Montenegro bested Croatia 12-14 (2-3, 3-2, 4-3, 1-2 - 2-4) on Saturday evening in the semi-finals of the qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Croatia have missed one chance to qualify for Tokyo after losing to Montenegro in a penalty shoot-out and will now have to battle Russia, which lost to Greece in Saturday’s other semi, for a ticket to the Games. The top three teams qualify for Tokyo.
In what was a fairly even-handed match, Croatia managed to eke out a slight lead going into the final quarter. Luka Burić scored to give Croatia a 10:9 lead two and half minutes before the final buzzer. However, Montenegro’s Miroslav Perković evened the score with just 24 seconds left on the clock. The match was decided in a penalty shoot-out. With a miss from Loren Fatović and a blocked shot by Damir Bukić by Montenegrin goalkeeper Dejan Lazović, Montenegro prevailed.
Croatia will play Russia for third place on Sunday.