FINA World Championships: Croatia Advances to Water Polo Semi-finals Against Serbia!

Daniela Rogulj

Croatia will face Serbia in the FINA World Championship semi-finals! 

The Croatian water polo team beat Italy 12-9 in the quarterfinals of the FINA World Championships in Budapest! Croatia will face Serbia in the semifinals on Thursday, July 27th, at 22.00, reports on July 25, 2017. 

The Croats opened the match strong, and Croatia led the Italians 2-0 and then 5-3 in the first half. The tough and persistent Italians, however, were able to equalize before the second half, with Francesco di Fulvio scoring for 5-5.

In the third quarter, Croatia was without a goal man and Italy managed to take the score to 6-5 – but then a fantastic Garcia, who came “out of the dressing room” and onto the scene, equalized for 6-6. After that, Sukno scored for 7-6, and on a two goal advantage, Šetka returned in the last minute.

With significant efforts by Sandro and Garcia, Croatia was up 3-0 in the second half of the third period with a score of 8-6. 

At this point the Italians seemed broken, slumping to a score of 10-8. Fortunately, there was no nervousness in Croatia’s ranks and Bušlje immediately scored for 11-9. The victory was finished with a brilliant goal by Garcia for his fourth in the match. Croatia defeated Italy 12-9. 

Garcia and Sandro Sukno were Croatia’s best players in the game, each scoring four goals. Šetka scored two and Bušlje and Vukičević each scored one. Italy’s most productive player was Renzuto who scored three goals.

Croatia will now face Serbia in the semifinals of the championship. Croatia and Serbia last faced each other in a big competition in the final of the Olympic Games in Rio last year. Serbia celebrated 11-7 and their 9th gold medal in their last nine competitions. 

The semi-final will take place on Thursday, July 27th at 22.00 in Budapest. 

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