Wednesday, 14 April 2021

HEP Croatia Cup: Croatia Women's Handball Tops World Champion Netherlands, Again!

April 15, 2021 - At the opening of the HEP Croatia Cup in Poreč, the Croatia women's handball team defeated the Netherlands 24:23, showing that their magic from the European Championships in Denmark is still there.

They delighted us at the European Championships in Denmark, told the most beautiful story, and won the bronze medal, proving that there is hope in Croatia women's handball as well. The 'Queens of Shock' again surprised the current world champion, the Netherlands, to open the never stronger HEP Croatia Cup in Poreč.

In the first match after the Euros, Croatia again met the Netherlands, a team they beat 27:25 in the preliminary group in Denmark. Both national teams came with different lineups, and the Netherlands were without a couple of players due to COVID-19. Croatia was led for the first time by coach Snježana Petika, the first assistant coach to Nenad Šoštarić, who is in quarantine.

Croatia opened the match with Pijević, Šimar, Zadravec, Debelić, Mićijević, Blažević and Krsnik. 

Croatia took the 5:3 lead, followed by a 5:0 series by the Netherlands. Petika called a time-out at 5:8, and Croatia's turnaround followed. The defense was strengthened, the goals and counters were no longer missed. Wester defended well, but Pijević was even better. Dora Kalaus played an important role, and Croatia was up 13:10.

It was 20:15 for Croatia in the 46th minute, and just when everything seemed to be settled, the world champions did not give up so easily. In a dramatic ending, the Netherlands returned at 24:23 in the last minute, Rompen then defended the 7-meter throw of Blažević, but Croatia managed to defend, and in the end, celebrated the deserved victory.

Camila Mičijević was again Croatia's top scorer with seven goals. In addition to goalkeeper Pijević, Krsnik should also be praised, who scored five goals, while Zadravec, D. Kalaus, Ježić, Šimara, Debelić, and Blažević added two goals each.

Brazil and the Netherlands will play in Poreč from 6 pm on Thursday (Planet Sport), while Croatia and Brazil will close the HEP Croatia cup on Friday (8 pm, RTL2).

Source: Jutarnji, HRS

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Monday, 15 February 2021

Olympic Qualifiers: Croatia Water Polo Defeats the Netherlands (25:8)

February 15, 2021 - In game two of the Olympic Qualifiers in Rotterdam, Croatia water polo defeats the Netherlands (25:8). 

The Croatia water polo team jumped into Rotterdam's Zwemcentrum pool for the second time on Monday, just 24 hours after an impressive performance against Romania to open the competition. Recall, Croatia's 16:6 victory against Romania kicked off a strenuous eight days of water polo in the Netherlands for the Olympic qualifying tournament. The three top teams will secure a spot in Tokyo this summer.

On Monday, Croatia met the Netherlands, a team that surprised the national team of Germany the day before (11:10). 

Croatia kicked off the match with a goal by Josip Vrlic for 1:0 in the first minute, and Maro Jokovic increased Croatia's lead to 2:0 with 5:28 to go. Javier Garcia scored for 3:1, followed by two more goals for Jokovic for 5:1 with a minute to go. Two goals by Luka Bukic in the final minute saw Croatia leading 7:1 into the second quarter. 

Loren Fatovic and Lovre Milos opened the second quarter with goals for 9:1. Andro Buslje scored for 10:2 with 5:45 to go. Bukic and Fatovic scored for 12:3, and Milos scored for 13:4 with two minutes to go. 

Bukic increased Croatia's lead to 16:5 with 6:42 to go in the third quarter, and Vrlic scored for 17:5 one minute later. Milos scored for 18:5 and Bukic for 19:6 to end the third quarter.

Jokovic opened the final quarter with a goal for 20:6. Fatovic made it 21:7 with 4 minutes to go. Rino Buric scored for 22:7 with two minutes left. Luka Loncar scored for 23:8 with a minute and a half to go in the match. Buric scored his second goal of the game for 24:8 with less than a minute left, and Ante Vukicevic scored the final goal of the match for 25:8. 

Croatia will meet France (Tuesday, February 16, at 8:30 pm), Russia (Wednesday, February 17, at 2:30 pm), and Germany (Thursday, February 18, at 8:30 pm) next.

Following the group stage, the quarterfinal stage will commence on Friday, February 19, in which the four best teams from each group will meet.  The pairs will be determined by their positions in the standings (A1 - B4, A2 - B3, A3 - B2, and A4 - B1). 

The four winning teams will play in the semifinals on February 20. The finalists of the qualifying tournament, as well as the national team that wins the match for third place on February 21, will qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which are scheduled from July 24 to August 8, 2021. 

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

Monday, 26 February 2018

FIBA World Cup Qualifiers: After Romania Defeat, Skelin Offers New Lineup Against Netherlands

Last weekend in Zadar, the Croatia men’s basketball team suffered a shocking defeat against Romania in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers. Tonight, Ivica Skelin's team welcomes the Netherlands.