PHOTO: LEN (European Aquatics); ILLUSTRATION: Bracopone


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Croatia failed to defeat Spain in the final of the European Championship and thus defend the European Championship title

CROATIA – SPAIN 10:11 (5:3; 2:3; 3:2; 0:3)
CROATIA: Bijač, Burić, Fatović, Lončar, Biljaka, Bukić 1, Vukičević, Žuvela 1, Marinić Kragić, Vrlić, Butić, Harkov, Popadić
Selectman: Ivica Tucak
SPAIN: Aguirre, Munarriz, Granados, Sanahuja 1, De Toro, Larrumbe, Biel, Cabanas, Tahull, Perrone, Mallarach, Bustos, Lorrio
Selectman: David Martin

Unfortunately, Croatia is not the European champion. Croatia did not manage to defend the championship title and become the only national team that won two championship titles in a row on its field, i.e. in the pool. We can also be happy with this second place. Because we know that we won the household at the last minute.

I don’t know what to say. The hell with sports, the hell with everything. When you lose this way, I don’t know what to say.

I have to congratulate my boys and Spain for a sporting fight. We lacked a little sporting luck and a little bit of everything.

Ivica Tucak, Croatian Coach

Croatia and Spain opened the game furiously. First, Croatia took the lead, then Spain reversed it to 2:3. After that, Croatia woke up and scored three goals to take a two-goal advantage. The first quarter ended 5:3.

The second quarter of the match was marked by several Croatian mistakes and the arrival of Spain with a one-goal gap. The euphoria has subsided a bit, but Croatia still rivals the Spanish in swimming. Let’s mention how the first half was marked by a battle in the trenches between both goalkeepers. The first half ended 7:6.

At the beginning of the second half, Spain managed to equalize the result after several attempts by Croatia. Spain started intensively on the outside of Croatia’s lines. Nevertheless, Croatia somehow managed to endure it, and the score after three-quarters of the match was 10:8.

Croatia entered the final part of the match with a two-goal advantage. But somehow, this quarter was the most difficult. Lots of mistakes and missed opportunities led to the first goal being scored only in the middle of the quarter. Yes, the goalkeepers are at the highest level. Unfortunately for Croatia, Spain scored three goals in the last quarter, and Croatia had none. That was enough for Spain to become the European champion.

Croatia now only has the World Championship in Doha to ensure its participation in the Olympic Games! Good luck!

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