After losing their quarterfinal two days ago against Hungary, Croatia has bounced back to beat Montenegro 12-10 (1-0, 5-4, 3-3, 3-3) today to set up a match for 5th place at the Olympics in Tokyo.
This was the second match between Croatia and Montenegro in Tokyo and the second victory of for the Barracudas.
Ante Vukičević was top scorer with three goals, Loren Fatović, Luka Lončar and Josip Vrlić scored two goals each, while Aleksandar Ivović top scored for Montenegro with three.
Croatia were never behind in the match after taking the lead in the first minute through Vukičević. The Montenegrins managed to equalise at 3-3 in the middle of the second quarter, but that would be the closest they would get.
“In this situation with COVID, I think that it is not right to play games like this for the 5th to 8th place, which mean nothing to anyone. As for the game itself, we are professionals, we took it seriously. Of course, we have not yet recovered from the defeat against the Hungarians, it will take some more time. However we won, it’s always nicer to win. We have another game ahead of us, we will wait to see against whom and try to prepare as mentally as possible. It’s hard to predict who awaits us in the last game, these games can go to anyone’s side. Now it is no longer a matter of quality, a favourable result goes to the side of those who gather and are better motivated,” said player Paulo Obradović.
On the last day of the Games, on Sunday at 4.00 am Croatian time, Croatia will play for the fifth place against the winner of the Italy – USA match. Later on Friday, Greece-Hungary and Serbia-Spain will play in the semifinals of the water polo tournament.