Croatia Thrashes Russia 13-3
The Croatian water polo team beat Russia 13-3 and achieved their primary aim, entry into the semi finals of the world championship.
With excellent play throughout the match, Croatia beat the Russian team 13-3 (4-0,4-1,2-1,3-1) and in their 40th performance at world championships, recorded their 20th win.
In the first quarter they did not give the Russians any chance. With two goals by Vrdoljak in the second minute, Croatia already had a 2-0 lead. Smodlaka and Jokovic finish the excellent play with goals in the first eight minutes for 4-0.
Croatia opens the quarter with a counter attack from Barac, which brings the lead up to a five point difference. However Croatia does not stop there. Goals by Jokovic, Dogas and Vrdoljak bring the score up the 8-0. To make sure the Russians do not enter half time with zero points, Sahirov scores two minutes before the end.
After the break Croatia does not stop, and with new goals by Barac and Smodlaka the push the score to 10-1 and definitely secure the win. Aksenov manages to lessen the gap to 8 difference in the last minute of the quarter, utilizing for the first time an extra player in the water.
In the last eight minutes, Croatia plays as if the match has just started. However the Russians first lessen their disadvantage to 10-3 with a goal from Agarkov. Then Markovic, Dogas and Buric round off their excellent afternoon in Melbourne with a goal each for the final 13-3, and gain entry to the much wanted semi finals.
In the semi finals on Friday, Croatia will play Serbia, who in the first match of the day beat Greece 8-3.
Formated for CROWN by Marko Puljiæ
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