Friday, 2 September 2022

Croatia Tops Greece for Spot in European Championship Quarterfinals!

September 2, 2022 - Croatia and Greece draw 5:5 in Split on Friday, a result that brought Croatia first place in Group B and a spot in the European Championship quarterfinals! 

The Croatia men's water polo team played their last match in Group B at the European Championships in Split on Friday. Croatia and Greece met in the final group game, which was also the game for first place - the spot leading directly to the quarterfinals. 

The Croatia women's team already secured a historic quarterfinal on Tuesday, and after the men's side's opening win against Malta, they defeated France 13:7 on Wednesday. 

The Croatia men's side entered tonight's match with great optimism as a draw was enough for them to win the group. 

Losing, however, would give Croatia second place in Group B, which meant playing in the round of 16 on Sunday against the third-placed team from Group D.

Recall that Greece and France drew 12:12 on Monday. 

Match report

1st Quarter

Croatia won the swim-off and the first attack of the match. Biljaka hit the post. Bijac saved Greece's first attack. Vrlic tried backhanding into the goal in the next attack, but the Greece keeper punched it out for Croatia's ball. Kharkov's attempt was saved in the same play. But Greece couldn't store either with Bijac in goal. The first four minutes of the match didn't see a goal. Greece was the first to score with 3:40 on the clock for 1:0. Fatovic hit over the post with just over 3 minutes to go. Bijac kept Greece from increasing their lead. With 32 seconds to go in the first quarter - Greece made it 2:0, which is how the first quarter ended.

2nd Quarter 

Croatia won the swim-off of the second quarter as well. Kragic hit the post in Croatia's first attack. Another chance for Croatia also just missed the goal. Bijac continued to be brilliant in goal with save after save, but Greece's keeper also denied Croatia from seeing the back of the net. Kragic hit the post again with 4 and a half minutes left. Bijac was unstoppable, but Greece's defense was the same to protect theirs. Another shot for Croatia - another miss. With 1:58 to go, Croatia had a corner without any luck. Another great defensive play with a minute to go kept Greece ahead by only two goals. The match was 2:0 for Greece going into halftime. 

3rd Quarter 

Croatia won the swim-off to start the third quarter but could not get a shot off. Croatia denied Greece's first attack, too. Zuvela finally scored Croatia's first goal with 6:28 on the clock - it was 2:1.  And Josip. Vrlic scored a screamer for the equalizer - it was 2:2 with 5:22 left! Bijac brilliantly defended before Greece found a way back ahead for 3:2 with 3:15 left. Kharkov equalized with 2:35 left for 3:3! Greece hit the post in the next play with just over a minute on the clock. Kragic tried shooting from far out, which was played for a corner. Greece called for a time-out with the attack and 15 seconds to go in the quarter. Croatia called for a time-out after a Greece goal was called back. It was 3:3 going into the final quarter. 

4th Quarter

Croatia won the final swim-off of the match, and Kragic nailed the back of the net for the Croatia lead! It was 3:4 or Croatia. Bijac, yet again, saved the day in Greece's first three attacks to keep Croatia ahead. Greece hit the post with 4:52 on the clock and Bijac defended again. Greece equalized at 4:4 with 4:29 to go. Greece score for 5:4 and the lead again with 3:36 left. Rino Buric answered back for 5:5 with 2:52 on the clock. Bijac saved Greece's attack and Croatia missed in their next attack. Greece had the ball with a minute to go. But Bijac, being Bijac, let nothing go past him. The match ended at 5:5 for Croatia! 

This result means that Croatia takes first place in Group B and secures a spot in the European Championship quarterfinals! Croatia plays the winner of the ranking game 4 on Tuesday at 16:30.  

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 3 July 2022

Croatia Water Polo Finishes 4th at FINA World Championships, Greece Takes Bronze

July 3, 2022 - Greece beat Croatia 9:7 in the fight for the bronze medal at the FINA World Championships in Budapest on Sunday. Croatia thus finished in 4th place. 

The Croatia national water polo team met Greece on Sunday in the fight for the bronze medal at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Croatia and Greece already met in the group stage of this competition in Debrecen. The match finished 8:8.

By winning bronze, the Barracudas would have increased their medal count at the World Championships to eight. It all started back in 2007 in Melbourne.

In the semi-finals, Croatia was defeated by Spain, and Greece by Italy.

Match Report

1st quarter

Croatia won the sprint and thus the first attack of the match. Vukicevic's shot was saved by the Greece keeper. Bijac saved Greece's first shot on goal. Five minutes into the first quarter and neither team had scored yet. Greece scored the first goal of the match with 2:20 left in the quarter. VAR held the match up for a potential Croatia goal but the referee ultimately did not count it. The first quarter ended 1:0 for Greece.

2nd quarter 

Greece won the second sprint of the match and thus the first attack of the second quarter. Greece scored for 2:0 with 7:35 on the clock. Greece made it 3:0 with 6:57 left. And it was 4:0 for Greece with 4:19 left. Bukic scored Croatia's first goal for 4:1 with 3:34 left. Greece scored for 5:1 with 3:08 on the clock. Fatovic scored for 5:2 with 2:26 left in the quarter. Kharkov's penalty was saved by the Greece keeper with less than a minute left until halftime. Zuvela made it 5:3 with 3 seconds left, which is how the match went into halftime. 

3rd quarter  

Bukic scored for -1 Croatia with 6:21 left (5:4). Greece scored for 6:4 with 5:51 to go. Greece went up by 3 goals again with 3:36 left - it was 7:4 for Greece. Greece made it 8:4 moments later. The Greece keeper continued to deny Croatia at the goal. Kharkov finally found the back of the net for -3 - 8:5, which is how the match went into the final quarter. 

4th quarter   

Croatia won the final sprint and the first attack of the last quarter. Kragic scored for -2 (8:6) with 7:21 left in the match. Greece scored for +3 (9:6) with just over two minutes to go. Bijac saved Greece's penultimate attack and Vrlic scored for 9:7 with 24 seconds on the clock, which is how the match ended. The Greece keeper finished with 16 saves.

Croatia thus finished the 2022 FINA World Championships in 4th place. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

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. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section


Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Water Polo World League: Croatia Tops Greece 12:11

January 18, 2022 - Croatia tops Greece in the 1st round of the Water Polo World League in Athens. Croatia faces Russia next in February. 

The Croatia national water polo team has finished preparations and played its first competitive match after the Olympic Games in Athens on Tuesday against Greece. It was the first game of a somewhat rejuvenated, and definitely different national team in which there are no more legendary players like Bušlje, Joković, Lončar, Garcia, and Obradović. 

Croatia thus met Greece in the 1st round of the World League's Group D, a strong rival that won the silver medal in Tokyo, which is the greatest success in the history of Greece water polo. 

The Barracudas started the new World League season with a victory, winning 12:11 with a great defense with a player less, and an even better attack with an extra man. 

Before tonight, these two teams had met 53 times, with Croatia being much more successful - 37 wins, 9 draws, and only 7 defeats with a goal difference of 490:377. Croatia's last match against Greece before this was at the European Championships in Budapest, in January 2020, when the Barracudas celebrated 14:11. Greece last beat Croatia in the qualifications for the European Cup, in Split in 2018, when it was 6:4 for Greece. 

World League 2022

Group A: Hungary, Romania, Montenegro

Group B: Germany, France, Spain

Group C: Serbia, Italy, Slovakia

Group D: Croatia, Greece, Russia

Each team in the group will play two games (Croatia plays next in February against Russia, in the 2nd round). The two first-placed teams will compete in the final European qualifying tournament from April 14 to 16 this year. From that tournament, 3 or 4 national teams will advance further, depending on whether the final tournament will be in Europe or abroad. If played in Europe, 3 teams move on because the host of the final tournament acquires the automatic right to play.

The final tournament or Super Final of the World League will take place from July 25 to 30. The hosts of these tournaments have not yet been determined.

Source: HVS

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

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Euro 2020: Croatia Water Polo Tops Greece for Spot in Semis!

January 22, 2020 - The Croatia water polo team met Greece for the quarterfinal match of the European Championships in Budapest on Wednesday. 

Croatia had the first attack of the game, which was unsuccessful. Greece came back to score the first goal of the game for 0:1.

Croatia quickly came back to equalize with a goal by Josip Vrlic a minute and a half into the game. 

Maro Jokovic increased Croatia’s lead to 2:1 with five and a half minutes to go. Andro Buslje made it 3:1 with just under four minutes to go. Marko Jokovic made it 4:2 with 2:15 to go in the first quarter. 

Lovre Milos hit a rocket for 5:2 with a minute and a half to go. Javi Garcia scored with 13 seconds left for 6:3 to end the first quarter. 

Vrlic scored his second goal of the game to open the second quarter for Croatia for 7:3. Jokovic increased the lead to 8:3 with five minutes to go.

Vrlic scored his third goal for 9:5 with less than three minutes to go, and Vukicevic made it 10:6 a minute later, which is how the second quarter ended.

Fatovic had a one-on-one with the keeper, which resulted in a 5-meter penalty. Jokovic scored for 11:7 with just over four minutes to go in the third quarter.

Vukicevic nailed the back of the net for 12:8 with three minutes to go, and Garcia scored for 13:8 with 1:22 left. The third quarter ended at 13:9.

Greece opened the final quarter with a goal for 13:10. 

Croatia scored its first goal of the fourth quarter with 3:26 to go - Garcia scored for 14:10.

With just 30 seconds to go in the game, Croatia had the final attack. Loncar lost the ball and Greece attacked for the final time. Bijac made the save to give Croatia the 14:11 victory! 

Our 'Barakudas' will play against Spain in the semifinal, who stopped Serbia in the earlier quarterfinal game on Wednesday.

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

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Europa Cup: Croatia Water Polo Tops Greece in Zagreb for Place in Semis

The Croatia water polo team defeated Greece 13:11 (1:2, 5:4, 4:1, 3:4) in the Europa Cup quarterfinals, which was held in Zagreb on Friday, reports HRT on April 5, 2019. 

Croatia nervously entered the duel and did not take advantage of their first five situations with an extra player in the pool, giving Greece a constant advantage during the first two quarters. However, Croatia resolved the match in the third quarter. In that period, Croatia had three consecutive goals and did not allow Greece to get above a two-goal difference until the end. Greece scored their first goal of the second half seven minutes into the half, and Croatia ended the third quarter with a goal by Fatović for an impressed lead of  11:7. Greece could no longer return.

Loren Fatović scored three goals for Croatia, with Maro Joković, Josip Vrlić, Anđelo Šetka and Javier Garcia each scoring two, and Luka Lončar and Ivan Buljubašić scoring one. Ioannis Fontoulis led Greece with three goals, and Alexandros Gounas and Angelos Vlachopoulos added two.

“We did not expect an easy win. However, when we settled the defense and led by three points, we were able to keep the advantage,” said Loren Fatović.

Fatović also announced the upcoming game against Spain.

“It will be a tough match; they broke Serbia in three quarters.”

In the semi-final on Saturday, Croatia will play against Spain (20:15), who beat Serbia on Friday in the quarters 13:12 (5:4, 3:1, 3:4, 2:3), while Hungary and Italy will play in the other semi-final at 18:30. Hungary defeated Montenegro 11:9 (4:2, 2:3, 1:1, 4:1) , while Italy was better than Russia with 11:9 (3:3, 3:2, 1:3, 4:1).

The Croatian water polo team is defending the title won last year in Rijeka. The top three teams of this tournament will compete in the World League finals, hosted by Belgrade from June 18 to 23. Despite losing to Spain, Serbia automatically qualifies in the World League finals as they are the host of the tournament. The winner of the World League finals will advance to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Of the European teams, Serbia will join the Europa Cup finalists and the winner of the third place in the tournament in Belgrade.

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

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Croatia Advance to World Cup 2018 After Draw Against Greece in Piraeus!

Croatia and Greece met for the second-leg of the World Cup playoffs in Piraeus, Greece on November 12, 2017.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Croatia and Greece Decide No Away Fans for Upcoming World Cup Playoffs

The National Football Federations of Croatia and Greece have agreed that there will be no away fans for the World Cup playoffs next month.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Dalić Announces Lineup for Upcoming World Cup Playoff Against Greece

Zlatko Dalić has published his first lineup of the Croatian national team as the new coach, immediately making changes to his predecessor Ante Čačić.