Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Hungary Wins Olympic Quarterfinal, No Medal for Croatia Water Polo in Tokyo

August 4, 2021 - A shock in Tokyo as Hungary defeated Croatia in the final quarterfinal match in Tokyo on Wednesday. Croatia water polo is thus out of the Olympic medal fight. 

The Croatia water polo team met Hungary on Wednesday for a spot in the semifinals of the Olympic Games. The winner will play against Greece, who easily defeated Montenegro in the earlier semifinal match. 

Croatia achieved three victories in Group B (Kazakhstan, Serbia, Montenegro) and two defeats (Australia, Spain), taking second place behind Spain.

1st Quarter

Croatia won the first sprint of the match for the Croatia attack, which was shot wide by Jokovic. Bijač saved Hungary's first attack to keep the scoresheet clean. Vukičević scored Croatia's first goal for 1:0 with 6:34 to go. Bijač saved Hungary's next attack, and Vargas hit the post straight after to keep Croatia ahead. Varga hit the post and after 2 back-to-back saves from Bijač, Hungary finally equalized with less than 5 mins on the clock. 

Bukić's goal was called back for shooting too close to the goal, and the match remained 1:1 with less than 3 minutes left. Bukić got his chance soon after to put Croatia back in the lead for 2:1 with 2:22 left. 

Varga scored for 2:2 with 1:15 to go. Obradović put Croatia back in the lead with 45 seconds on the clock. The 1st quarter ended 3:2 for Croatia. 

2nd Quarter 

Croatia won the sprint again to start the 2nd quarter, but Hungary was the one to successfully attack and equalized at 3:3. Hungary took the lead for the first time with 5:35 left - 3:4. Joković was quick to equalize for 4:4 20 seconds later! 

Bukić put Croatia back in the lead for 5:4 with just over 4 minutes to go, but Croatia and Hungary played goal for goal, and Hungary equalized for 5:5 with 3:43 left. 

Bijač saved Croatia from another Hungary goal with 2 minutes left, and Hungary shot over the goal in their next attack. But. Croatia was unsuccessful in their next attack with one minute left. 

Hungary retook the lead with 46 seconds left - 5:6. Obradović missed Croatia's next extra-man play with 16 seconds left. Hungary scored for the +2 lead going into halftime. 

3rd Quarter

Croatia lost the sprint to open the 3rd quarter and fortunately scored for 6:7 after the referee consulted VAR to rule Bukić's goal over the goal line. 

Hungary retook the +2 lead again for 6:8 with 5:45 to go. Obradović returned with a goal for 7:8! Bijač saved Hungary's next attack, and Miloš equalized for 8:8 with 3:49 left!

Hungary retook the lead for 8:9 with 3:18 to go. It was 8:10 for Hungary with 1:47 to go. Croatia could not capitalize on their next attack. 

It was +3 for Hungary in the final seconds of the 3rd quarter - 8:11. 

4th Quarter 

Croatia failed to score on their first two attacks of the final quarter, and Hungary scored for +4 - 8:12. Fatović scored to restore some hope for 9:12 with 5 minutes to go. Hungary quickly returned for 9:13. Lončar scored for 10:13 with 4:16 left in the match. 

Hungary scored for +4 with 3 minutes to go. Bukić made it 11:14 with 2:36 left. Vrlić missed a clean shot in front of the goal with just over a minute to go, killing Croatia's last hope of coming back. The game ended 11:15 for Hungary. 

Croatia will now play for 5th-8th place at the Olympic Games. 

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Monday, 2 August 2021

Croatia Water Polo Loses to Spain in Final Group B Match, Plays Hungary in Quarters

August 2, 2021 - Croatia water polo loses to Spain in the fight for first place in Group B on Monday. Croatia will thus play Hungary next in their quarterfinal match, while Spain will meet the USA.

The Croatia water polo team played their last game of Group B against Spain. It was the match for first place in the group, and Croatia only needs a victory to sit at the top. 

Given that Spain is currently at the top of the group, and Croatia lost to Australia, the draw would lead Spain as the first in the quarterfinals.

Coach Tucak announced that the great Paolo Obradović, the hero of the great victory against Serbia, would not play due to a rib injury. T

The first-placed team plays the USA in the quarterfinals, and the second against Hungary.

1st Quarter

Spain opened the game with a 5-meter penalty which they scored for an early lead. Croatia missed on its first attack and Spain came back in their next for a two-goal lead. 

Another penalty for Spain was awarded with 5:30 to go, Bijač saved it to keep the game only 2:0 to Spain. Croatia hit over the game in their next attack. Bijač was brilliant in goal to keep Spain ahead by only two goals with 2 minutes to go as Croatia continued to shoot over Spain's goal. 

Luka Bukić scored Croatia's first goal for 2:1 with less than a minute to go, which is how the first quarter ended. 

2nd Quarter

Both Spain and Croatia missed out on scoring in their first few attacks. The first goal of the 2nd quarter was only scored with 3:46 to go. It was 3:1 for Spain. 

That was the only goal scored in the 2nd quarter, which ended 3:1 for Spain. 

3rd Quarter

Macan scored to open the 3rd quarter and brought Croatia back to -1 for 3:2 Spain. Spain came back for 4:2 with 6:12 to go. Bukić scored a rocket from the outside for 4:3 20 seconds later. Spain went back up to +2 with 5:32 to go (5:3). 

It was 6:3 for Spain, their highest advantage yet, with 4:23 left on the clock. Croatia was unlucky in their next attack to keep Spain ahead. 

Spain made it 7:3 with 27 seconds left in the 3rd. 

4th Quarter

Both sides missed their first attacks to start the final quarter. Fatović scored the first goal of the final quarter for 7:4 with 5:23 left in the match. 

Marcelić was in goal for Bijač to finish the game. It was 8:4 for Spain with 2:41 left. Marcelić saved Spain's final attack to end the game 8:4 for Spain.

This was Spain's 5th win of the Olympic Games. Croatia will thus play Hungary next in the quarters. 

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Saturday, 31 July 2021

Olympic Games: Masterful Croatia Beats Serbia in Game 4 (14:12)

July 31, 2021 - A masterful Croatia beats Serbia in the crucial game 4 of Group B at the Olympic Games in Tokyo! Croatia has confirmed their spot in the quarterfinals. 

After opening with a win against Kazakhstan (23:7), unexpected defeat to Australia (8:11), and victory against Montenegro (13:8), Croatia and Serbia met in game 4 of Group B. It was a replay of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games final. The Barracudas then won silver, losing the final 7:11. Croatia and Serbia also met at the 2008 Beijing Games, and the 2nd round match went to the Barracudas at 11:8.

The last time these two national teams met was in June 2019 in the final of the World League in Belgrade, in which Serbia celebrated 12:11.

After Serbia, Croatia closes out Group B with the toughest opponent yet - top-of-the-table Spain. 

1st Quarter

Croatia won the sprint for the first attack, in which Joković scored for 1:0. Joković scored for 2:0 Croatia with 6:16 on the clock. An absolutely brilliant start for Croatia saw Bušlje score 45 seconds later for 3:0! 


Slobodan Kadic 

Serbia scored its first goal with 5 minutes to go in the 1st quarter. 

Lončar scored on a quick counterattack for 4:1 Croatia with 4:06 to go. Bijač was brilliant in the goal to save Serbia's next attack. Obradović made it 5:1 with 2:30 left on the clock. 


Slobodan Kadic 

The 1st quarter ended 5:3 for Croatia.  

2nd Quarter

Serbia's Filipović opened the 2nd with a goal for -1 (5:4.) Bijač saved the following three Serbia attacks to keep Croatia in the lead at 5:4. 

Obradović scored his second goal of the match to increase Croatia's lead to 6:4 with 1:26 left on the clock. The 2nd quarter ended at 6:4 for Croatia. 

3rd Quarter

Vukičević opened the 3rd quarter with an excellent goal for Croatia and a +3 lead (7:4).  Serbia came behind by just one goal with 4:32 to go in the 3rd (7:6), but Joković scored 15 seconds later to give Croatia a better advantage (8:6). 


Slobodan Kadic 

Serbia equalized at 8:8 with 2:48 on the clock.  Obradović was on fire, scoring his 3rd goal of the game to put Croatia back in the lead with just over 2 minutes to go (9:8). 

Luka Bukić made it 10:8 for Croatia with 1:23 on the clock, which was the final score of the 3rd quarter. 

4th Quarter 

Luka Bukić scored his second goal of the game and second consecutive in the game for 11:8 Croatia with 7:44 left in the game. Bijač and Croatia's defense denied Serbia's next attack. The unstoppable Obradović scored for 12:8 Croatia with 6:17 on the clock! 

Bukić brought calm to Croatia with a goal for 13:9 with 5 minutes to go, and Joković scored for 14:9 with 4:16 left! Serbia came back slightly at -3 for 14:11 with 2:13 to go. 

Bijač saved a rocket from Mandić with a minute and a half left, but Serbia scored for -2 (14:12) with 1:11 left in the match. Croatia denied Serbia's final attack to win the game 14:12! 


Slobodan Kadic 

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Croatia Tops Montenegro in Game 3 of Olympic Games in Tokyo (13:8)

July 29, 2021 - Croatia tops Montenegro in Game 3 of the Olympic Games in Toyko (13:8)!

Croatia water polo met Montenegro in the third round match of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Thursday. 

Ivica Tucak's side started the competition with a huge victory against Kazakhstan but surprisingly lost to Australia in game two. Croatia must now look for points against tougher opponents - Montenegro is followed by tough matches against Serbia and Spain.

1st Quarter

Miloš scored Croatia's first goal to equalize with 5:39 left on the clock. The next 3 minutes saw neither team score, with counter fouls committed on both sides. Lončar finally hit the post with just over 2 minutes to go, but the game remained 1:1. Garcia missed a good chance with less than a minute left. The 1st quarter ended at 1:1. 

2nd Quarter

Croatia and Montenegro both missed goals in their opening attacks but Bukić finally put Croatia in the lead for 2:1 with 6:42 to go. A Fatović rocket made it +2 for Croatia with 6 minutes left! Another incredible reaction followed as Bušlje tapped in his first goal for the 4:1 lead.

Fatović was on fire and scored his second goal for 2:5 with 3:44 to go. Fatović scored again for 6:3 with less than 2 minutes on the clock. 

Obradović made it 7:4 with an extra-man goal with less than a minute in the 2nd. The 2nd quarter finished 7:5 for Croatia. 

3rd Quarter

Garcia opened the 3rd quarter with a goal for 8:5 and scored another rocket for 9:6 with less than three minutes to go! Luka Lončar scored his first goal of the match for 10:7 with less than 2 minutes on the clock. Luka Bukić made it 11:8 to end the 3rd quarter. 

4th Quarter

Vukičević scored for 12:8 Croatia to open the final quarter, and scored again for 13:8 with just over 2 minutes to go in the game! Bijač was brilliant in goal to keep Croatia in the lead with less than a minute on the clock. The game ended 13:8 for Croatia! 

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