2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Water Polo: August 6-20
- Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre/Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro
- Schedule & Results
Croatia, the goal medalists from the 2012 London Olympic Games, defeated Montenegro on Thursday to make the final round of men’s water polo tournament in Rio, where they will face their archrivals Serbia on Saturday.
Croatia wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as Andelo Setka put them up 1-0 in the first 30 seconds of play. Andro Buslje added a goal from beyond 5 meters with 5:52 left in the first, and Luka Loncar made it 3-0 less than 2 minutes later. Montenegro turned the tables on Croatia, though, scoring three of their own in quick succession as Aleksandar Ivovic, Drasko Brguljan, and Darko Brguljan all netted goals in just under a minute and a half. Buslje scored another for Croatia with 1:16 on the clock. The score stood at 4-3 to Croatia at the end of the period.
Ivovic was first to mark in the second period, tying the score at 4-4 with 4:06 on the clock. Javier Garcia Gadea took advantage of a man-up situation to put Croatia ahead again, 5-4, but Darko Brguljan evened the score again with 2:49 to play. Croatia’s Sandro Sukno added one 20 seconds later, then teammate Marko Macan made it 7-5 Croatia to end the half.
Loncar put Croatia up by 3 goals at the beginning of the third period, but Ivovic scored his third goal to narrow the gap. Croatian goalkeeper Marko Bijac came up with two huge saves in a power play situation and Montenegro was unable to convert. The third quarter ended with Croatia up 8-6.
The fourth quarter began with a long shot from Buslje that found the back of Milos Scepanovic’s net to make the score 9-6. Montenegrin goalkeeper Zdravko Radic came in for Scepanovic. Darko Brguljan picked up his third goal a few seconds later. Just when it seemed Montenegro might pull back even with Croatia, the defending champions added another to the tally to keep the Montenegrins out of reach. Andelo Setka scored for Croatia with 4:04 left to play, making it 10-7. Montegnegro’s Predrag Jokic scored a power play goal with 3:25 on the clock, but that was the last goal they would get past Croatian goalkeeper Bijac. Setka and Buslje added one more each and the clock ran out with a final score of 12-8 to Croatia.
Buslje led Croatia with four goals on five shots, while teammate Setka netted three. Ivovic and Darko Brguljan had three each for Montenegro.
Croatia will face Serbia in the gold-medal match on Saturday. It will be a rematch of the 2015 FINA World Championships final. Montenegro will play for Olympic bronze for the third straight time; they finished fourth in Beijing and in London.