The last European Championship match for Croatia was against the Netherlands in the last round of Group I on Wednesday. Both teams lost their chance at the semifinal, so the match was not of importance – though it’s always nice to say goodbye to the Euros with a win.
The Netherlands was left without several key players due to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Croatia coach Hrvoje Horvat thanked Ivan Slišković, Šimo Ivić, and Vlado Matanović who went back to their clubs early. Today’s Croatia lineup included Pešić, Pilipović, Čupić, Glavaš, Martinović, Maraš, Cindrić, Gadža, Lučin, Srna, Jelinić, Ćavar, Marić, Šipić, Načinović, and Gojun.
Recall, after losing to Denmark, Croatia lost all chances of reaching the semifinals. Despite winning against Iceland, Croatia was ultimately left without a chance to fight for third place in the group, which brings the match for fifth place, the last leading directly to the 2023 World Championships. Croatia will thus have to play World Championship qualifiers this spring.
Sipic scored for 2:0 Croatia in the 2nd minute. The Netherlands scored for 2:1 going into the 3rd minute. Sipic made it 3:1 going into the 4th minute.
Sipic scored his 4th goal of the match for 4:4 Croatia in the 6th minute.
The Netherlands took the 5:4 lead in the 7th minute. Srna scored for 5:5 in the 10th minute.
Sipic scored his 5th goal for 6:5 Croatia in the 12th minute. Cindric made it 7:6 a minute later.
The Netherlands led 9:8 in the 17th minute. Cupic equalized for 9:9 in the 19th minute. The Netherlands led by 2 goals for the first time of the match in the 22nd minute – 11:9.
Gadza scored for 11:10 in the 23rd minute. The Netherlands led 13:11 with 4 minutes to go. Martinovic scored for -1 Croatia in the 27th minute before the Netherlands made it 14:12 with two minutes to go.
It was 15:13 for the Netherlands going into halftime.
Martinovic opened the second half with a goal for Croatia for -1 – 15:14. Martinovic equalized from 7 meters for 15:15 in the 32nd minute.
Martinovic equalized for Croatia again with a penalty in the 34th minute for 16:16. Sipic made it 17:17 in the 38th minute.
Martinovic scored his 7th goal of the match for 18:18 in the 41st minute. Sipic made it 19:19 a minute later.
Martinovic finally put Croatia back in the lead for 20:19 in the 45th minute. Srna made it 21:19 for Croatia in the 46th minute. Cindric made it 22:19 a minute later.
Croatia was leading 26:24 with 5 minutes to go. Martinovic scored his 12th goal in the 56th minute for 27:25. Croatia was up by only one goal with a little over a minute to go.
The Netherlands equalized for 27:27 in the final minute. Lucin scored for 28:27 in the final 15 seconds and the Netherlands equalized for the final 28:28.
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