PHOTO: FABRIZIO CARABELLI/IPA SPORT/I/PA IMAGES/PROFIMEDIA Fabrizio Carabelli/ipa Sport/i/pa Images/profimedia


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To qualify for the next round of the competition, they must be among the best four teams in the group

CROATIA – BULGARIA 1:3 (25:23, 23:25, 20:25, 18:25)
CROATIA: Antunović, Mihaljević, Strunjak, Butigan, Deak, Mlinar, Karatović, Strize, Marković, Šamadan, Trcol, Kovčo, Štimac, Freund
BULGARIA: Stančulova, Račkovska, Jordanova, Paskova-Kaneva, Barakova, Bečeva, Todorova, Krivošiska, Pashkuleva, Sajkova, Šahpazova, Marinova, Karabasheva, Nikolova

Croatian volleyball players opened the European Championship with a defeat against the Bulgarian national team. Croatia plays in Group B, hosted by Italy’s Monza. Namely, there is no rest because tonight at 21:00 local time, Croatia is playing against Romania. The volleyball players must win if they want to be among the top four teams in the group.

A win against the Romanians is imperative, and they must win because they play against the Italians after this match. And against them, I can hardly count on points and victory. In the first game, the Croatian volleyball players hoped for a sensation, but Croatia had a young team at this championship. Captain Samanta Fabris and receiver-shooter Laura Miloš are not with them.

Earlier this summer, Bulgaria outclassed the Croatian national team, thus showing that they are still a better team. The apparent problem for Croatia is that Samanta Fabris needs to play.

The beginning of this meeting was unusual. Both sides created turnovers. Croatia made a significant breakthrough in the first set as the Bulgarians led 23:20, bringing them close to winning the first set. But the Croatians scored five points and took the first set. The whole set was full of twists and turns, and the Croatian volleyball players did not give up at least in this set.

The second set was a different story. The Croatians were leading, but now the Bulgarians have turned the tables. A black hole by the Hrvatica led to Bulgaria taking the set into suspense. But at the end of the set, Bulgaria equalized in sets. All this shook Croatia, so the remaining two sets went to Bulgaria. The Croatian game fell apart in the fourth set, and thus the match ended.

Croatia has an obvious problem. When there is no Fabris, there is neither game nor endurance for the entire match. What is happening? We do not know. But if they want to do something, they must approach every game and training session more seriously.

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