BUDAPEST, 15 January 2020 – The Croatian women’s water polo team have paved the way for historic success after beating Serbia at the 2020 Women’s European Water Polo Championship in Budapest.
Needing to win to stay in connection for the quarterfinals, Croatia made the most of their chances to record an exciting 9: 8 (2: 1, 2: 3, 3: 3, 2: 1) victory over Serbia on Wednesday.
“It was a very tense match, but everyone who follows women’s water polo knows that in the last two years we have not been defeated by Serbia, and now we have beaten them again. The next game is against Russia, where our goal is to play with as little goal difference as possible, and then we will have another match similar to today’s one, when we will play against the Slovakians. Slovakia is a similar team to Serbia, so far we have beaten them, but we need to do it again in 4 days. We have never reached the top 8 at any European Championships, which we can do with a victory over the Slovakians,” said Mia Simunic, Croatia’s assistant coach.
Croatia will play Russia on 17 January, whilst the key match to reach the quarterfinals against Slovakia will be played on 19 January.
Croatia v Serbia: Ratković (6+1 block), Miljković 2 (0), Miroslavić 1, Carević 1, Lordan 1, Skelin 1, Topić, D. Butić 1, Bukić, I. Butić 2, Barišić, Božan, Trojan Jimenez. Coach: Marija Ćaleta.
“The match was very tense from the start, goal for goal, as we expected. It was very important for us we followed instructions which we did. In particular, I have to praise the defence, with their ten blocks and my 7, we have collected 17 blocks, which led us to victory. We could have been a little better in attack, but we are very pleased with the match, this is our first step towards reaching the quarterfinals,” said Croatia’s goalie Alexandra Ratkovic, who made five saves at crucial moments in the game.