The defending champion Serbia and the Olympic silver medallist Croatia played a truly spectacular match in the second semi-final at the Hajós Alfred Complex and Croatia celebrated, which means they can prepare for a clash against the host team Hungary.
Serbia-Croatia 11-12 (1-1, 4-4, 4-4, 2-3)
Hajós Alfréd Complex, referees: Steven Rotsart (USA), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU)
Serbia: Mitrovic B. – Rasovic, Randelovic 1, Pijetlovic 2, Filipovic, Prlainovic 6, Mitrovic S. 1. Subs: Pijetlovic, Mandic 1, Cuk, Ubovic, Aleksic, Jaksic. Head coach: Dejan Savic.
Croatia: Bijac – Loncar 2, Jokovic 3, Buslje 2, Sukno 3, Setka, Garcia. Subs: Macan, Fatovic, Buljubasic, Vukicevic 2, Krapic, Marcelic. Head coach: Ivica Tucak.
In the first semi-final:
The first goal came five minutes into the game, Prlainovic scored first on an extramen situation for Serbia. In the last second of the first quarter, the captain Sandro Sukno equalized, so as expected, this semifinal started off really exciting and tense.
In the second quarter Serbia took off and scored twice in a row, and the second one came on a really rare 6-on-3 situation. Croatia came back to even quite quickly, but Prlainovic had the hot hand and the Olympic- and world champion Serbia had the lead once again with his third goal of the match. The teams went into the break with a 5-5 tie as Croatia did it again, they scored in the final seconds of the quarter.
The two sides went neck-to-neck in the third quarter, every time Serbia scored, Croatia answered. Prlainovic was spectacular, with his fifth goal Serbia had the lead but amazingly, Croatia was able to score once again in the last seconds with a penalty. At the end of the third quarter, 9-9 was on the scoreboard, it was an extremely exciting game.
In the fourth quarter, Andrija Prlainovic – who else – scored first on a quick break to give Serbia the lead, but Croatia equalized again in this epic game. Croatia had to wait 27 minutes to take the lead, but Serbia equalized quickly. The excitement was at an absolute high point when Croatia took the lead again exactly three minutes before the final whistle. Neither team was able to score until the end, where Marko Bijac made an incredible save to win the game for Croatia.
The result is a mild upset and this means that Serbia’s incredible sequence of winning everything in the last 3 years was broken. This was one of the best games maybe in the history of water polo and Croatia can prepare for the final, where the host team Hungary is going to be the opponent.
29 July, Saturday
For the 7th place
12:00 – Australia-Russia
For the 5th place
13:30 – Montenegro-Italy
15:00 – Greece-Serbia
20:30 – Hungary-Croatia