July 19, 2020 – In the first game of the Croatian Championship finals, which took place in Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik water polo club Jug defeated Zagreb’s Mladost with a better performance in the penalty shootout for a score of 18-16 (5-2, 4-4, 3-4, 1-3 – 5-3) to lead the series 1:0.
HRT reports that Mladost did not have the strength to beat Jug twice in Dubrovnik in just four days after they celebrated to win the Adriatic Regional League title on Wednesday. The Dubrovnik team started the match much better and were up by three points at half time. Mladost was also left without their best player, Milos Cuk, due to a penalty. However, the Zagreb club proved to be more physically prepared again, gained an advantage, and scored five points before the end of the match with a goal by American player Alex Bowen.
In the penalty shootout, all five players of Jug hit the net, while Jug goalkeeper Popadic defended Luka Bukic’s shot.
Hrvoje Benic scored five goals for Jug, while Luka Bukic, Konstantin Harkov and Alex Bowen scored three goals each for Mladost.
The finals feature the only two clubs with a double-digit number of Croatian championships won – Jug has 15 titles, and Mladost 10.
The second match will be played in Zagreb, on July 22, starting at 6:45 PM, and the third match will be in Dubrovnik on July 25 (8:15 PM). Possible fourth and fifth matches will be played in Zagreb on July 29 and Dubrovnik on August 2.
Jadran Split and Solaris Sibenik met for the first game in the series for 3rd place on Saturday night at the outdoor Zvoncac pool in Split. The Split club defeated Solaris 13:9. The two clubs will meet for the second match on Monday, July 20, 2020, in Sibenik.
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