happy that we won, which was important for us to get a possible place in the quarter-finals. I know it will be a tough match between Sweden and Portugal, and of course we hope Sweden will win. Every Hungarian is a Swedish fan today", said Hungarian head coach Chema Rodríguez.
Cape Verde's head coach Ljubomir Obradović was satisfied with his team's performance: "It was a good match for both Hungary and Cape Verde. It was a good World Championship for us to gain valuable experience and we made history by playing at a high-level competition. We need to work to progress, to see what we can make better and what we need to change. This is a big deal for our country."
Hungary now focus on the match between the co-hosts and Portugal later on in the day, where they will keep their fingers crossed for the Swedish side, while Cape Verde end their World Championship campaign, the first full one.
hummel Player of the Match: Egon Hanusz (Hungary)