(7-1, 5-1, 5-0, 5-0)
Malta suffered its third defeat from as many matches in the European waterpolo championshops, losing 22-2 against Croatia. The 20-goal margin is the worst in the competition so far.
The defeat was also a worse score than the one obtained against world champions Serbia, against whom Malta had lost 20-2.
Malta finished in last place in Group B and will now play against either Spain or Montenegro, who will contend the top place in Group A
The first session was disastrous for the Maltese side, as the Croatians quickly built an advantage following which they could cruise to their victory.
It ended 7-1 for the Croatians, with Lonkar and Buric scoring twice before Jerome Gabarretta netted for Malta with a shot from outside the five-metre area. But Croatia went on to add five more goals through Sukno (2), Setka and Bukic (2).
The Croatian slowed down in the second quarter, but were still strong enough to add five more goals to Malta’s one, with Vukicovic, Buslje (2), Macan and Petkovic. The second Maltese goal arrived with another shot from outside the five-metre area, this time from Mark Meli.
The Croatians mercilessly continued to hammer goals past the helpless Maltese defence, the five goals in third session being scored by Bukic (2), Macar, Vukicevic and Setka for a 17-2 score.
The Maltese continuously found it difficult to penetrate the Croatian defence, often failing to try a shot at goal before the 30-second possession period expired. The Croatians scored five more goals in the last session to complete their 22-2 win; the goals were scored by Buslje (2), Sukno (2) and Setka.
Malta failed to score in all seven man-up occasions.
Malta’s team was made up of the following players:
Alan Borg Cole, Nikki Lanzon, Jerome Gabarretta, Nicholas Bugelli, Mark Meli, Matthew Zammit, Stevie Camilleri, Jordan Camilleri, John Brownrigg, Aurelien Cousin, Ben Plumpton, Dino Zammit, Nicky Grixti.