Croatia - Final Indoor Report |
March 6, 2001
|Planet Field Hockey
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Just as it was last year, Croatia's national indoor competition was tied till the last day, in spite of an unique play-off league system. To decide the winner four teams, which qualified for the play-offs after the first part, played additional nine play-off rounds. After the first weekend, Marathon was on the top with 9 pts., while their biggest rival Zelina was in the second place with only 4 pts. However the second weekend was completely dominated by Zelina with three clear victories. Marathon won only three points and were pushed back to second place, one point behid. Mladost, in third place, still had a very slim chance to win mathematically, while outdoor champions Jedinstvo were out of the race.
Everything was set to be decided in the last three rounds, but it was obvious that match between Zelina and Marathon would decide the championship. Before the match Zelina was three points ahead, so a draw would have been enough for them. But Marathon was not going to give up. In a face-to-face match Marathon proved to be the better side. Mostly thanks to some remarkable saves on penalty corners by the goalie Zeljko Majsteric, and team's best scorer Antonio Bujan, who scored three times.
In the last round demoralized Zelina lost against the best team of the last weekend Mladost. So Marathon could even afford to lose all three points against 4th placed Jedinstvo.
This was Marathon's sixth indoor title in a row and they will represent Croatia in the European Cup again next year.
The winning team for HK Marathon:
Igor Stimac, Zeljko Majsteric(goalies), Marko Kadic, Damir Vuckovic(c), Antonio Bujan, Darko Simag, Mladen Bauk, Ljubomir Bonacic, Slavko Markovic, Zeljko Rudic, Tomislav Jamicic and Marko Pavlovic
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