YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsWater Polo

U.S. men defeat Montenegro, 8-7, in water polo opener

July 29, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • American Ryan Bailey reacts after scoring a goal against Montenegro in a men's water polo preliminary game.
American Ryan Bailey reacts after scoring a goal against Montenegro in… (Julio Cortez / Associated…)

LONDON -- The U.S. men’s water polo team opened the Olympic tournament Sunday with an 8-7 preliminary-round victory over Montenegro.

The U.S. men’s team won the silver medal at the Beijing Games but has not won a medal at a major tournament since then. Montenegro was the runner-up at this year’s European championships.

Montenegro scored first, with 3:52 left in the first quarter, but the U.S. answered before the quarter ended on a goal by Ryan Bailey. The U.S. took a 2-1 lead on Tim Hutten’s goal but that was matched by Montenegro’s Nikola Janovic. Layne Beaubien’s man-advantage goal gave the U.S. a 3-2 lead. A left-handed shot by Peter Varellas padded the U.S. lead to 4-2 with 1:04 left in the half.

A lob by Adam Wright gave the U.S. a 5-3 lead with 5:25 left in the third quarter, and Varellas’ second goal extended that to 6-3 with 3:29 left in the third.

Montenegro cut their deficit to 6-4 on a long-range shot inside the left post and came within one with 5:45 left in the fourth on a man-advantage goal, but Varellas scored again with 3:55 left to give the U.S. a two-goal cushion.

Montenegro made it close again on a slick passing play and a goal by Aleksander Ivovic with 2:09 left in the fourth quarter, but U.S. captain Tony Azevedo scored a goal shortly after a timeout to reestablish a two-goal edge. That proved crucial when Montenegro scored again with 46 seconds to play.

The U.S. men next will face Romania on Tuesday.


The U.S. defeats France in men's basketball

Kim Rhode wins medal in fifth consecutive Olympics

Dana Vollmer sets world record while winning gold in swimming

Los Angeles Times Articles