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Rio Olympics 2016: Croatia Wins Water Polo Silver Medal

Croatia take silver in Rio (photo credit: Rio2016)

Croatia take silver in Rio (photo credit: Reuters/Rio2016)

Croatia have won the Olympic men’s water polo silver medal after losing to Serbia tonight in Rio…

Defending Olympic champions Croatia were beaten by World and European champions Serbia 11-7 (3-2, 3-1, 3-2, 2-2) in the gold medal showdown on Saturday at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio.

Serbia started the first quarter strong and went out to an early 3-1 lead. Croatia started to get back into the match as goal keeper Marko Bijač began to make a couple of  his trademark saves. The first quarter ended 3-2 in Serbia’s favour but the second quarter had to wait over 3 minutes for the first goal.

Serbia had goal keeper Branislav Mitrović and Dušan Mandić to thank for extending the lead at half-time to 6-3. Croatia were unable to convert their chances as Mitrović made some crucial saves from Šetka and Garcia.

(photo credit: Rio2016)

(photo credit: Rio2016)

The third quarter was similar to the first two with Serbia’s defence, keeper Mitrović and the crossbar halting Croatia get any momentum at all. Both sides traded goals but Serbia went into the final quarter with a 4-goal advantage which proved too much to peg back in the end. The silver medal is now Croatia’s 9th medal at the Games.

“There is nothing to more to say other than Serbia were the better team today and they deserved the victory. We tried everything we could possibly do but they were just to good. I am very sorry at the moment as we wanted it bad but we faced a quality team today. We have to acknowledge they were better,” Croatia coach Ivica Tucak said after the match.

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