Tuesday, 21 June 2022

2022 FINA World Championships: Croatia and Greece Draw 8:8 in Game 1

June 21, 2022 - Croatia and Greece finished 8:8 in the first match of the 2022 FINA World Championships in Hungary. 

The Croatia water polo team opened their performance at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Hungary tonight against Greece. Croatia kicked off the competition with seven new names on the team.

The 2022 World Championship is Croatia's 13th appearance since Croatian independence. Croatia has won 7 medals from the last 12 World Championships, sharing second place with Italy and Spain, which are significantly older countries. Hungary is the best with 11 medals won. 

Ivica Tucaks' team first faced the current Olympic silver medalist, Greece. Croatia also plays against Germany and Japan in Debrecen.

The winner of each group will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while the second and third-placed national teams play the round of 16.

Match Report 

Croatia won the sprint but was unsuccessful in its first attack to get a goal. Greece went up 1:0 with 6:39 on the clock. 

Croatia's shot was blocked in the next attack and Zuvela shot over the post to keep Greece ahead. 

Russian-born Kharkov equalized for Croatia at 1:1 with 5:05 to go in the first quarter. Greece went ahead 2:1 in the next attack. Vukicevic missed in Croatia's next attack. 

Greece went up to 3:1 with 3:11 to go in the first quarter. Both of Croatia's shots were blocked in the next play. 

Greece made it 4:1 with 15 seconds to go, which is how the first quarter ended. 

Greece hit the post to open the second quarter which was lucky for Croatia, but Greece's defense was not kind to Croatia's next attack. 

Zuvela finally scored for 4:2 with 4:48 to go in the second quarter and Buric made it 4:3 with 4:02 to go! 

Kharkov made it 5:5 for Croatia with 1:47 to go, which is how the match went into halftime.  

Croatia was unable to score in their first attack of the third quarter, and Greece retook the lead at 6:5 with 5:59 to go. 

Kragic scored brilliantly for 6:6 with 3:45 on the clock and goalkeeper Bijac stopped Greece's next attack. 

Greece retook the lead at 7:6 with 1:43 left and Croatia was unable to score in the following attack, ending the third quarter 7:6 for Greece. 

Four minutes into the final quarter and neither team had scored. Zuvela finally equalized for 7:7 with 3:48 left in the match. 

Greece scored for 8:7 with 3:08 to go but Basic scored for 8:8 with 1:55 on the clock! 

Greece hit the post and Croatia missed the goal with less than a minute left.  Greece missed with 0:26 left, giving Croatia the attack and chance to win, but was unable to score. The match ended 8:8. 

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Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Coach Ivica Tucak Selects Croatia Team for 2022 World Water Polo Championships

June 14, 2022 - At Monday's press conference in Pula, Ivica Tucak determined 13 players who will represent Croatia at the 2022 World Water Polo Championships in Hungary in one week. 

Recall, the Croatia water polo team began its cycle of preparations in Pula before they leave for the World Championships in Hungary from June 18 to July 3. Croatia will play its first game on June 21.

"I made the final decision after much deliberation. Ever since Podgorica and the qualifications for the World League a month ago, I opted for a team like this, a team that is a bit faster, a bit younger, and hopefully more aggressive. We have players who can play both on the right and in the back, those who will, so to speak, "fill" the quota of personal mistakes. I think this team also looked decent in the game in Trieste last Friday against Italy. This is simply the most ideal thing we have," said coach Tucak. 

Croatia and Italy will meet again in a friendly match on June 14 at the Pula City Pool. 

Croatia will start the 2022 World Water Polo Championships in Group B and will play the following schedule: 

June 21: Greece - Croatia (19:30)

June 23: Croatia - Germany (18:00)

June 25: Japan - Croatia (18:00)

Croatia player list for 2022 World Water Polo Championships



Marko Bijač

Toni Popadić


Ivan Krapić (kapetan momčadi)

Josip Vrlić


Marko Žuvela

Rino Burić


Luka Bukić

Loren Fatović

Ante Vukičević

Konstantin Harkov

Jerko Marinić Kragić

Franko Lazić

Andrija Bašić


Lovro Paparić – center

Ivan Domagoj Zović – attackers

Coaching staff

Ivica Tucak – coach

Zoran Bajić – assistant coach

Jure Marelja – assistant coach

Pero Kuterovac – conditioning coach

Renco Posinković – goalkeeper coach

Igor Pezelj – video analysis

Damir Luketić – physiotherapist

Petar Kopanja – physiotherapist

Dr. Ivan Čurlin – doctor

Recall, defender Hrvoje Benić and goalkeeper Ivan Marcelić were injured already before the preparations, so coach Tucak knew he would travel to the World Championships without these two.

Source: HVS

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Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Croatia Learns Opponents for 2022 World Water Polo Championships in Hungary

April 13, 2022 - The Croatia men's water polo team will play in Group B at the 2022 World Water Polo Championships in Hungary (June 18-July 3) against Greece, Germany, and Japan, according to last night's draw in Budapest.

"We got a group in which we are big favorites along with Greece, of course, not underestimating Japan and Germany. I followed Germany this year through the World League games, where they did not impress. However, they have a very good Montenegrin coach, and we will have to be well prepared for them.

We don't have a lot of information about Japan, but it is a team that is always very tough and plays with its own specific pressure," commented coach Ivica Tucak, adding:

"Our wishes are always the same: to go to the end and win a medal. There is time to prepare everything well, and I hope that we will be completely ready to welcome the start of the World Champs."

In addition to the coach, the President of the Croatian Water Polo Federation, Perica Bukić, and a member of the Management Board, Ratko Rudić, attended the draw in Budapest.

"I would say that this is a medium-strong group. We know that Greece is an Olympic finalist, while Germany and Japan are teams of somewhat lower quality, but who know how to play with everyone. Therefore, they need to be one hundred percent ready to beat them. The Croatia-Greece match will mean a lot because the first place brings an easier opponent in the quarterfinals, and, of course, the round of 16 is avoided. The team who will be second in the group, apart from appearing in the round of 16, can also expect Serbia in the quarterfinals, which is one of the strongest national teams in the championship," said Perica Bukić.

Namely, the competition system is the same as always. So, first place goes directly to the quarterfinals, while the second and third-place teams from each group play the round of 16. Croatia's group crosses over with Group A, while the first-place finishers from Group B will play in the quarterfinals against the C3 - D2 match-winner.

"We have a good experience in Budapest, we took the title of world champion there in 2017, and we hope that the games and results after this World Champs will also be good for our national team," concluded Bukić.

2022 World Water Polo Championships - Group Stage

GROUP A (Budapest): Hungary, Brazil, Montenegro, Georgia

GROUP B (Debrecen): CROATIA, Greece, Japan, Germany

GROUP C (Sopron): Italy, Spain, Canada, South Africa

GROUP D (Szeged): Serbia, Australia, USA, Kazakhstan

Match schedule:

21.6. 19:30 Greece - Croatia
23.6. 18:00 Croatia - Germany
25.6. 18:00 Japan - Croatia

The men's water polo tournament starts on June 21 in Debrecen, the second-largest city in Hungary (220,000 inhabitants), to the far east, very close to the border with Romania. The finals are held in Budapest and end on July 3. 

Source: HVS

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