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.