ISRAEL – CROATIA 30-30 (14-16)
Croatia and Israel played a very entertaining game which ended with a draw (30-30). The Croats needed to win after their Day 1 defeat by Hungary, in order to keep their hopes of reaching a top-two finish alive.
A 4-0 early lead by Croatia didn’t last long, due to Israel’s rock solid defence. The Israeli’s gradually cut the difference and eventually equalised. They even went up 30-29 right before the end, but Croatia converted a 7 m. shot and made it 30-30 in the end.
Boutenko Oded (Coach – Israel): “That was a completely different game comparing to our opening match against Cyprus. Croatia was physically much stronger, that’s why we tried to be as aggressive as possible. We made too many mistakes though, maybe because we are not used to play that early in the morning. I am not using timing as an excuse though. We have to reach the same level of play no matter the throw-off time.”
Boris Dvorsek (Assistance coach – Croatia): “It was a very tough game. Unfortunately our performance was fading as the second half progressed and we allowed our opponents to square it off. At least we salvage a point, but we should have won the game. Once more we couldn’t break the 3-3 defence.”
Timeline (5 min): 0-4, 4-7, 6-9, 8-11, 10-13, 14-16 (half-time), 15-17, 17-20, 21-23, 28-28, 30-30
ISRAEL (Boutenko Oded): Zagainov, Medina, Rif 2, Sahar 2, Shemen 3, Turkenitz 4, Azolay, Motola, Zisman, Slouk, Yair, Tal, Tkach 1, Lumbroso 11, Mosindi 5, Amiel 2.
CROATIA (Zoran Mlinaric): Puric 1, Kajba, Kolic, Vrbic 2, Dzaja1, Medic, Starcevic, Hancic, Ivankovic 3, Brajdic, Safranko 7,David 2, Druzinec 3, Kraljevic 4, Javor 7.
Referees: Giorgos Tsamos (GRE), Aggelos Fokitis (GRE). 2 min: 10-6, 7m: 6/7-3/6, Red card: 59:56 Amiel