World champions Croatia have been knocked out of the FINA World League Super Final after losing a shoot-out to Hungary ©FINA

Croatia, last year's world champions, have been knocked out of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Water Polo World League Super Final in Budapest, after losing to Hungary in a shoot-out in Budapest today.

The result has brought to an end what has been a poor championships for the Croatians at the Duna Arena, who also lost to both Spain and the United States in the group stage.

Elsewhere in today's quarter-finals, Montenegro beat Kazakhstan 14-6 and Australia lost to Spain 9-4, while Japan pulled off a shock win against the US 11-10, having lost all their games in the group stages.

Croatia against Hungary was a repeat of last year's World Championship final.

That time out Croatia won, but this time around Hungary were able to get revenge, beating the Croatians in a shoot out 4-2, after the game itself ended six all. 

Hungary managed to grasp some control in the second half of what was a very defensive game for both sides.

They broke two goals clear and held their lead until early in the final quarter, but the Croatians managed a late comeback to force a shoot-out. 

Having led until near the final whistle during the game, Hungary would no doubt have felt aggrieved had they lost the shoot-out.

Fortunately for them, their finishing was more precise, scoring all of their goals in the shoot-out as Croatia missed once and had another saved.

In going through to the semi-finals Hungary will now surely be the favourites to take the title in the country's capital.

Montenegro made it through to the semi-finals after beating Kazakhstan comfortably at the Duna Arena in Budapest ©FINA
Montenegro made it through to the semi-finals after beating Kazakhstan comfortably at the Duna Arena in Budapest ©FINA

The first game on today was Montenegro versus Kazakhstan, with the Montenegrin's easing through as expected. 

They took a clear lead early on, with the first period ending 5-2 and only became more dominant.

A second half score of 7-2 to Montenegro saw the game end in a comfortable victory 14-6.

Next up in Spain versus Australia, it was actually the latter side that had the better start, despite the eventual result.

Australia did not manage to take advantage and the score read 2-2 at half time, before Spain then entered another gear and took the match out of Australia's hands. 

Last up, Japan against the US was expected to be an easy win for the Americans, after they won all three of their games in the groups stages.

A stunning defensive performance from the Japanese, however, means that by making the semi-finals they have now achieved their best ever result at a FINA major event - a promising sign for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

Tomorrow's semi-finals are due to see Hungary play Japan and Montenegro face Spain. 

Croatia, the US, Australia and Kazakhstan, meanwhile, will play to establish fifth to eighth place.