ROTTERDAM, 15 February 2021 – The Croatian water polo team has recorded its second straight victory at the Olympic Qualifying tournament in Rotterdam on Monday with a victory over the Netherlands.
After a big victory against Romania 16: 6 yesterday, Croatia today were too good for the Netherlands, winning 25:8 (7:1, 7:4, 5:1, 6:2).
The player of the match was Luka Bukić, who top scored with six goals. For Croatia, Joković scored four goals, Miloš and Fatović three, Vukičević, Vrlić and Burić two and Garcia, Bušlje and Lončar with one goal each.
On the side of the Dutch, Van Ijperen and Lucas stood out the most with two goals scored.
“Today’s match with the Dutch was a good test. The important thing is that we didn’t lose our heads but that we played our game and stuck to everything we agreed on before entering the pool. Next up is France, whom we recently defeated in Debrecen, but there is no room for relaxation. If we keep this level, especially in the defensive part, I don’t think we should have any major problems,” said player Maro Joković.
Tomorrow, Croatia face France, which Ante Vukičević, a member of the Croatian national team and a striker for the French champions Marseille, commented on.
“France is a team that deserves respect. They have a few good players in them, my teammates from Marseille. However, I would not say that it is a team of our calibre. However, you definitely need to seriously prepare for them and concentrate on learning the game and play hard from start to finish. I think anything but our victory would be a surprise,”concluded Vukičević.
The match will be on HRT2 at 8:30 p.m.
In the Netherlands, a total of 12 teams have been divided into two groups of 6 teams. The four best teams from each group form the quarterfinal pairs. The top three teams at the end of the tournament will qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Croatia is in Group B with Netherlands, France, Russia, Germany and Romania. In Group A are Georgia, Turkey, Canada, Brazil, Montenegro and Greece.