The Croatian national water polo team was supposed to have no problem qualifying for a quarterfinal berth after their loss to Serbia on Thursday at the 2012 European water polo championships. They only had Germany and Spain to take care of to make that happen. However, after an incredibly slow start on Saturday put Croatia down 7-3 at halftime to the Germans, the Barracudas would have an uphill battle after the restart.
In the third quarter, Croatia picked up a goal on Germany to make it 8-5 going into the final period of play. Croatia had their highest scoring quarter of the day (4) forcing a 9-9 draw going into the last minute of play. The Germans would not be denied on their last possession as a blocked shot was deflected out to Paul Schueler on the point, who blasted home a wide open shot to give Germany a 10-9 lead with 23 seconds left. Croatia had a chance to tie the game up and earn a point but could not manage a shot on their last possession.
The Barracudas must now defeat Spain on Monday in their last group stage match AND pray for a Serbia win/draw over Montenegro OR a Germany loss/draw to Romania to make the quarterfinals and keep their hopes of a second straight Euro title alive. Serbia has already qualified for the semifinals and Romania has yet to earn a point in the tournament.
The waning moments of the Croatia-Germany match