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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | WATER POLO

Croatia and Spain to Vie on Golden Pond

July 28, 1996

Croatia upset Italy, 7-6, with Josko Krekovic scoring his fourth goal, on a penalty shot 11 seconds before the end of the second overtime.

The Croats will play for the gold medal today against Spain, which beat Hungary, 7-6. Italy and Hungary will go for the bronze.

"This is a great victory for the Croatian people. We have a great team and a great heart," said Dubravko Simenc, who also scored in overtime. "We had to play against the entire world. The Italians played dirty and the referees tried to help them, but in the end there was nothing they could do. These are strong words, but that's how I feel."

The United States, meanwhile, lost to Greece, 7-6, and can do no better than seventh place--its worst finish since it was seventh in 1976.

While the U.S. team missed shot after shot, Greece built a 4-1 lead at the half. The United States went ahead, 6-5, on Chris Oeding's goal with 4:34 to play, but Konstantinos Loudis scored twice within 90 seconds.

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