Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

Montenegro won the 2018 edition of the World League Super Final after a thrilling final in the packed Duna Arena where 4,000 fans backed the Hungarians who led for most of the game but couldn't hold on till the end, and the Montenegrins captured the title in a penalty shootout. They clinched the title for the second time after 2009 and maintained the Southers Slavonian nations' (SRB, MNE, CRO) stronghold on the trophy – the last team having won the title outside of the former Yugoslavia was Hungary in 2004. The Magyars had to settle for a second straight silver at home FINA majors after coming runner-up last July at the World Championships in Budapest. The bronze medal went to Spain which had more reserves and beat the tournament's surprise team Japan, scoring the last five goals of the match after 7-7.

Celebrations: the Montenegrins lift the World League Trophy for the second time in nine years

The final couldn't have been any more thrilling: despite playing the 6th game on the 6th day, both sides did a splendid job in the pool. After Montenegro took a great start, the Magyars responded with a 5-0 rush to heat up the Arena, but before the gap would have grown over 3 goals the Montenegrins responded well. After being two goals down at half-time, they managed to halve the difference by the end of the third and could level the score twice in the last period. Centre-forward Sasa Misic was their hero as he netted three of their last four goals, including two action hits from the centre. The last equaliser came 68 seconds from time and the match ended in a penalty shootout. That was decided early as Hungary's two best shooters of the week, tournament's MVP Marton Vamos and Gergo Zalanki both hit the post from the first two attempts and this time the tourney's best goalie Viktor Nagy couldn't put a hand any of the four Montenegrin shots.

Men at work: heavy traffic in front of the Hungarian goal, the final fight was worthy of the whole tournament

Spain clinched the bronze after a huge fight with Japan. The Asians could keep up with their rivals for three periods but those efforts burnt all their reserves so after 7-7 only the Spaniards scored goals, five in a row to secure the third place.

Japan's Inada Yosuke (white cap) was one of the top scorers and the best young player of the event – still, this time he couldn't help his team to claim the bronze

World champion Croatia found the necessary motivation after the QF loss to Hungary and won its last two games to claim the 5th place. They did a clean job while beating the Aussies, scored in the most important moments leaving no real chance for their rivals to go even in the second half.

In the match played for the 7th place the US earned an easy win over Kazakhstan. After a strong 4-0 start the Americans didn't have any headaches to go all the way and finish the tournament with a positive result – after three straight victories team USA was destined to something bigger here but the stunning defeat from Japan crushed their plans and they had to settle for the 7th place.

A fine shot from the Croats hitting the top corner of the Aussie cage - Credit: Jozsef Szaka

Day 6

(For detailed stats, play-by-play, click on the games)

World League Final: Hungary v Montenegro 9-9, pen: 2-4

Bronze medal: Japan v Spain 7-12

For places 5-6: Croatia v Australia 10-8

For places 7-8: United States v Kazakhstan 9-3

Final rankings

1. Montenegro   $100’000

2. Hungary           $70’000

3. Spain                $50’000

4. Japan                $35’000

5. Croatia             $30’000

6. Australia          $25’000

7. United States    $20’000

8. Kazakhstan      $15’000

Individual awards

Top scorers

Aleksandar Ivovic (MNE), Mladen Janovic (MNE), Inada Yosuke (JPN) with 14-14 goals

Most Valuable Player

Marton Vamos (HUN)

Best goalkeeper

Viktor Nagy (HUN)

Best Young Player

Inada Yosuke (JPN)