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Tokyo Olympics 2021: Australia pull off massive water polo upset with victory over Croatia

By news.com.au , in Sport , at July 28, 2021 Tags: ,


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Tokyo Olympics 2021 Australia pull off massive water polo upset

The Sharks celebrate their boilover win. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Australia’s men’s water polo team has pulled off the upset of the tournament by defeating world No.3 Croatia.

The Sharks came home strong after taking just a single-goal lead into the final quarter to win 11-8.

It was a very different looking Sharks team from its opening game – where it gave up a lead over Montenegro late in the third quarter and failed to claw back.

Australia celebrate an incredible win over Croatia.

Australia celebrate an incredible win over Croatia.Source:Getty Images

But against Croatia the Sharks were clinical. They took a one-goal lead into the final quarter and, within three minutes, they fired three unanswered goals to seal the match.

“In the first game, we played really good in the first two quarters and then we couldn’t respond to the aggressiveness of Montenegro,” coach Elvis Fatovic said.

“But today the boys really stepped up from the beginning to the end. It was a pleasure to be on the bench and watch them.”

The Sharks pulled a tough draw in Tokyo packed with European powerhouses, including current Olympic champions Serbia. Captain Aaron Younger said this historic win was just the first step.

“I think there were some jitters in the first game and the boys were really able to push for the four quarters against Croatia,” Younger said.

“It is a great confidence boost and we know we can now play against the top powerhouses.

“We knew going in we had to get at least two wins to progress, so this is just the first step.

“We play (Serbia) next and it is going to be a tough game, but if we defend like we did here, we always have an opportunity for another upset.”

Aaron Younger looks to fire away against Croatia.

Aaron Younger looks to fire away against Croatia.Source:Getty Images

The game had extra special meaning for Croatian-born Fatovic, with his son Loren making his Olympic debut for the opposition.

“For me, it was more emotional as we didn’t have a chance to see each other for 18 months because of the Covid situation. It was a huge emotional thing for us to see each other after such a long period,” Fatovic said.

“We have played so many games against each other in the world champs and world leagues, but the feeling during the game is that both of us were focused on our job and that was it.

“We will talk more about it after the tournament.”

The Sharks will be back in the pool against Serbia at 8.50pm on Thursday.

Originally published asWas this the biggest upset of the Olympics?



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