Croatia Water Polo Team Wins Sardinia Cup ahead of Olympics!

Daniela Rogulj

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The match proved to a solid extent that this is still a preparatory period. In the second quarter, Croatia won 6:1, and a quarter later, Italy celebrated 6:2. The first quarter was equal with alternating team leads (1:0, 1:2, 3:2, and 3:4 for Croatia). With the goals of Miloš and captain Bušlje, Croatia took the lead at 6:3, Renzuto reduced it, but immediately afterward, Bukić, Lončar, Obradović, and Fatović scored for 10:4 for Croatia at halftime.

Italy managed to reduce Croatia’s advantage to just two goals for 12:10 Croatia. In the last quarter, the hosts were just one goal behind on two occasions (11:12 and 12:13) but could not equalize. Obradović shook Italy’s net at 11:12, a goal by Michael Bodegas reduced Croatia’s lead (12:13), and two consecutive Croatia goals followed. Bukić scored with less than three minutes to go, and 53 seconds before the end, the left-handed Joković scored for the final 15:12.

Italy and Russia will play for second place on Sunday at noon. Croatia will return to Split and Zagreb via Rome on Sunday. After that, they will have three days off and then the final gathering in Zagreb on Thursday, July 15. Croatia travels to Tokyo on Monday, July 19. 

“We played another great tournament and deservedly won it. This is a good overture to the most important thing that follows, the Olympic Games. I’m looking forward to a good game. Although we witnessed a phenomenal game in the first two quarters, I am sorry that we did not stay in the same high rhythm until the end. We got into some trouble in the third quarter, which is good to be happening to us now, in these tournaments. But we knew how to react and pull ourselves together. I am glad that we had a game like this, which was not a one-way street, but that we got into certain problems and reacted in a good way and won,” said coach Ivica Tucak. 

“We did what we imagined. We fixed the game, but it’s still far from our best. I am sure that these few days off that follow will come in handy, after which we will make good use of the preparations in Zagreb and go to Tokyo in ideal shape,” concluded captain Andro Bušlje. 

Source: HVS

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