Saturday, 25 June 2022

FINA World Championships: Croatia Beats Japan 21:13, Takes 2nd in Group B

June 25, 2022 - Croatia and Japan met in Debrecen for their final match of Group B at the FINA World Championships in Hungary. By winning 21:13, Croatia takes 2nd place in Group B. 

Ivica Tucak's team faced Japan in their final Group B match on Saturday evening. Greece and Germany will meet in the second match at 19:30. Before this game, Greece and Croatia had three points each at the top of the group, in which only the winner goes directly to the quarterfinals. Japan had two points and Germany was without points.

Croatia was able to secure first place in the group if they won by 12 goals or 11 if they scored more than 18 goals. Namely, their competitor for first place, Greece, defeated Japan 18:7 and set the bar high for the Barracudas. Croatia would finish 2nd if they beat Japan with less than 12 goals or a draw.

Match report

1st quarter

Croatia won the sprint and thus had the first attack of the match which did not result in a goal. Vukicevic scored Croatia's first goal for 1:0 with 6:27 on the clock and Vrlic made it 2:0 with 5:44 left. Japan scored their first goal 20 seconds later for 1:2. Japan scored a penalty with 4:50 left to equalize at 2:2. Japan led 3:2 with 2:55 left. Buric scored brilliantly for 3:3 with 2:35 on the clock. Buric scored again for 4:3 Croatia with 23 seconds to go in the first quarter. 

2nd quarter

Croatia won the sprint and first attack in the second quarter as well, but Japan was first to score. It was 4:4 with 7:18 on the clock. Japan took the lead at 5:4 with 6:47 to go but Croatia soon equalized for 5:5. Japan retook the lead at 6:5 with 5:01 left, and it was 7:5 for Japan with 4:36 left. Kharkov scored for 7:6.  Kharkov equalized for 7:7 with 3:28 to go until halftime. Japan retook the lead for 8:7 with 3:03 left. And it was 9:7 for Japan with 2:22 to go. Japan led 9:7 going into halftime. 

3rd quarter

Fatovic scored for 9:8 with 6:57 to go. Japan went to 10:8 in the next attack. Fatovic scored for 10:9 with 6:11 left. Kharkov scored a penalty to equalize at 10:10 with 5:22 left. Krapic finally put Croatia back in the lead for 11:10 with 4:02 left. Krapic put Croatia ahead by 2 goals with 2:46 left. Popadic saved a Japan penalty 20 seconds later. Fatovic scored for 13:11 with 55 seconds left. Bukic scored for 14:11 to end the third quarter with Croatia up by 3 goals. 

4th quarter

Japan was the first to score for -2 (12:14), but Vukicevic quickly put Croatia back to +3 (15:12). Krapic scored for 16:12 with 4:45 left in the match. Kharkov made it 17:12 for Croatia with 4:00 minutes to go. Krapic scored yet again for 18:12 Croatia with just under 3 minutes to go, and again for 19:12 with 2:15 on the clock. It was 20:12 for Croatia with one minute left. Kharkov scored for 21:12 with less than 30 seconds left. The match ended at 21:13 for Croatia. 

Croatia thus finishes 2nd in Group B, meaning they will need to play in the round of 16. Croatia will play next on Monday for a spot in the quarterfinals. 

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

Monday, 6 December 2021

2021 World Championship: Japan Tops Croatia Women's Handball 28:26 in Last Group G Game

December 6, 2021 - The Croatia women's handball team lost to Japan in the last game of Group G at the World Championship in Spain. Japan topped Croatia 28:26.

Croatia entered this match without three important players, Ćamila Mičijević, Ivana Dežić, and Dora Krsnik, who are out of the squad after testing positive for Covid-19. Coach Nenad Šoštarić had 10 players and three goalkeepers at his disposal for the match against Japan.

Croatia fought a great battle against a persistent, tough, and quick Japan, led about 50 minutes of the match, but were left without strength in the end. Croatia did not score a goal in the last seven minutes, and after leading 23:20 in the 46th minute, they fell behind 24:26. Mistakes plagued the end of the match and defeat was inevitable.

Larissa Kalaus scored six goals for Croatia and Ana Turk five, while Nakayama led Japan with nine goals.

Croatia played against Japan only once before at the 2005 World Championship in Russia.

The match against Japan was important because the winner transfers two points to the second round. Three national teams advance from each group. After that, four new groups of six teams will be formed, and the national teams will transfer the points won against other teams from the group to the second round.

Thus, Japan will transfer two points to the second round of the competition, while Croatia will not transfer any, because they only won against Paraguay, which ended its journey in the championship.

In the second match of the group, Brazil defeated Paraguay 33-19. Thus, in the second round, Brazil transferred four points, Japan two, and Croatia no points.

In the second round in Alicante, Croatia will play Spain (4), Argentina (2), and Austria (0).


CROATIA: Bešen (0+1), Kapitanović, Pijević (6); P. Posavec 3, S. Posavec 3, Kalaus 6(3), Ježić 4, Burić, Šimara, Debelić 4, Turk 5, Mamić, Blažević 1. Coach: Nenad Šoštarić.

JAPAN: Kametani (8+1), Baba; Nagata 1, Fujita, Gray, Ohyama 1(1), Aizawa 3, Matsumoto, Iwabuchi, Kondo 2, Nakayama 9(4), Yamamoto, Kitihara 4, Sahara 2, Hattori 6(1), Yoshidome. Coach: Shigeo Kusomoto.

7-meter throws: Croatia 4(3), Japan 9(6).

Exclusions: Hrvatska 8 minutes, Japan 12 minutes

Player of the match: Kaho Nakayama.

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

Friday, 15 January 2021

World Handball Championship: Croatia and Japan Draw in 1st Match of Group C (29:29)

January 15, 2021 - Croatia and Japan draw in the first round of Group C at the World Championship in Egypt. 

After the tournament host Egypt and Chile opened the 2021 World Handball Championship on Wednesday, and a day later seven more first-round matches were played, the Croatia handball team met Japan to begin their Group C campaign at the World Championship in Egypt. 

On Thursday, coach Lino Červar wrote off four players for the first round of the competition, thus cutting the player list to 16 names to begin Croatia's journey at the World Champs.

Croatia is the favorite of Group C, which also includes Angola and Qatar.

Croatia v. Japan Recap

Strlek put Croatia in the lead in the first minute for 1:0, though Japan equalized moments later from a 7-meter shot for 1:1. Japan took the lead in the 3rd minute for 1:2.

Strlek scored the equalizer for 2:2 in the 5th minute. Japan scored for 2:3 in the 6th, and 2:4 in the 7th. Japan was up by 3 goals in the 10th minute, up by 4 in the 11th, and up by 5 just moments later.

Martinovic gave Croatia life again in the 12th minute for 3:7 and again for 4:7 in the 14th. 

Mamic scored for 5:8 in the 15th and Maric for 6:9 in the 16th.

Japan was up by 5 goals in the 19th minute - 7:12. 

Horvat scored for 8:12 in the 20th minute. 

Japan had its biggest lead in the 22nd minute - 8:14. Martinovic scored for 9:14 moments later. 

Japan took advantage of Croatia's shaky defense and scored in almost every attack. Croatia missed many certain goals, which came back to haunt them. 

Horvat scored for 11:16 in the 25th minute. 

With one minute to go in the first half, Cindric scored for 14:17, which was the result going into halftime. 

Maric scored for Croatia to open the second half and bring them only two goals behind - 15:17 in the 31st minute. Cindric scored for 16:18 in the 33rd minute. Cupic made it 17:19 in the 37th.

Japan was up by four goals in the 39th minute. 

Maric scored for 18:21 in the 40th minute. Horvat scored for 19:22 in the 42nd. 

Duvnjak finally scored for 20:22 in the 43rd minute and again for 21:22 in the 45th. Cindric scored for 22:23.

Croatia finally equalized in the 48th minute thanks to a Brozovic goal for 23:23! It took them nearly all game.

Duvnjak made it 24:24 with 10 minutes to go and Maric scored yet again for 25:25! 

Cindric scored for 26:26 with 7 minutes to go and 25:25 with 5 minutes to go.

Cupic scored from 7-meters with 3 minutes to go - 28:28.

Cupic scored for 29:29, which was the final result of the game.  

The three best teams from each group will advance and transfer points to the next round. 

In the second round, there will be four groups with six national teams each, and the two best will advance to the quarterfinals, from which they will play by knockout until the end of the competition. 

Group C intersects with Group D, which includes Denmark, Argentina, Bahrain, and DR Congo.

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

Friday, 21 June 2019

World League Super Final: Croatia Water Polo Tops Japan for Spot in Semis

June 21, 2019 - The Croatia water polo team and Japan met on Friday for the quarterfinal of the World League Super Final in Belgrade. 

Croatia continued their fight for a spot at the Tokyo Olympics next year against Japan in the quarterfinal of the World League Super Final in Belgrade, Serbia. In the group stage of the tournament, Croatia defeated Kazakhstan and Australia and lost by a goal to Serbia. Croatia thus secured second place in Group B. 

Croatia kicked off the quarterfinal match with a goal by Maro Jaković a minute into the first quarter, which was followed by another from Andro Bušlje for 0:2 Croatia. Japan came back with a goal by Inaba with less than 5 minutes to go in the first and equalized with just over three minutes to go. Japan even took the lead a minute later for 3:2,  but Bušlje and Fatović put Croatia back ahead for 3:4 at the end of the first quarter. 

Fatović opened the second quarter for Croatia with a goal, which was followed by another for 3:6 with just under six minutes to go in the second. Japan came back with one for 4:6 30 seconds later, and Krapić increased Croatia’s lead to 4:7. A goal by Vukičević made the game 4:8, and while Japan came back for 6:8 with a minute and a half to go before halftime, Šetka and Miloš pushed the result to 6:10 at the half. 

Croatia continued dominating in the third quarter - Fatović scored for 6:11, and by the middle of the quarter, Croatia was leading by six goals (8:14). The third quarter ended at 8:15 for Croatia. 

Croatia won the sprint at the start of the fourth quarter and increased their lead thanks to a goal by Krapić for 8:16 a minute in. Japan came back with two goals to decrease Croatia’s lead to 10:16, but Buljubašić scored for 10:17. It was 11:17 with four minutes to go, but Joković put Croatia back up to 11:18 seconds later. 

With two minutes to go, Croatia led 12:20, and the game ended an incredible 13:20 for Croatia. 

In the semifinal, Croatia will play the winner of Spain v. Kazakhstan. 

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

Sunday, 13 January 2019

World Championship: Croatia Handball Defeats Japan for Second Win!

The Croatia handball team met Japan in their second game of Group B at the World Championship in Munich, reports on January 13, 2019. 

After the Croatia men’s handball team opened the 2019 World Handball Championship with a major victory against Iceland, they faced Japan at 16:30 on Sunday. 

Croatia entered the game as the favorite over Japan, and it wasn’t hard to see why. Already by the 5th minute, Croatia was up 3:1, though Šego did have to make some good saves in goal. 

It was Vranković and Štrlek to break Japan for 6:1 in the 8th minute and Duvnjak lobbed one across the entire court for 7:1. 

Japan finally got their second goal in the 13th minute and continued with a series of goals for 10:6 in the 15th. 

With Šego’s excellent goalkeeping, Japan really wasn’t able to do much - Horvat scored for 13:7 and Karačić scored for 14:7. Japan, however, was finally able to come back to -5. 

Bičanić and Karačić scored for 18:12 in the 30th minute, and at the half, the score was 18:13 for Croatia. 

Croatia continued strong in the second half, and by the 40th minute, Croatia was up by 10 - and better yet, with the help of Mandić, Croatia was up by 11 in the 49th minute. 

Croatia did not fail to keep the big advantage in the remaining 10 minutes and ended the game with a final result of 35:27. Croatia has thus secured their second win in Group B of the World Championship. Zlatko Horvat was named the player of the match. 

Croatia will play Macedonia on Monday, January 14th, for their third game of Group B, followed by Bahrain on the 16th and Spain to finish off the group on January 17th.

Bravo, Croatia!

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