The Croatian water polo team has played the first of two matches against the United States of America on Saturday in Zagreb as part of preparations ahead of the upcoming qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games in Rotterdam.
After four quarters, the score was tied at 17:17 (1: 4, 2: 4, 3: 4, 4: 4). The teams played another quarter with the final result 22:21 to the Americans.
“Objectively, our defence is not up to standard. However, it is positive that we managed to come back after being down 4-5 goals. However, conceding so many goals is not good. I believe that we will analyse the game and we will look much better tomorrow,” said Croatian player Maro Joković.
Loren Fatović, Ante Vukičević and Luka Bukić scored the most goals for Croatia with three goals each. The ‘Barracudas’ have another game with USA tomorrow, which will also be played at 7 p.m.
Unfortunately, due to epidemiological measures, no crowd is allowed at the matches, but they are being broadcast on Planet sport TV and live-streamed on the Croatian Water Polo Federation Facebook page.
“The atmosphere inside the national team is great. But I think we need to raise the defence to the highest possible level in order to qualify for Tokyo in Rotterdam. I think we got into the game well but the defence didn’t work from the first attack. Still, I believe we will show a better face tomorrow. I hope we win and that we will go to Rotterdam with optimism,” concluded Loren Fatović.