Mladost Zagreb clinched the trophy in the Croatian Cup for this season.
The Final Four was held in Split in the Poljud pool, which will be the venue of the 2022 European Championships.
Today, in the final game Mladost defeated Jug, the winner in the previous three editions, – 16:12. The Zagreb-based side won it 9th trophy in the Croatian Cup, the first one after the season 2011/12. Mladost has 10 national cups (9 in Croatia and 1 in Yugoslavia). Still, Jug remains the Croatian recorded, as it has won 16 trophies in the national cups (14 in Croatia, 2 in Yugoslavia).
Yesterday, in the semifinals, Jug beat host Jadran Split easily 17:8, while Mladost defeated Solaris Sibenik 11:8.
Mladost took the “double crown” today, as Mladost won the Croatian Cup for ladies, too.
2019/20 Croatian Cup, Final Four, Split
Jug – Jadran S 17:8 (2:1, 7:3, 4:2, 4:2)
Jug AO: Benic 4, Lozina 2, Zuvela 2, Obradovic 2, Papanastasiou 2, Macan 1, Fatovic 1, Loncar 1, Garcia 1, Merkulov 1.
Jadran Split: Z. Butic 3, Delic 2, Setka 2, Power 1.
Mladost – Solaris 11:8 (2:0, 3:3, 4:1, 2:4)
HAVK Mladost: Bukic 4, Radu 3, Vrlic 1, Lazic 1, Bowen 1, Kharkov 1.
Solaris: Pelicaric 4, Mudrazija 1, Koprcina 1, Kovacic 1, Strkalj 1.
Just two weeks ago, Jadran Split surprised Jug in the Champions League match in the venue in Split (12:11). But, this time, Jug was too strong for the hosts and recorded a convincing 17:8 victory.
Mladost defeated Solaris harder than it was expected. But the Zagreb-based side secured a win already in the third quarter when it earned an 8:3 lead.
Jug – Mladost 12:16 (3:3, 3:3, 4:7, 2:3)
Jug AO: Obradovic 5, Fatovic 3, Krzic 1, Merkulov 1, Papanastasiou 1, Benic 1. (Popadic 7 saves)
HAVK Mladost: Bukic 4, Radu 3, Lazic 2, Vrlic 2, Milos 1, Biljaka 1, Cuk 1, Bajic 1, Bowen 1. (Marcelic 8 saves)
Extra player : Jug 4/12, Mladost 4/9. Penalties: Jug 3/3, Mladost 2/3.
Today’s final was the replay of last season’s gold medal match. Last year, Jug edged out Mladost 8:7 in the final that was played in Dubrovnik.
After a lot of twists and turns, the result at halftime was 6:6. The lead was constantly changing the side, but the difference between the teams was never bigger than a goal. Jug earned a 6:5 lead in the middle of the 2nd quarter. After that, there were no goals for a while, but Mladost’s centre-forward Josip Vrlic hit the back of the net 4 seconds before the end of the second quarter for 6:6 and the teams entered the second half tied.
Just 21 second in the 3rd quarter passed, before another centre-forward of the Zagreb-based team Cosmin Radu gave his team a new lead (7:6). Paulo Obradovic returned on equal terms (7:7) with his 3rd goal in the 19th minute. Quickly after that, the Mladost netted 3 goals in a span of 62 seconds (Biljaka, Bukic from a penalty, and Lovre) and went 10:7 up. That series was crucial. Jug didn’t manage to level the score in the remaining time.
Even 6 goals were scored in the last four minutes of the third quarter. Jug cut the deficit to 1 (10:11) a minute and a half before the last break. But, Mladost’s best scorer Luka Bukic netted two goals by the end of this period and Mladost had a 3-goal lead after the third quarter (13:10).
The Zagreb-based side extended its lead to 4 goals (15:11) three minutes from the end and everything was decided. In the end, Mladost celebrated a 16:12 victory.
Paulo Obradovic (Jug) was the best scorer of the final game (5 goals), while Luka Bukic led Mladost with 4 goals.
Luka Bukic was voted the MVP of the final game.
Croatian Cup for ladies
Mladost – Jadran S 20:5 (6:0, 6:2, 6:2, 2:1)
Mladost: Miljkovic 6, Lordan 5, Topic 3, Jankovic 2, Petric 2, Dance 2.
Jadran Split: B. Barisic 2, D. Butic 2, I. Butic 1.
Before the men’s final, the final game of the Croatian Cup for ladies was played in Split.
As expected, Mladost water polo players dominated and beat Jadran Split 20:5. The girls from Zagreb clinched their 3rd national cup in a row, 8th in total.