Croatia's water polo team has booked a ticket the Olympic Games at the qualifying tournament in Rotterdam.
Croatia and Russia played a highly exciting match for third place which ended in an 11:11 draw and determined the winner. After 15 rounds and 30 shots, Croatia nailed it for the win with a save from Marko Bijač and a goal by Josip Vrlić. The final score was 25-24 (4-3, 2-4, 3-1, 2-3; 14-13).
“We managed to get a ticket to Tokyo, perhaps in most difficult way possible, but that makes the victory even sweeter. I'd like to congratulate our players and staff and I hope this is just a taste of how we're going to do this summer," said team captain Andro Bušlje.
In the draw for Tokyo, held after the tournament in Rotterdam, Croatia landed in Group B with Serbia, Spain, Montenegro, Kazakhstan and Australia. Hungary, Greece, Italy, the USA, Japan, and South Africa are in Group A. The Olympic Games in Tokyo are scheduled to take place July 24 – August 8.