The American water polo team hung with Croatia, and in spite of taking a 7-5 loss, the team proved they could play with the world’s best as they opened the 2016 Olympics on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.
The U.S. came in strong, taking the lead 1-0 with a goal by Tony Azevedo in the first quarter. They began a pattern that lasted about three quarters with the U.S. scoring to lead the pack and Croatia returned and tied the match. They were tied before Croatia scored additional two goals in a row from Andelo Setka and Luka Bukic.
Two of the greatest powers in water polo squared off in the first session of the competition and played to a shocking 13-13 tie. Hungary led by four in the final quarter before Serbia, the 2015 title holders, scored four goals. Norbert Hosnyanszky scored three goals for Hungary while Filipovic scored four for Serbia.
Christian Presciutti scored near the end of the final quarter to give Italy a 9-8 win over Spain. It was Presciutti’s third goal of the game, and Italy’s third continuous goal to earn the comeback.
Late goals added by Pietro Figlioli and Andrea Fondelli occurred in the final period. Two more scores were came from Albert Espanol and Guillermo Molina from Spain.
Greece overcame being closed out 4-0 in the third quarter to edge Japan 8-7. Emmanouil Mylonakis scored with 30 seconds remaining to seal the victory for Greece. Angelos Vlachopoulos led Green with three goals.
Montenegro fought to a 5-0 halftime lead against France and hung on to a 7-4 victory. Goalie Milos Scepanovic had eight saves, and the French misfired on 13 shots before halftime.
In the second half, France finally got on the board. They made two goals within 30 seconds from Ugo Crousillat and Mehdi Marzouki. However, Darko Brguljian scored with 35 seconds on the clock, pushing Montenegro back to in the lead by three goals.
On the last round of the final day, host Brazil held tight to edge Australia 8-7. Brazil made an early lead and never surrendered. Brazil goalie Slobodan Soro made a recovery as time expired, sealing the victory for the host team.