Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Jug Becomes 2021/22 Croatian Water Polo Champion!

May 25, 2022 - Jug Dubrovnik celebrated against Jadran Split in Game 4 on Tuesday night to become the 2021/22 Croatian water polo champion. 

Dubrovnik water polo club Jug AO thus won their 17th Croatian title on Tuesday night and 39th national champion title in total. It is also the 66th overall trophy for the club.

In the fourth game of this year's Croatian championship final playoff, Jug defeated Jadran Split on penalties at their pool in Gruž, thus ending the series with 3:1 for Jug.

The result was 6:6 after 32 minutes of play, forcing the match into penalties. All four Jug players were accurate with their shots, while Marin Delić and Jerko Marinić Kragić did not score for Jadran.

It was a meeting with few goals, dominated by goalkeepers on both sides, and Jug held a 5:4 advantage from the end of the third quarter until a minute and a half before the end of the match. Then, Konstantin Kharkov scored for 5:5, which was Jadran's first goal after almost 14 minutes of play. Rino Burić then gave Jadran a 6:5 advantage 35 seconds before the final buzzer, i.e., one step closer to the decisive fifth game.

However, Jug started the last attack with seven attackers, which paid off because Hrvoje Benić equalized for 6:6 nine seconds before the end. The game was then decided on penalties, as was the first game, and Jug was more successful in the shootout once again. 

Just before the Croatian champion medals and trophies were distributed, individual awards and trophies for the 2021/22 season were presented in Dubrovnik:

Jerko Marinić Kragić (Jadran)  was named the top scorer in the Croatian Championship (63 goals)

Toni Popadić (Jug) was named the best goalkeeper in the Croatian Championship

Konstantinos Kakaris (Jug) was named the best player in the Croatian Championship.

Congrats to both Jug and Jadran on a season well done!

Source: HVS

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Monday, 4 April 2022

Jadran Split Takes 2nd Place in Regional Water Polo League, Jug Finishes 3rd

April 4, 2022 -  Jadran Split did not manage to take home the Regional Water Polo League title on Sunday, losing in the final of the tournament to the host Novi Belgrade 11-14 (2-1, 2-3, 3-6, 4-4).

Jadran thus failed to return the Regional League to Croatia. The trophy remained in Serbia after Radnički from Zagreb won it last year. 

There was hope that Jadran could write another beautiful story in its 102nd year of existence. They had waited for 30 years for the Croatian trophy, which they won at the end of last year defeating Jug in the Croatian Cup final. But this time, they didn't have enough. 

First half - 2:0 for Jadran, Novi Belgrade equalized at 2:2, then 4:2 for Jadran, then the return of the hosts - 4:4. In the third quarter - 5:4 for Jadran, 5:5, 6:5 for Jadran, 6:6, then Jadran attacked with two more players. However, with 3 minutes and 26 seconds until the end of the third quarter, the host took their first lead and continued this series with four goals in a row, reaching 9:6.

Jadran rightly looked down and shouted at referees Ivanovski and Obradović. First Marin Kliškinjić was removed from the Jadran bench, then coach Mile Smodlaka and Dejan Savičević finally led Jadran, who was without Rino Burić in the last six minutes due to three exclusions. 

Jerko Marinić Kragić was the triple scorer for Jadran, Luka Bukić and Konstantin Harkov added two goals each, and Rino Burić, Zvonimir Butić, Nikša Dobud, and Anđelo Šetka scored one goal each. Strahinja Rašović and Viktor Rašović were the best for Novi Belgrade with three goals, and Viktor Rasovic, Dusko Pijetlovic, Nikola Jaksic, Radomir Drasovic and Nika Shusiasvili scored two goals each.

This is the first Regional League title for Novi Belgrade. The MVP of the Final Four is Duško Pijetlović (Novi Belgrade).

Earlier on Sunday, Jug took third place, defeating last year's winner Radnički from Kagujevac 18-15 (5-4, 6-1, 6-5, 1-5).

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Thursday, 13 January 2022

LEN Champions League: Jug Tops European Champion in Dubrovnik

January 13, 2022 - The powerful Pro Recco, the current European champion, stumbled against Jug in Dubrovnik on Wednesday, thus suffering their first defeat in the LEN Champions League but also this season. Croatia's Sandro Sukno leads the celebrated Italian team.

Pro Recco came with a weakened squad, missing Echenique, Lončar, Bertoli, and Figlioli due to the coronavirus. On the other hand, Jug was in the strongest form without missing players.

Jug goalkeeper Toni Popadić had an incredible evening with several crucial saves when the result was equal. In the end, he recorded 14 successful interventions, which is anything but easy against a side this good. 

Marko Žuvela opened the match with an excellent goal from the left. However, Pro Recco turned the result to 3:1 relatively quickly. Kakaris first reduced the score, and then Argyropoulos equalized at 3:3 at the beginning of the second quarter. From that moment until the middle of the third quarter, it was mostly equal, or Recco led by one goal. Four and a half minutes before the end of the 3rd quarter, Argyropoulos increased the score to 7:5 for Jug, and left-hander Zalanki quickly reduced it to 7:6. Papanastasiou put Jug up at 8:6, and Fatović scored from a penalty for 9:6. Finally, Hrvoje Benić scored for 10:6 to end the 3rd quarter. 

With Ivović and Hallock goals, Recco reduced the score to 10:8, which Argyropoulos extinguished with a goal for 11:8. With less than 5 to go, goalkeeper Popadić defended all shots from the outside and 2 meters to give Jug the 11:8 win.

Standings: Pro Recco 18, Marseille 15 (-1), Jug AO 15, OSC 10 (-1), Waspo 98 Hannover 8, Spandau 04 4 (-1), C. Star 3 (-1), Steaua 3.

Next up - 8th round (January 25): Pro Recco - Jug AO, C. Star - Marseille, Waspo 98 Hannover - Steaua, and Spandau 04 - OSC.

In Tuesday's Champions League clash, Brescia narrowly beat Jadran Split 6:5. Jadran was without captain Andelo Šetka and Zvonimir Butić.

Standings: Brescia 17, Olympiacos 16, Ferencvaros 13, Barceloneta 11, Novi Belgrade 11, Jadran 6, Radnicki 4 and Dinamo 0.

Next up - 8th round (January 26): Jadran - Brescia, Novi Belgrade - Barceloneta, Radnički - Olympiacos, and Ferencvaros - Dinamo.

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Saturday, 18 December 2021

Jadran and Jug to Meet in Sunday's Croatian Water Polo Cup Final

December 18, 2021 - Jug AO and Jadran Split will play in Sunday's Croatian Water Polo Cup final. In the first semifinal match, Jadran defeated Solaris 12:6 (4:1, 2:1, 4:1, 2:3), and in the second match, Jug defeated Mladost Zagreb 14:7 (3:1, 5:2, 3:3, 3:1).

This will be the 26th Croatian Cup final for Jug, and for the second time since 2017, Dubrovnik and Split will play in the final. Jadran, on the other hand, has qualified for the Croatian Cup final for the third time in history. They lost in the final in 2003 and 2017, reports HRT.

The best for Jadran in the first semifinal match were Bukić and Kharkov with three goals each, while Čagalj added two. Goreta, Pelicarić, Penava, Koprčina, Šparada and Kadmenović scored one goal each for Šibenik.

"I am really satisfied. I am most pleased with our good game in the defense. We played great defense for three quarters. This was good for us because we are realistically expecting Jug in the final tomorrow, and this was a preparation for us, because Jug plays similarly to Solaris, with a lot of swimming. Everything was fine, this is the crown of our half-season, we have neglected some things because of the Cup, we will see if it will pay off for us," said Jadran coach Mile Smodlaka.

"Jadran settled the match in the middle of the third quarter. The result was expected, although we could and should have done much better. The qualitative difference is big, but we knew how to offer them much better resistance," said Solaris coach said Jure Marelja.

Later, Jug confirmed their role as the favorite and defeated Mladost, the host of this Final Four, 14:7 (3:1, 5:2, 3:3, 3:1). As a result, Dubrovnik decided the game at halftime when they had a five-goal advantage (8:3).

Jug then slowed down and maintained the advantage until the end for a spot in the final. Loren Fatović and Alexandros Papanstasiou were the top scorers with three goals. Two goals were added by Argyropoulos. Marin Dašić and Dario Rakovac scored two goals for Mladost.

"We played a relatively good game, I am satisfied with the victory, but also about most of our game. In order to be competitive, Jadran needs to play a little better than today. We haven't played with Jadran yet this year, we didn't touch each other in the pool, and we can only see things there. They have more rotation, but we’ll see. It is nice that the match is on national television, the final will be a fight between the two best teams in Croatia. The quality is not in question, the match should be uncertain, the defense and swimming readiness could decide," commented Jug coach Vjekoslav Kobešćak.

"We were thin in rotation and we couldn't keep up with the pace. We saw a lot of personal mistakes early on and that handicapped us further. We were not great at realizing the extra man, we should have played better, but I congratulate Jug and wish them luck in the final. Jug has a slight advantage because it has a winning mentality, Jadran will be under a lot of pressure," said Zoran Bajić, Mladost coach.

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Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Mladost Becomes Croatian Water Polo Champion for First Time Since 2008!

May 26, 2021 - The 2020/2021 Croatian water polo champion has been named after the final fifth game between Mladost and Jug at the Dubrovnik swimming pool in Gruž.

Mladost became Croatian champions after beating the defending champion Jug AO 12-11 (2-1, 2-3, 1-1, 2-2; 5-4) in the decisive fifth game of the finals. Although they were down 0-2 in the finals, Mladost Zagreb managed to equalize at 2-2 thanks to two away victories against Dubrovnik club Jug AO. 

Today, the final fifth game was played in Dubrovnik.

This is the 11th title for Mladost, but the first after 2008 to break the dominance of Jug, which has won the last five championships.

Mladost reached the title with three consecutive victories, making up for the 0-2 deficit in the final series.

The last, fifth game of the Croatian championship took place in a very even game during all 32 minutes. Mladost was constantly in the lead, but at no point did they have an advantage of more than one goal, and with a goal for 7-7 17 seconds before the end, Garcia took the duel to a penalty shootout. 

During the penalty shootout, two of Loren Fatović's shots were saved by Mladost goalie Ivan Marcelić. Marcelić defended Fatović's attempt in the first series, and the Zagreb team kept that advantage until the third series when Toni Popadić defended Luka Bukić's attempt.

By the end of the fifth series, all the remaining players were successful, so the drama continued with the sixth series, in which the players who shot in the first had the opportunity to shoot again.

However, Fatović did not manage to defeat Marcelić even from the second attempt, and then the Romanian veteran Cosmin Radu was precise for the big Mladost celebration.

The most efficient for Mladost was Andro Bušlje with two goals, with one added by Lovre Miloš, Franko Lazić, Ante Visković, Konstantin Harkov, and Josip Vrlić, while the only double scorer for Jug AO was Paulo Obradović. Loren Fatović, Xavi Garcia, Alexandros Papanastasiou, Marko Žuvela, and Hrvoje Benić scored one each. 

Mladost coach Zoran Bajic was overjoyed to win the title.

"Such a turnaround can only be made by big teams, we have shown unity, heart, will. This was a water polo treat, the sugar at the end. I am extremely glad that after 13 years we have returned the title, we have shown that we are a real European club, and what will happen next is up to the leading people in the club. Luck eventually anointed us, we won on fives, but luck accompanies the brave," he pointed out.

"All goals today were crucial, especially penalties, that's luck, I can say a lottery. I can’t say that my goals were any more crucial than the others. We have shown in the last three games that we are the best team in Croatia. It was not easy to turn around, losing 2-0 in the final. We didn’t give up, we knew we weren’t in the pool for the first two games and then we decided to show that it wasn’t us. It opened up to us, we took advantage of the mistakes they made. Today the same was uncertain. The whole series was high quality," points out the best player of Mladost, Andro Bušlje.

"We deservedly lost the finals, Mladost was better, they won the Cup and the championship. We disappeared from the finals in the last three games. We were short of air, we couldn't match Mladost. Mladost had a better game, we currently do not have the physical and mental strength to win," said Jug coach Vjekoslav Kobešćak.

"We definitely lack the maturity to win a trophy and to play with teams like this," he added.

Mladost thus won 3:2 in the series with three away victories in a row!

Source: HRT

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Sunday, 28 March 2021

Jug Dubrovnik and Radnički Kragujevac to Fight for Regional Water Polo Champion

March 28, 2021 - Jug Dubrovnik and Radnički Kragujevac will fight for the regional water polo league championship title on Sunday in Zagreb. 

In the final tournament semifinals on Saturday, the Dubrovnik team defeated Jadran Split 12-10 (3-3, 5-2, 3-2, 1-3), and Kragujevac beat Mladost Zagreb 14-13 (0-2, 1-1, 5-2, 2-3, 6-5) in a shootout. Mladost was aiming for the third overall and third consecutive title.

Jug came to victory in the second semifinal thanks to a better game in the second and third quarters. When coach Vjekoslav Kobešćak's side took the lead with 11-6 in the 22nd minute, the winner was practically decided. By the end of the match, Split reduced the gap to two goals, but for the second time in a week, they did not manage to beat the favored Jug, as was the case on the recent visit to Gruž in the Croatian championship match.

The most deserving of the Jug victory was Loren Fatović who scored six of the 12 goals for the Dubrovnik side. Xavi Garcia and Hrvoje Benić nailed the net twice. Jerko Marinić Kragić was the best for Jadran with four goals and Marin Delić with three goals.

Jug thus advanced to its 12th Regional Water Polo League final, where it will hunt for its fifth title and the first after 2018. Radnički is the first Serbian club to fight for the title of champion in this competition. This will be the eleventh final for Jug. 2012 remains the only year when the Dubrovnik team did not play in the final.

The finalists were rivals in the qualifying group, and bac in mid-January, Jug convincingly won. 

Sunday's program at the Sava pool in Zagreb will begin at 5:15 pm with the match for third place between Mladost Zagreb and Jadran Split. The final between Jug and Radnički is scheduled for 7 pm.

Source: Glas Istre

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Friday, 5 March 2021

LEN Champions League: Jug Dubrovnik is 2nd in Group A as Second 'Bubble' Tournament Completed

March 5, 2021 - Jug Dubrovnik is 2nd in Group A as the second preliminary 'bubble' tournament of this season's LEN Champions League comes to an end in Ostia, Italy. 

Water polo club Jug AO from Dubrovnik completed the second preliminary tournament in Ostia with two wins and two losses this week, finishing in 2nd place with 15 points behind Pro Recco with 21. 

Jug's first match on March 1 was against CC Ortigia, in which they opened the tournament with an 8:6 win. 

Jug, unfortunately, suffered its heaviest defeat in European history in round 2 on March 2, with Pro Recco outclassing the Croatian side 18:3.

It was a duel of two undefeated teams in Group A, and a derby was expected, but Dubrovnik didn't stand a chance. Jug scored only one goal in the first three quarters (and from a penalty), while the remaining two goals were scored in the last quarter when Pro Recco gave the bench players a chance.

Loren Fatović scored two goals for Jug, and Marin Tomasović scored one.

Fortunately, the heavy defeat did not have serious consequences for Jug, who beat Spandau 04 12:10 on March 3. 

Jug's game dropped after a 2:0 lead, and Spandau led 5:3 in the middle of the second quarter. Jug regained their advantage for 9:6 just before the end of the third quarter.

By the end of the match, Jug managed to keep their led and record their fifth victory in the Champions League this season.

Loren Fatović and Alexandros Papanastiou scored four goals each to be the best for Jug. 

Jug recorded their second defeat in Group A on Thursday, with Marseille winning 15:13. Marseille gained an advantage already in the first quarter, which they won 5:3, and Jug was only a goal behind in the third quarter, which they won 3:2. Marseille won the final quarter 4:3 and ultimately the victory. 

Loren Fatović was the best for Jug with three goals, while Javier Garcia, Marko Žuvela, and Paulo Obradović scored two goals each. 

After seven games, Jug is second in the standings with 15 points, behind the first-placed Pro Recco. Marseille is fourth with seven points.


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Monday, 25 January 2021

Mladost Tops Jug to Defend Croatian Cup Title

January 25, 2021 - Mladost tops Jug to defend the Croatian Cup title (15:13).

Mladost defended the Croatian Cup on Sunday, lifting the trophy for the tenth time. Their opponent, Jug, remained with 14 titles and failed to reach their 66th trophy in history. 

Mladost opened the match well, especially with an extra man (which was a great bonus for them throughout the match), and led 4:2 at the end of the first quarter. Mladost was up by two goals in the middle of the second quarter (7:5). Jug fought back with four consecutive goals (Fatović penalty, Papanastasiou, Fatović, and Kržić) for a complete turnaround - 9:7 for Jug!

At half time, the Mladost coach replaced goalkeeper Ivan Marcelić with Jerko Jurlina, which proved to be one of the key decisions of the Mladost bench. However, at the beginning of the third quarter, Merkulov scored from a distance for 10:7, which, combined with Popadić defending a penalty, opened the door for Jug.

Mladost did not give up, and with a great defense and goals by Kharkov and Visković, they were just one goal behind before the last quarter (11:10 for Jug AO). At the beginning of the last quarter, Miloš equalized at 11:11. The last time Jug lead was thanks to Garcia (12:11 - six minutes before the end).

Kharkov attacked with three more goals, and four and a half minutes before the final buzzer, Mladost took the lead at 14:12 and managed to keep that advantage until the end.

The left-handed youngster, Russia national team player Konstantin Kharkov, was chosen as the best player of the final tournament. In addition to 3 goals in the semifinals against Primorje EB, he puzzled the mighty Jug defense, scoring 7 goals in the final.

Zoran Bajić, Mladost coach, said after the match: 

"To my boys, well done, they were fantastic. We were like a cat with 9 lives. We were behind and played great against Jug, a huge, fantastic team, but this is not the first time we have shown character. I have said many times that these are my warriors. Beating Jug in the last two and a half years in four finals is no small thing."

Vjekoslav Kobešćak, coach of Jug AO, added:

"Congratulations to Mladost on the victory. They were a better team today, calmer, and they deserved the victory. We only played one quarter properly, that was the second. The rest wasn't us. This is the second game in a row in which we received 15 goals from Mladost, and with so many goals conceded, serious water polo cannot be played, nor can we win a trophy."

Source: HRS

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Thursday, 17 December 2020

LEN Champions League: Jug Records Three Wins in Three Games

December 17, 2020 - The Jug AO water polo club from Dubrovnik secured their third victory in the Champions League Group A tournament in Ostia, Italy, after beating Greek Olympiacos 9-8 (0-1, 2-4, 3-0, 4-3) on Wednesday.

In the first two quarters, Olympiacos outplayed Dubrovnik, leading 5-2, and at the beginning of the third quarter, they also had a penalty, which was defended by goalkeeper Toni Popadić. This was followed by a turnaround, and by the end of the third quarter, Paulo Obradović scored two goals, and Daniil Merkulov and Jug equalized for 5-5.

In the last quarter, although Jug was constantly in the lead, Olympiacos kept the game equal. However, in the last three minutes, the Dubrovnik side inched ahead with goals by Loren Fatović and Paul Obradović for the 9-7 lead. By the end of the match, Olympiacos had only managed to mitigate the defeat.

Paulo Obradović was the most efficient for Jug with four goals. Loren Fatović scored two, and Javier Garcia, Marin Tomasović and Daniil Merkulov scored one goal each, while goalkeeper Toni Popadić collected 12 saves. Olympiacos was led by Marios Kapotsis with three and Konstantinos Genidounias with two goals.

Previously, in the Group A tournament of the Champions League in Ostia, Italy, Jug defeated Marseille 11-10, and German club Spandau 13-7. 

Most importantly, Jug took all 9 points in Ostia. In the last ten matches in the Champions League, this is the sixth victory of Jug, the third on neutral ground (twice in Budapest) plus one in Piraeus, and two in Gruz. They also have two victories against Olympiacos, both at home, with two draws, both in Greece.

The second Champions League tournament is played from March 1 to 5, 2021, (four rounds) and the third from April 19 to 22, 2021 (three rounds), while the final tournament, Final 8, is in Hanover from June 3 to 5, 2021.

Source: Slobodna Dalmacija

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Sunday, 29 November 2020

Croatian Water Polo Cup: Final Four Teams Determined

November 29, 2020 - The final four teams have been determined in the Croatian Water Polo Cup finals, which will be played in January.

Mladost Zagreb defeated OVK POŠK in the last round of the Croatian Cup qualifiers 15-6 (3-0, 4-1, 3-3, 5-2) and thus once again confirmed the leading position in group A, while Jug AO and Primorje EB secured the top spots in Group B.

The best scorer of the match between Mladost and POŠK was Mislav Vrlić who scored four goals. Thanks to a well-played qualifying tournament without a defeat, Mladost imposed itself as one of the strongest opponents in the upcoming Final Four of the Croatian Cup, which will be played on January 23 and 24, 2021.

"I think we achieved the ultimate goal, which is to be first in the group, which allows us to have an easier opponent in the Croatian Cup finals. The tournament itself was done really well. I would especially like to refer to the match against Jadran, which was our direct rival in the fight for first place. I think that we functioned like a Swiss watch and although Jadran showed strength and fighting spirit, we were a better opponent and deservedly achieved first place in the group," said Mladost coach Zoran Bajić.

In Dubrovnik, VK Jug AO beat VK Primorje 13-4, while EB Solaris defeated KPK 21-1. Despite the defeat, Primorje EB took second place in qualifying group B, and Solaris failed to achieve a place in the Final Four despite a big victory, and thanks to the goal differential. 

Rijeka will be a host in the Final Four as Primorje EB managed to qualify for the final tournament.

The semifinal pairs are as follows: Mladost - Primorje EB and Jug Adriatic osiguranje - Jadran. The final tournament will be played on January 23 and 24, 2021.

Qualification Group A:

OVK Pošk - HAVK Mladost 6-15 (0-3, 1-4, 3-3, 2-5)
Medveščak - Mornar 6-14 (0-1, 1-4, 1-6, 4-3)

1. HAVK Mladost 4    4    0    0    65:24    +41    12
2. VK Jadran Split 4    3    0    1    62:30    +32    9
3. VK Mornar BS 4    2    0    2    33:45    -12    6
4. VK Medveščak 4    1    0    3    34:62    -28    3
5. OVK POŠK 4    0    0    4    22:55    -33    0

Qualification Group B:

Galeb MR - Zadar 1952 12-8 (5-3, 2-1, 2-1, 3-3) 
Primorje EB - Jug AO 4-13 (0-4, 0-3, 1-4, 3-2)  
Solaris - KPK 21-1 (2-0, 7-0, 3-0,9-1 )

1. VK Jug AO 5    5    0    0    95:26    +69    15
2. VK Primorje EB 5     3    1    1    72:34    +38    10
3.  VK Solaris 5    3    1    1    72:36    +36    10
4.VK KPK  5     2    0    3    45:74    -29    6
5.VK Galeb MR 5     1    0    4    36:84    -48    3
6. VK Zadar 1952 5    0    0    5    27:93    -66    0

Source: HRT

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