Croatia defeats Italy in the battle for the bronze medal (10-8)
Croatia and Italy put on a show at the Picornell Pool tonight in the match for the third place as the Croatian side won the bronze medal. The current world champions had to be at their best in tonight’s match, especially during the second quarter when the “Settebello” were attempting to get back into the game, as they claimed their fourth medal at the European Championships. Croatia’s previous medals date back to 1999 and 2003, when they were runners up, and to the 2010 edition which took place in Zagreb, where they were crowned continental champions.
Loren Fatovic and Xavi García, the Catalan-born that stars for the Croatian side, led their side in tonight’s victory over Italy in the decisive match. Croatia have given their all in the pool by performing at high intensity throughout the entirety of the match, which allowed them to beat their rivals by two-goals (10-8).
Croatia hit the ground running as they didn’t waste any time and by the end of the first quarter they were already up (4-0). Italy revived in the second quarter as they claimed the partial score (3-5), which sent both teams to the half time break with a scoreboard that read (7-5).
These were the best minutes of the match for Francesco di Fluvio’s Italy, as the attending fans were cheering them on hoping for a comeback. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to keep up in the third quarter as Croatia solidified their lead with a partial score of (2-1). Loren Fatovic has been the hero of the night for a Croatian side that didn’t have their coach in the dugout, as Ivica Tucak had to watch the game from the stands as a consequence of his ejection during the semifinal match.
Finally, in the fourth quarter Luka Loncar settled the match in Croatia’s favor as the they were up (10-6). Italy scored two goals to shorten the lead to only two goals, but it wasn’t enough as Croatia won the match to head back home from the European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018 with the bronze medal around their necks.