A greater will to win and goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal were the keys for the third Polish ticket to a World Championship semi-final since 2007. Croatia did not manage to maintain an intermediate three-goal lead.
The first half was largely even, while Poland had the better finish, ahead by two goals. Then the Croats turned the tide, producing a 6:1 series to lead 16:13. Poland struck back, retaking the lead ten minutes before the final buzzer. Still nothing was decided and the Croats even seemed to be on the winners’ way when Zlatko Horvat netted in for a 21:20 lead. But it would be short-lived.
Thanks to three unanswered strikes by Chrapkowski, Syprzak and their top scorer Mariusz Jurkiewicz and two spectacular Szmal saves, Poland stormed into the semi-final.