Croatia building confidence with winning Samartzidis Cup

Without playing on the final day of action Croatia have won the highly competitive Samartzidis Cup tournament in Nea Makri, Greece this weekend. Thanks to a big 8-10 win over Serbia on opening day, the 7-7 draw against hosts Greece on that same day in the evening session was overcome with posting wins over Italy and Spain. On Sunday Serbia settled for 2nd place after a 7-7 draw with Italy. The Italians rallied in the final phase of the game scoring two goals in the last three minutes to tie the match after trailing 7-5. The final score for Serbia, where Nikola Radjen, Filip Filipovic, Andrija Prlainovic and Dusko Pijetlovic, were rested on Sunday, was still enough to finish in second place. Another draw was reached in the tournament's final match as Greece overcame 5 goals from Olympiacos left-hander Blai Mallarach for Spain to finish tied: 8-8. All teams will next week fine-tune and announce their final roster for the upcoming 2014 European Championships in Budapest, to start on Monday 14 July.

Samartzidis Cup
Nea Makri, Greece

Schedule and results

Friday, 4 July:

Serbia vs. Croatia 8-10 (2-2, 2-0, 1-3, 3-5)

Serbia scorers: Zivko Gocic 2, Dusan Mandic, Nemanja Ubovic, Slobodan Nikic, Milan Aleksic, Strahinja Rasovic, Stefan Mitrovic.

Croatia scorers: Sandro Sukno 4, Kristijan Milakovic 2, Andro Buslje, Andelo Setka, Maro Jokovic, Luca Bukic.
Greece vs. Italy 10-7 (3-1, 2-0, 3-2, 2-4)
Greece scorers: Ioannis Fountoulis 3, Konstantinos Mourikis 2, Christodoulos Kolomvos 2, Angelos Vlachopoulos 2, Emmanouil Mylonakis.

Italy scorers: Valentino Gallo 2, Matteo Aicardi 2, Alex Giorgetti, Stefano Luongo, Francesco di Fulvio.

Spain vs. Italy 5-9 (1-2, 0-1, 1-3, 3-3)
Spain scorers: Guillermo Molina 2, Pere Estrany, Blai Mallarach, Xavi Garcia.

Italy scorers: Alex Giorgetti 2, Francesco di Fulvio, Francesco Coppoli, Pietro Figlioli, Andrea Fondelli, Massimo Giacoppo, Alessandro Nora, Matteo Aicardi.

Greece vs. Croatia 7-7 (3-2, 3-1, 1-2, 0-2)

Greece scorers: Ioannis Fountoulis 3, Konstantinos Mourikis 2, Christos Afroudakis, Angelos Vlachopoulos.

Croatia scorers: Maro Jokovic 3, Duje Zivkovic 2, Ivan Buljubasic, Niksa Dobud.

Saturday, 5 July:

Spain vs. Serbia 7-13 (1-2, 2-3, 2-4, 2-4)
Spain scorers: Alberto Munarriz 2, Francisco Fernandez, Guillermo Molina, Albert Español, Blai Mallarach, Xavi Garcia.

Serbia scorers: Strahinja Rasovic 3, Dusan Mandic 2, Nikola Dedovic 2, Milan Aleksic 2, Filip Filipovic 2, Milos Cuk, Nemanja Ubovic.

Croatia vs. Italy 12-4 (1-1, 6-1, 2-1, 3-1)
Croatia scorers: Petar Muslim (pictured) 2, Niksa Dobud 2, Duje Zivkovic 2, Luka Bukic, Ivan Milakovic, Maro Jokovic, Andro Buslje, Sandro Sukno, Kristijan Milakovic.

Italy scorers: Alex Giorgetti 2, Massimo Giacoppo 2.

Croatia vs. Spain 8-6 (2-1, 3-1, 1-2, 1-2)
Croatia scorers: Andelo Setka 2, Maro Jokovic 2, Kristija Milakovic, Luka Bukic, Andro Buslje, Sandro Sukno.

Spain scorers: Albert Español 2, Guillermo Molina, Marc Roca, Balazs Sziranyi, Marc Larumbe.

Greece vs. Serbia 6-14 (1-4, 2-2, 3-4, 0-4)
Greece scorers:

Serbia scorers: Slobodan Nikic 3, Stefan Mitrovic 3, Filip Filipovic 3, Dusko Pijetlovic 2, Dusan Mandic, Nikola Radjen, Andrija Prlainovic.

Sunday, 6 July:

Serbia vs. Italy 7-7 (2-3, 2-1, 3-1, 0-2)
Serbia scorers: Dusan Mandic 2, Stefan Mitrovic 2, Sava Randjelovic, Slobodan Nikic, Nikola Dedovic.

Italy scorers: Lorenzo Bruni 2, Francesco di Fulvio, Pietro Figlioli, Alex Giorgetti, Stefano Lungo, Matteo Aicardi.

Greece vs. Spain 8-8 (4-2, 1-1, 1-1, 2-4)

Greece scorers: Christos Afroudakis 2, Ioannis Fountoulis 2, Alexandros Gounas 2, Christodoulos Kolomvos, Marios Kapotsis.

Spain scorers: Blai Mallarach 5, Marc Minguell 2, Guillermo Molina.

Final rankings:

1. Croatia
2. Serbia
3. Greece
4. Italy
5. Spain

Tournament awards

MVP: Maro Jokovic (CRO)
Best goalkeeper: Stefano Tempesti (ITA)
Highest goal-scorer: Ioannis Fountoulis (GRE)

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