USA men’s water polo falls again, won’t advance from group play

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The United States men’s water polo team will not advance from pool play after falling 8-5 to Montenegro in a must-win game at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center in Rio on Friday.

Filip Klikovac put the Montenegrins up within a half-minute of play, but Bret Bonanni netted to even things up. Sasa Misic then scored, and the Yanks missed a power play chance. That double whammy had the U.S. down 2-1.

Montenegro’s stifling defense held up well into the third , when Joshua Samuels’ equalizer woke the game up. Montenegro went back ahead moments later. Were we off and running, offensively-speaking? 3-2 Montenegro.

The teams traded goals, the U.S. tally from John Mann, and the Americans headed to the fourth quarter down 4-3.

Star goalkeeper Merrill Moses stopped a penalty shot, only to see Montenegro find a fifth goal with 7:17 to go.

The U.S. will finish group play with a match against Italy on Sunday. Their record stands at 1-3.