In Croatia, coach Dodisis’ water polo team did not give up at key moments in the exciting and high-quality European Championship condolence final. Three quarters later, the Dutch water polo players led by 12-10 and once again looked on their way to winning a bronze medal at a tournament. Earlier this summer, the Dutch team was too strong for Italy in the World Cup bronze medal match in Hungary.
In the last quarter, everything went wrong at the Spaladium Arena in Split on the Dutch side. Italy managed to penetrate its defense and the Netherlands conceded no less than six strikes in the last eight minutes.
National coach Doddsis also shared the malaise. There was a strange example of misunderstanding by the Dutch staff preached a knockout. Late 13-14, Italy were on their way to the Dutch goal, with less than a minute left to play, when the time-out whistle suddenly blew. The timeout button was accidentally pressed by the Dutch bank. Since teams can only request a time-out when in possession of the ball, a penalty for Italy followed: 13-15. There was not enough time for the Dutch team to close that difference.
On Saturday, shortly before his team’s trip to Amsterdam, Doudesis donned the outfit for miscommunicating on the couch. “It was my fault, I wasn’t clear enough. I asked my assistant Richard van Eyck if he could have my notebook, because I wanted to look for a timeout. I pointed to the sofa where the booklet was next to the timeout button. Because of the noise in the stadium he misunderstood me and pressed the button.”
Dutch water polo players, who made such an impression in the group stage and in the quarter-finals, returned home empty-handed to their displeasure. The Netherlands were eliminated in the semi-finals against Spain. The Spanish water polo players extended their European title last weekend by defeating Greece in the final battle (9-6).
Among the men, Croatian water polo players won the gold medal at the European Championships in front of their fans. Defending champion Hungary was defeated 10-9 in a thriller.
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