Croatia will meet Serbia in the final of the men’s Olympic water polo tournament. (Image: fina.org)
Croatia will meet Serbia in the final of the men’s Olympic water polo tournament. Defending champion Croatia beat Montenegro comfortably, 12-8 in the first semi-final. Man of the match was Andro Buslje, who scored four times for the Barracudas, while Darko Brguljan and Aleksandar Ivovic scored three goals each.
“It’s incredible. I think that we still don’t know what we have done here but for sure we don’t want to stop here. Today we will have a little bit of rest, watch this second semifinal, analyse the opponent. We must be focused and now we must forget Montenegro and this semifinal” – Croatian goalkeeper Marko Bijac said.
“Today was a difficult game for us because we played bad from the start. All day today Croatia were the better team. We have to recover immediately because we have one more game and it’s for an Olympic medal. We have a very good chance to get that medal but we must get back to playing the way we know how to play” – said Vladimir Gojkovic, head coach of Montenegro.
In the other semi-final the Serbs, who have been improving more and more from the start of the tournament, defeated Italy 10-8. The team of Dejan Savic already led 7-2 after three quarters. Serbia took revenge on the Italians, who beat them four years ago in the semi-final in London.
“First of all, we entered into this game without thinking about London. Of course we had it in our mind but we knew that we proved our game, especially our mentality in the last three, four years. I just want to congratulate my teammates for fighting so hard until the last second. In the first two quarters we really showed what we are capable of and what good defence can do” – Filip Filipovic of Serbia said.
“I didn’t like our approach to the game. They play hard on defence and we knew that but we were a little shy. Against Serbia you have to play free and easy. It’s time for us to focus on winning the bronze medal” – Italian head coach Alessandro Campagna lamented.
In the 5-8th place semi-finals Hungary beat Brazil 13-4, and Greece defeated Spain 9-7, so Hungary will play against Greece for 5th place, while Spain will meet Brazil for 7th place on Saturday.
(Image: Anikó Kovács)
“We expected something similar and will face a tougher challenge in two days time. Today the players brought their best to the pool, at least what they were capable of offering after the bitter loss in the quarters. Viktor Nagy did a great job in the goal, he helped a lot to win this match so easily” – said Tibor Benedek, head coach of Hungary.