The Croatia national water polo team met Greece on Sunday in the fight for the bronze medal at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.
Croatia and Greece already met in the group stage of this competition in Debrecen. The match finished 8:8.
By winning bronze, the Barracudas would have increased their medal count at the World Championships to eight. It all started back in 2007 in Melbourne.
In the semi-finals, Croatia was defeated by Spain, and Greece by Italy.
Croatia won the sprint and thus the first attack of the match. Vukicevic’s shot was saved by the Greece keeper. Bijac saved Greece’s first shot on goal. Five minutes into the first quarter and neither team had scored yet. Greece scored the first goal of the match with 2:20 left in the quarter. VAR held the match up for a potential Croatia goal but the referee ultimately did not count it. The first quarter ended 1:0 for Greece.
Greece won the second sprint of the match and thus the first attack of the second quarter. Greece scored for 2:0 with 7:35 on the clock. Greece made it 3:0 with 6:57 left. And it was 4:0 for Greece with 4:19 left. Bukic scored Croatia’s first goal for 4:1 with 3:34 left. Greece scored for 5:1 with 3:08 on the clock. Fatovic scored for 5:2 with 2:26 left in the quarter. Kharkov’s penalty was saved by the Greece keeper with less than a minute left until halftime. Zuvela made it 5:3 with 3 seconds left, which is how the match went into halftime.
Bukic scored for -1 Croatia with 6:21 left (5:4). Greece scored for 6:4 with 5:51 to go. Greece went up by 3 goals again with 3:36 left – it was 7:4 for Greece. Greece made it 8:4 moments later. The Greece keeper continued to deny Croatia at the goal. Kharkov finally found the back of the net for -3 – 8:5, which is how the match went into the final quarter.
Croatia won the final sprint and the first attack of the last quarter. Kragic scored for -2 (8:6) with 7:21 left in the match. Greece scored for +3 (9:6) with just over two minutes to go. Bijac saved Greece’s penultimate attack and Vrlic scored for 9:7 with 24 seconds on the clock, which is how the match ended. The Greece keeper finished with 16 saves.
Croatia thus finished the 2022 FINA World Championships in 4th place.
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