Croatian Water Polo Championships: Jug One Step Closer to Title

Daniela Rogulj

Jug AO
Jug AO

Jug AO

July 23, 2020 – In the second match of the playoff finals for the Croatian champion, played on Wednesday night in Zagreb, Dubrovnik’s Jug AO were better than the home team Mladost in yet another penalty shootout and celebrated 13-11 (2-2, 3-3, 4-2, 1-3, 3-1) to take the 2-0 lead in the series to three wins.

HRT reports that the match ended in a 10-10 draw, and Jug goalkeeper Toni Popadic brought the Dubrovnik club the victory in the shootout with two crucial saves.

During regulation time, Jug’s best scorer was Loren Fatovic with five goals, Alexandros Papanastasiou scored three, and Luka Loncar and Filip Krzic scored one goal each. Mladost’s top scorer was Lovre Milos with four goals, Matias Biljaka scored two, and Milos Cuk, Luka Bukic, Franko Lazic and Konstantin Harkov scored one goal each.

After a tie game during the first two quarters, Jug created a three-goal lead in the third quarter (9-6), but the home team responded with a four-goal streak and took a 10-9 lead two and a half minutes before the end.

In the remaining time, only Filip Krzic managed to get past Mladost goalkeeper Marcelic to equalize at 10-10. Mladost had an attack to win, but the crossbar stopped Bowen’s shot, so, just like in the first game, the winner was decided in a penalty shootout.

Here, the Dubrovnik team showed much more precision, and their goalkeeper Toni Popadic stopped the shots of Bukic and Lazic, while Bowen hit the crossbar. Thus, Jug took a 2-0 lead in the final series, and in three days, Vjekoslav Kobescak’s team will have the opportunity to win the Croatian championship title for the fifth time in a row, and for the 16th time in total.

The third game of the finals is scheduled for Saturday, starting at 8:15 pm, and will be played in Dubrovnik at the Gruz swimming pool.

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