Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Saturday, 16 August 2008 13:50 UK

US shocks water polo favourites

Tony Azevedo
Azevedo managed to grab a hat-trick against the hot favourites

The United States upset strong gold medal favourites Croatia 7-5 on Saturday - but could still fail to make the quarter-finals in Beijing.

Tony Azevedo scored three goals for the US, who were stifling in defence, yet they must beat Germany on Monday to secure a place in the last eight.

"It's huge," said US coach Terry Schroeder. "They [my players] honestly can win this thing now."

Elsewhere, two-time defending Olympic champions Hungary beat Australia 13-12.

The victory for the US was the most significant for its men's water polo team in two decades, but Schroeder was keen to place its importance in context.

"They [Croatia] were playing as well as anyone here," he said.

"To beat them, I think upstairs is where these guys have needed to improve the most over the last couple of years.

"It's a huge boost, but it doesn't mean anything unless we win Monday."

Hungary, meanwhile, blew most of a five-goal lead before hanging on to beat Australia and clinch a spot in the next round.

Montenegro and Australia will play for the final spot in Group A on Monday.

Serbia also advanced with a 15-5 victory over hosts China, with Aleksandar Sapic contributing nine goals.

Also on Saturday, Germany beat Italy to keep their hopes of progression alive while Greece defeated Canada 13-7.

The Croats have been widely tipped to win gold in Beijing, having beaten Italy, Serbia and Germany by a combined 15 goals in their first three games.

But they are no longer a foregone conclusion to win group B and earn an automatic spot in the semi-finals.

The winners of each group qualify for the semi-finals, with the teams finishing in second and third playing for place in the last four.

see also
Croatia continue water polo run
14 Aug 08 |  Swimming
Hungary earn late water polo draw
10 Aug 08 |  Swimming
Swimming on the BBC
02 Oct 07 |  Swimming

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.