The Croatia water polo team met Montenegro in the playoffs for 5th to 8th place at the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday.
After the quarterfinal defeat to Hungary, Croatia has to play two more games for the 5th to 8th place. The first was today against Montenegro, who lost to Greece in the quarterfinals.
Croatia led the 1st quarter 1:0, while Montenegro came back in the 2nd which ended 5:4 for Croatia. In the 3rd quarter, Croatia and Montenegro were even, ending with 3 goals each. The score going into the final quarter was 9:7 for Croatia.
Croatia and Montenegro were equal in the final quarter at 3:3 for the final score of 12:10.
Croatia has already played against Montenegro in Tokyo, recording a victory in the group (13:8), but then it was an important game in the fight to get to the quarterfinals and the stakes were high. Playing for the ranking is something completely different, and after being eliminated in the quarterfinals, the motivation is certainly lower.
Croatia thus plays for 5th place on Sunday against the winner between Italy and the USA. Montenegro will play for 7th place.
“These are now the two worst games ahead of us. They bring nothing, they mean nothing, but we have to play them. We have to try to give as much as we can and try to win. There will be wishes, but we will see how good it will be on both sides,” said Barracuda captain Andro Bušlje.
“I don’t see the point of all that, we are the only collective sport that plays from the fifth to the eighth place. Unfortunately, the rules are like that and it is our duty to do it to the end,” said coach Ivica Tucak.
The semifinal matches are scheduled today in which Greece and Hungary will meet (8:30) and Serbia and Spain (12:50).
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