Olympic Water Polo Day 6: Italy's men stun U.S. with 4Q flurry

United States goalkeeper Drew Holland was under assault in the waning minutes of Italy's comeback thriller.
United States goalkeeper Drew Holland was under assault in the waning minutes of Italy's comeback thriller.

Americans stumble late in first Pool A setback


Alex Obert's goal with 5:22 left in the match gave the previously unbeaten U.S. men's water polo a two-goal lead, but Italy came roaring back with a three-goal gusher to pull out a 12-11 victory in Pool A action at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Italians pulled within one on a man-advantage goal at 4:35, the tying score came via penalty shot at 2:22, and Nicholas Presciutti provided the match-winner with a man-advantage goal at the 1:40 mark. The U.S. couldn't get a shot off after a final, fruitless attempt with 53 seconds remaining and fell to 2-1 in pool play.

Italy remained unbeaten at 2-1-0.

Hungary 23, South Africa 1


The scoreboard said it all: 23-1. Traditional powerhouse Hungary certainly couldn't be accused of overlooking an inferior foes, pouring it on throughout while improving to 2-1 in Pool A.

South Africa, which scored its lone goal with 2:02 left in the match, fell to 0-3 in pool play.

Spain 16, Kazakhstan 4


In another mismatch, Spain shut out Kazakhstan in the first half to take a 6-0 lead and rolled over its Group B opponent 16-4. The teams settled into opposite ends of the group standings, with Spain in first at 3-0 and Kazakhstan last at 0-3.

Croatia 13, Montenegro 8


After an offensively challenged first quarter ended with the teams tied 1-1, Croatia scored six in the second quarter and rolled over its Balkan neighbor Montenegro for a comfortable win. Croatia moved into second place at 2-1, while Montenegro dropped to 1-2.

Greece 10, Japan 9


In another tight game in Group A, Greece scored an extra-player goal with 32 seconds left to hold off Japan.

The teams traded the lead back and forth throughout the first half. Greece managed to get an 8-6 lead with 7:07 remaining, but Japan tied it at 8-8 and forged another tie at 9-9 with 1:13 left.

Japan fell to 0-3, having lost its games by a total of eight goals. Greece is tied with Italy for the group lead at 2-0-1.


Serbia 14, Australia 8


Serbia scored a 6-0 lead in the first quarter and a 10-1 halftime lead for a surprisingly easy win over Australia, which finished a solid sixth in the 2019 World Championship, just one place behind Serbia.

Dusan Mandic scored four goals. Strahinja Rasovic added three. Branislav Mitrovic had 11 saves.

Serbia moved to 2-1 in Group B, tied with Croatia for second behind unbeaten Spain. Australia dropped to 1-2.