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Water polo: Croatia beats Russia to qualify for Olympic Games 

Croatia water polo record victory against Romania

(Photo by Marcel ter Bals/Orange Pictures)

The Croatia water polo team has qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo after finishing third at the Olympic Qualifying tournament in Rotterdam.

Croatia beat Russia in the 3rd-4th playoff match on Sunday to secure their ticket to Tokyo. The top three teams at the tournament qualified for the Olympics. 

Croatia would win a tense match 25-24 in a shoot-out after scores was tied 11:11 after normal time.

Russia had beaten Croatia in the group stages but Ivica Tucek’s team made no mistake today. Croatia showed their quality early with captain Andro Bušlje and Loren Fatović impressive. 

Water Polo Olympic Qualifiers: Croatia record second straight win

(Photo by Marcel ter Bals/Orange Pictures)

Croatia led after the first quarter 4:3 before Russia would have the better of the second quarter to lead at halftime 7:6. 

Croatia regained the lead and headed into the last quarter 9:8 up and after both teams traded goals in the final quarter,  Josip Vrlic would score to with just over a minute remaining to give Croatia the lead 11:10. 

Russia would equalise with 16 seconds left to send the match into a shoot-out which Croatia would win after three series. 

The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Tokyo from 23 July – 8 August and it will be the 7th time Croatia is taking part in the water polo competition. 

Croatia finished second in Group B after four wins against Romania the Netherlands, France and Germany, and one loss to Russia. Croatia beat Georgia in the quarter-final before losing to Montenegro in the semi-final.

Montenegro and Greece meet in the final later on Sunday. 

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