FINA World Championships: Croatia Faces Italy in Water Polo Quarter-finals Tonight

Daniela Rogulj

Croatian Water Polo coach Ivica Tucak thinks that Croatia is more quality than Italy ahead of the FINA World Championship quarter-finals tonight in Budapest.

Croatia has claimed three victories in the FINA World Championships in Budapest, winning against the national teams of America, Russia and Japan. Thus, Croatia placed first in Group D which pushed them directly into the quarter-finals, reports Jutarnji List on July 25, 2017. 

Croatia will face Italy in the quarter-final match tonight who secured their place in the duel after defeating Kazakhstan 12-7.

“We are expecting a very good team that covers their positions well. This year we have two lost matches to Italy, one in a tournament and one friendly match. That is enough warning to get us as motivated as possible before entering the match. However, if all goes to plan, I believe that Croatia is the better team and that we are closer to winning. In any case, we expect an extremely tough match,” said Ivica Tucak, the coach of the Croatian Water Polo team. 

By qualifying straight into the quarter-finals, Croatia also had a few more days for rest and preparation than the Italians.

“The atmosphere of the team is excellent and we are eagerly waiting for the quarter-final match with Italy. In the last few group games we noticed the support of our fans, whose arrival means a lot to us and gives us extra wind at our backs,” said Ante Vukičević of the Croatian national team. 

“It feels a little nervous before the match with Italy, but it is a positive nervous and we can’t wait to start the game. We feel ready and we hope to win,” added Croatia’s Luka Lončar.

If Croatia advances past Italy tonight, they will face Olympic gold medal winners Serbia. 

The game will take place at 22:00 this evening. 


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