Croatia has defeated Russia 11: 9 (1: 4, 4: 4, 2: 1, 4: 0) today in Zagreb to secure first place in Group D at the Water Polo World League 2022.
The victory also secures Croatia’s spot in the final tournament of European qualifications of the World League which will be held at the end of April in Budapest.
Croatia’s top scorer was Loren Fatović with three goals, while Marko Bijač was named player of the game with seven saves in goal. Luka Bukić and Rino Burić scored two goals each.
“We still have a lot to fix, but I repeat, this is a team that is just being created, a team that has to learn a lot and have as many games like this as possible. Only from games like this can we create the right team. We certainly have a lot to work on and correct, that much is clear. But what we had to do, we achieved, we won the game. We are first in the group and we are going to Italy for the quarterfinals. Extremely strong World League matches await us as a good preparation for the World and European Championships,” said coach Ivica Tucak.
Ante Vukičević, who played an important part in today’s win, added.
“In terms of attack and realization, as well as defense where we conceded too many goals, the game did not start the best. But unfortunately it is so at the moment, the team is young and we are not in tune yet. But we will certainly have more superbly played matches, such as the one with Greece, and some worse ones, such as this one today. It is important that in the end we showed that we are better and that we gave our best when we needed to and in the end we won. But we need to learn from the first two quarters that were not good and continue to work better.”
Russia and Greece will meet in round 3 on March 8, to decided who finishes second in Group D.