CROATIA 10:8 SPAIN (5:1, 3:2, 2:4, 0:1)
CROATIA: Bijač, Benić 1, Fatović 1, Lončar 1, Joković 1, Buljubašić 1, Vukićević, Bušlje, Miloš, Vrlić 2, Šetka 1, Garsija 2, Marcelić
SPAIN: Lopez, Munarriz 3, Granados 1, de Toro, Cabanas, Larumbe 1, Baroso 1, Fernandez, Tahull, Perrone 1, Mallarach 1, Bustos, Lorrio.
Croatia, current World Champions, was better than Spain in the World League semifinal 10:8 and scheduled another meeting with Serbia in the grand final.
Every dilemma about who will be the second finalist tomorrow was clear after first 16 minutes of the game. Barracudas used every opportunity because on the other Spain was playing worse than they usually do. Coach David Martin team couldn´t do anything they planned and wanted, while on the other side of the pool Croatia played efficiently and had five goal difference at the half time (8:3). At those moments Garcia and Vrlić lead the team with two goals each.
Red Fury continued more decisive, were two goals behind at one moment, but bad second half and bad organization of their attacks proved to much.
Ivica Tucak, Croatia national team coach was pleased after the win in the semifinal:
– We opened the match perfectly at both sides and you could see that we lacked strength at the end. I think that our result was not put in danger in any single part of the match. I would like to congratulate my players for the incredible rhythm of the match. Serbia and Croatia are two best teams in the world right now. Tomorrow team with more rested players will win. My wish is to enjoy the game.
Croatian goalkeeper Marko Bijač was named man of the match:
– We started off really well, gained a significant advantage which was not easy. I am happy for the win because Spain is an excellent team. Tomorrow we have to be much better to get the gold medal and book our tickets for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. They have great players and we both fight for the same goal and that is the point of sport.
David Martin, Spain coach said after the match:
– It is hard to play only two good quarters against Croatia. We wanted to fight for the gold, but we were not good enough today.
Perrone agrees with his coach:
– We started off really bad. We fought to the very end and I have to be proud for the effort we put. Tomorrow it will be a difficult match against Australia for the bronze medal.