Jug Dubrovnik missed the “first match point” in a battle for the title of the Croatian Championship.
Mladost defeated Jug in the third match of the finals of the playoffs. The game was played in Dubrovnik. Mladost recorded a 12:10 victory and extended the final series. After three matches, Jug leads 2:1. The next match will be played in Zagreb on Saturday.
The visitors led throughout today’s match, but everything was open until the middle of the last quarter.
Croatian Championship, playoffs
Final (best-of-five), 3rd game
Jug – Mladost 10:12 (2:2, 3:3, 1:2,4:5) – score in the series 2:1
Jug AO: Loncar 3, Fatovic 2,Papanastasiou 2, Krzic 1, Benic 1, Obradovic 1.
HAVK Mladost: Bukic 3, Viskovic 3, Lazic 2, Kharkov 2, Milos 1, Buslje 1.
The first half was an even contest. The difference between the teams wasn’t larger than a goal. Still, Mladost dictated the pace. Jug took the lead just once (4:3 in the 11th minute).
Early in the third quarter, Ante Viskovic converted a man-up and Mladost went in front again. Loren Fatovic responded in the same manner and scored from an extra for 6:6. Shortly after, Jug had a great chance to go ahead. The hosts forced a penalty shot. But, Mladost’s goalie Marcelic blocked a shot by Obradovic. By the end of the third quarter, Viskovic added one more goal with a power-play advantage and Mladost had a slim 7:6 advantage before the fourth quarter.
In the 25th minute, Mladost earned a penalty shot. Konstantin Kharkov made no mistake from the 5m line. He sent the ball into the net for 8:6. For the first time, two goals separated the rivals.
Immediately after, Loncar cut the deficit (7:8). However, Mladost responded with two goals within 31 seconds (Bukic with an extra player and Lazic from a counter attack), and the visitors built a 10:7 lead with 05:51 minutes remaining on the clock. After that, Jug couldn’t equalize. Mladost controlled the match. The hosts reduced the gap to two goals (8:10 and 9:11), but Mladost didn’t let them go further. Two minutes before the final buzzer, Andro Buslje found the net for 12:9, and everything was decided. Obradovic scored a consolation goal in Jug’s last possession, but it was too late.
Playoffs for 5th place (best-of-two), 1st game
Medvescak – Primorje 10:17 (5:4, 1:3, 2:4, 2:6)
Playoffs for 7th place (best-of-two), 1st game
POSK – Mornar 10:14(3:3, 1:2, 2:5, 4:4)
2020/21 Serbian Championship, playoffs
Semifinals (best-of-three), 3rd match
Radnicki – Sabac 14:7 (3:2, 3:2, 4:3, 4:0) – score in the series 2:1
Radnicki: Rasovic 5, Ukropina 3, Toholj 2, Krug 1, Milicic 1, Lukic 1, Radulovic 1.
Sabac: Stojanovic 3, Vucinic 1, Jankovic 1, Tkac 1, Markovic 1
Radnicki qualified for the final of the playoffs of the Serbian Championship and joined Novi Beograd, which secured its spot in the final on Saturday.
Radnicki defeated Sabac in the third game of the semifinals. Sabac, the 2019 Serbian champion, narrowly defeated Radnicki in the first match (8:7). Radnicki was better in the second encounter (8:5),and it booked a ticket for the final with a convincing win today.
Sabac led 1:0 and 2:1 in the opening minutes, but Radnicki dictated the pace after that. The home team, led by Strahinja Rasovic, built a 4-goal lead in the 14th minute (6:2), but Sabac halved the distance before the end of the first half. Still, the visitors didn’t come back in the battle for a spot in the final. The hosts regained a four-goal advantage in the third period (8:4, 10:6), and they dominated the fourth quarter.
To date, neither Radnicki nor Novi Beograd has won the Serbian League. Novi Beograd will debut in the final. The series of games for the title (best-of-three) starts on Wednesday in Kragujevac.