Primorje Rijeka won 3rd place in the Croatian Championships, beating Mladost Zagreb after a penalty shootout (18:17) in the third match of the playoffs for the bronze medal.
Even though this game decided which team will play in the Champions League qualifications, the result isn’t the most important news from this game. The third match in the 3rd-place playoffs was the last game for Petar Muslim, the 2012 Olympic champion. He finished his career as a player of Primorje, but he will stay at the club as a sporting director.
He contributed to Primorje’s victory over Mladost, scoring an equalizer with seven seconds to go. Primorje secured a penalty shootout, thanks to that goal.
Muslim’s last goal
Besides the mentioned Olympic gold with Croatia, Muslim (35) won four medals at the World Championships between 2011 and 2015 (silver and three bronzes), the European title in 2010, then medals at the World Cup, World League and the Mediterranean Games.
He started his career at Mladost but achieved the most significant success playing for Primorje. Muslim won two Croatian Championships, four national Cups, and three Regional Leagues with Primorje (from 2011 to 2016). He left Primorje in 2016 and went abroad, first to Brescia and later to Waspo Hannover. Last year, he returned to Primorje intending to finish his career at the Rijeka-based club.
3rd-place playoffs (best-of-three), Match 3
Mladost – Primorje EB 17:18 (1:5, 5:2, 4:4, 4:3, PSO 3:4) – score in the series 1:2
Mladost: Gluhaic 3, Rakovac 3, Mijic 3, Herceg 1, Fabris 1, Jelaca 1, Dadvani 1, Vrbnjak 1.
Primorje: Crippa 2, Da.Brguljan 2, Te Riele 1, Cubranic 1, Babic 1, Muslim 1, Tonicic 1.
Penalty shootout – Primorje: Da. Brguljan 2, Brubnjak, Cubranic, Te Riele. Mladost: Rakovac, Mijic, Vrbnjak.
Both teams had ups and downs. Primorje led 5:1 after the first quarter, but Mladost reduced the gap and trailed by a goal at halftime (6:7).Midway through the fourth quarter, Mladost took the lead for the first time (12:11) and doubled its advantage soon (14:12). However, Primorje leveled in the last minute. Darko Brguljan made it 13:14 with 43 seconds left on the clock. As mentioned, Muslim netted an equalizer seven seconds before the buzzer. The match entered the shootout. Primorje emerged as a winner after six rounds of shots.