Croatia are the water polo champions of Europe
- by croatiaweek
- in Sport
Croatia are the water polo champions of Europe after another dramatic victory tonight in Split.
Croatia has won the gold medal at the European Water Polo Championship after beating Hungary 10-9 in the final in front of a packed Spaladium Arena on Saturday night.
It was a tight and nervous beginning to the final, with both sides defending well in a quarter that would finish 3-3.
Croatia, led by the fantastic Marko Bijač in goal, then kept Hungary scoreless in the second quarter to go in at halftime 4-3 up.
The third quarter saw Croatia maintain their lead, stretching it to two goals at one point and they would head into the final quarter in the lead 8-7.
Hungary would equalise at 8-8 early in the final quarter and the scores would remain that way until two minutes remaining when Jerko Marinić Kragić scored a 5-metre penalty. Croatia would extend their lead to 10-8 and hang on to claim gold.
Konstantin Kharkov and Rino Burić led the scoring for Croatia with three goals each, whilst Marinic Kragic chimed in with two goals at the death.
Croatia’s hero again was Bijač in goal who made 7 saves at almost 50%.
This was the fourth time Croatia played in the final of a European Championship and their second gold. The last gold was back in 2010.
Earlier on Saturday, Spain beat Italy 7-6 to win the bronze medal.