|Antonija Chiabov had a timely 18 points and 10 rebounds for Croatia in a do-or-die game|
The Division A status of Belarus expired at the U18 European Championship Women in Vinkovci after they were outlasted 73-59 by a relieved Croatia, who will now have a Sunday survival showdown with the Slovak Republic.
The game was still hanging in the balance with just six minutes remaining, but Croatia hit top gear at the perfect time to blast Belarus out of the water with a 19-5 finish to the contest.
The hosts were also indebted to another incredible effort by Inja Butina, who followed up her huge score in the loss against Portugal 24 hours earlier, with a similarly mammoth 28 points.
Croatia dominated in the paint and on the glass, with Belarus over-relying on their three-point shooting to keep them in the game, something which worked until the latter stages.
They could not handle Antonia Chiabov inside, who collected an impressive 18 points and 10 rebounds. She also played smartly when her personal fouls started racking up.
Darya Panasiuk was the only player to truly find her range for Belarus with an efficient 12 points.