FINA World Championships: Croatia to Fight for Bronze Medal against Greece

Daniela Rogulj

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Croatia met Spain in the FINA World Championship semifinals in Hungary on Friday night. Italy beat Greece in the first semifinal match 11-10 and thus booked their spot in the final for the second time in a row. 

Croatia had the chance to book their fourth World Championship final. After the great victory against Serbia, Croatia faced Spain, which boasts the former best water polo player in the world, Felipe Perrone.

Good support was expected from the stands from Zagreb, Osijek, Slavonski Brod, Split, and Rijeka.

The last match between these two national teams was one year ago at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where Spain won 8:4. Interestingly, Croatia played against Spain three times at the World Championships, and all three times Spain celebrated.

Match Report 

1st quarter

Spain won the sprint and first attack of the match and scored for 1:0. Zuvela equalized for Croatia in the next attack for 1:1. Spain scored for 2:1 with less than 4 minutes to go in the first quarter. Bukic equalized for 2:2 in the next attack. Croatia took the lead with 1:44 left – Kharkov scored for 3:2! Spain equalized with 17 seconds on the clock. The first quarter ended 3:3. 

2nd quarter 

Croatia won the first sprint but was unable to score in the first attack. Spain retook the lead for 4:3 with 6:04 left. Spain went ahead 5:3 with just over 5 minutes to go. Croatia was not able to score in this quarter and allowed Spain two goals. It was 5:3 for Spain going into halftime. 

3rd quarter 

Spain’s keeper was brilliant to keep them ahead and denied Croatia several opportunities in the 3rd quarter. Spain scored their first goal of the third quarter for 6:3 with 3:28 on the clock. Bukic finally scored for 6:4 Croatian with just over 3 minutes to go. Spain scored for 7:4 with 1:45 on the clock. Basic scored or 7:5 Croatia with 30 seconds on the clock. 

4th quarter 

Spain won the sprint in the final quarter. Spain scored for 8:5 with 7:37 to go in the match.  Spain scored for 9:5 with 3:39 left in the match and then 10:5 with under 3 minutes left. The match ended 10:5 for Spain. 

Croatia and Greece will play for 3rd place.  

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section



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