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.