Jug demolished Jadran Split in the third match of the Croatian League final and came just one step away from a new title.
Nobody could expect that the third match would be a one-sided contest after two close contests in the first two games (Jadran – Jug 10:11 and Jug – Jadran 14:16, PSO). But, Jug dominated in the pool “Poljud” in Split and recorded a 15:7 victory. Everything was practically decided before the middle break.
2021/22 Croatian League, playoffs, final (best of five)
Jadran S – Jug 7:15 (0:5, 2:5, 1:2, 4:3) – score in the series 1:2
Jadran Split: Marinic-Kragic 2, Bukic 2, Buric 1, Z.Butic 1, Dobud 1.
Jug AO: Fatovic 3, Papanastasiou 3, Jokovic 2, Benic 2, Zuvela 2, Argyropoulos 2, Kakaris 1.
Jug got off to a fantastic start. The visitors’ defense was up to the task. Goalkeeper Toni Popadic boosted his team’s self-confidence with a few excellent saves (he posted 13 saves this evening). The visitors shut off Jadran’s leftie Konstantin Kharkov and other great shooters of the home team.
Jug built a 5:0 lead in the first quarter and continued dominating after the first break. In the 12th minute, Jug had a 7:0 advantage. But, that was the end of the visitors’ series. A minute later, Marko Zuvela converted a penalty shot to 8:0. Everything was clear. Jadran, which had great support from the fans in the stands, needed a miracle to come back. The hosts got on the scoreboard only 03:03 minutes before the first break when Buric scored from a 6 on 5. But, Jug regained an 8-goal lead by the end of the second quarter (10:2).
In the third period, the Dubrovnik-based side stretched the margin to nine (11:2 and 12:3). Early in the fourth, it stood 13:3. Still, Jadran reduced the gap.
Jug is very close to a title. The third match will be played in Dubrovnik on May 24. It will be “a match ball” for Jug and a must-win game for Jadran.