Serbia now has the chance to earn back-to-back gold medals following a 10-9 victory over Spain, a squad that had been undefeated thus far at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
It was a defensive duel in the early goings, but Serbia’s Filip Flipovic and Andrija Prlainovic finally put points on the board to gain the lead in the final two minutes of the first quarter.
Spain responded with aggressive offense in the second by scoring four unanswered points, seemingly finding a crack in Serbia’s strong defense. Spain maintained that lead with a score of 7-5 at the half, seemingly poised to extend their Tokyo Games winning streak to 7-0 en route to the team’s first gold medal in 25 years.
But the defending champions refused to loosen their grip on the title in the back-and-forth second half, with Stefan Mitrovic tying up the match with just two minutes left. Spain responded shortly after with a goal from Roger Tahull, which was in turn met by a tying goal from Mandic – his third of three successful shots of the game. A huge throw from Flipovic ultimately turned the tide in Serbia’s favor before the clock ran down.
Serbia now goes on to the gold medal match where they will face the Greek team, who is undefeated in men’s water polo at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.