Croatia defeated Russia 11:8 in the last preparation game for the European Championships in Budapest (January 12th – 26th). The match was played in Zagreb this evening.
Croatia – Russia 11:8 (6:2, 2:1, 2:2, 1:3)
Croatia: Buslje 4, Vukicevic 2, Milos 2, Loncar 2, Garcia 1.
Russia: Merkulov 3, Bychkov 2, Vasilyev 1, Ashaev 1, Nagaev 1.
The Russians scored the opening goal in the first minute, but quickly after that, the hosts took control. Croatia, led by captain Andro Buslje, jumped to a 7:2 lead early in the second quarter. In the middle of the fourth period, Croatia had a 6-goal advantage (11:5), and then let Russia reduce the gap.
Before the match, Croatia’s head coach Ivica Tucak announced the roster for the European Championships.
The squad is almost the same as the team at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju where Croatia won bronze. There is only one change. Luka Bukic returns to the team and he will replace Andjelo Setka.
Goalkeepers: Marko Bijac, Ivan Marcelic. Field players: Marko Macan, Loren Fatovic, Luka Loncar, Maro Jokovic, Luka Bukic, Ante Vukicevic, Andro Buslje, Lovre Milos, Josip Vrlic, Hrvoje Benic, Xavi Garcia.
The men’s tournament at the European Championships begins on January 14th. The Croats play in Group A and their opponents will be Montenegro, Slovakia and Germany. Russia is in Group B with Serbia, Romania and Netherlands.