Men's Senior National Team

USA Men Open 2016 Olympic Games With 7-5 Loss To Croatia


Team USA returns to action on Monday against Spain
Aug. 6, 2016

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - August 6 - The U.S. Olympic Men's Water Polo Team opened play at the 2016 Olympic Games with a 7-5 loss to Croatia. Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) scored two goals pushing Team USA to an early lead but Croatia used a 4-2 run in the second half to secure the victory. Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) and McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/Regency) each played a half in goal, combining for 11 saves. Team USA returns to action on Monday when they meet Spain at 11:40am/10:40am et/7:40am pt. The match will air LIVE on NBC at 10:40am et and on delay at 10:40 am pt. LIVE streaming is also available via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. 

Team USA used the power play to their advantage early as Azevedo delivered the first goal of the match on an extra man with 4:49 to play in the quarter. After Croatia drew level with a Marko Jokovic score Bret Bonanni (Huntington Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) connected on another power play for a 2-1 lead. Sandro Sukno countered with a penalty shot score for Croatia to make it 2-2 after the first quarter.

Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/NYAC) kept the power play going for the United States finding the back of the net with 2:37 to go in the first half. Again Croatia rallied to even the game with 1:44 to play and the two teams were tied at 3-3 at intermission.

Baron came on to work the goal in the second for the United States and Azevedo started the second half the same way he started the third with a power play goal for a 4-3 lead. That would be the last lead for Team USA as the defending Olympic champions took control. Luka Bukic and Andelo Setka scored two straight to give Croatia their first lead at 5-4 going to the fourth quarter.

In the final period Setka and Jokovic scored to expand their lead to 7-4 with 5:30 to play in the match. The United States looked to rally but ran short on time as a lone goal from Alex Roelse (Maarssen, Netherlands/UCLA/Bruin) was not enough to factor in the decision. 

The United States went 4/7 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty while Croatia was 1/6 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots. 

Scoring - Stats
USA 5 (2, 1, 1, 1) T. Azevedo 2, A. Bowen 1, B. Bonanni 1, A. Roelse 1
CRO 7 (2, 1, 2, 2) A. Setka 2, M. Jokovic 2, A. Petkovic 1, S. Sukno 1, L. Bukic 1
Saves - USA - M. Moses - 10, M. Baron 4  - CRO - M. Bijac 13
6x5 - USA - 4/7 - CRO - 1/6
Penalties - USA - 0/0 - 1/1

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