Croatia Water Polo Tops Russia, Secures World League European Final Eight

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Slavko Midzor/PIXSELL
Slavko Midzor/PIXSELL

After Greece, the Croatia water polo team defeated Russia in the second round of the World League Group D. Croatia celebrated in Zagreb on Tuesday 11-9 (1-4, 4-4, 2-1, 4-0) thus securing the World League final European tournament.

However, it wasn’t so certain from the start. Russia was ahead 4-0 in the first quarter, and Croatia hit the net for the first time only from their seventh shot! The Barracudas were in disarray until the end of the third quarter. Namely, Russia was up by a considerable 9-5, but fortunately for Croatia, they did not score until the end of the match.

On the other hand, after locking their own goal, Croatian slowly began to gain an advantage. Six and a half minutes before the end of the match, Burić regained hope with a goal for 8-9, while three minutes before the end, Bukić equalized at 9-9.

Burić and Fatović then scored for 11-9 and confirmed Croatia’s brilliant turnaround. Loren Fatović was the top scorer with three goals, while Bukić and Burić scored two each, and one each by Vukičević, Žuvela, Benić, and Lazić. Marko Bijač defended brilliantly during the second half and stopped seven of 11 shots from Russia. The Croatia goalkeeper was also named the player of the match.

In the first match in Athens, Croatia defeated Greece 12-11, and with the victory against Russia, secured a place in the final European tournament of the World League, which should be held in Budapest (though this is no longer certain) from April 28 to 30. Croatia will play against the second-placed team from Group C, almost certainly Italy. In the 3rd round next month, Russia and Greece will meet. 

World League, Group D (Round 2):

Croatia – Russia 11-9 (1-4, 4-4, 2-1, 4-0)

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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