Tokyo, Japan American men’s water polo team finished in sixth place at the Tokyo Olympics after losing to Croatia, 14-11. This ties Team USA’s sixth-place finish from the 2000 Olympics for their best Olympic showing in the last quarter century.
USA Vs Croatia Water Polo 2021
Drew Holland made 16 saves to go along with the four goals scored by Johnny Hooper, Alex Obert, Ben Hallock, Alex Bowen, and Max Irving. With victories over Japan, South Africa, and Italy, Team USA finishes their Tokyo campaign with a record of 3-5.
Hooper’s early goal for Team USA gave them an early 1-0 lead when he broke clear on the counterattack. Irving scored two early runs to put the Celtics up 2-0 in under a minute.
After Croatia finally scored, Team USA’s Alex Bowen scored on the penalty play to extend their advantage to 3-1 with 5:04 left in the first. After another goal from Croatia late in the period, the United States was down by a score of 3-2 going into the intermission.
Croatia scored the first three points of the second quarter to establish a 5-3 lead with 5:09 remaining. At the other end, Team USA fought back, scoring two of the next three goals thanks to power play goals from Bowen and Hallock.
The score was 6-5 in favour of the Americans at the break. After Croatia took a 7-5 lead a minute into the third quarter, Obert scored on the next possession to make the score 7-6. After that, Croatia went on a scoring spree, scoring three straight goals to build a 10-6 lead with two minutes remaining in the quarter, their largest of the game at that point.
With 1:20 left in the third, the United States tied the score when Irving kicked a conversion to make the score 10-7 going into the final stanza.
An early fourth-quarter goal by Lovre Milos put Croatia ahead 11-7, but the United States stayed competitive. With a penalty kick, Ben Stevenson brought the score to 11-8. Hooper scored with the man advantage for Croatia with 3:04 remaining to make the score 11-9.
With about two minutes left in the game, Hallock scored on the power play to bring Team USA within a goal, 11-10. The best the US squad could do in this match. Croatia scored three consecutive goals quickly to extend their lead to 14-10. In the end, Croatia won by a score of 14-11 because to an outside shot from Obert.
United States team was 6/13 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots, while Croatia was 5/14 on power plays and 2/2 on penalty shoots.
Totals – Scores
USA 11 (3, 2, 2, 4) (3, 2, 2, 4) B. Stevenson 1, M. Irving 2, B. Hallock 1, A. Bowen 1, J. Hooper 2, A. Obert 2,
CRO 14 (2, 4, 4, 4) (2, 4, 4, 4) L. Milos 1, M. Macan 1, P. Obradovic 1, L. Milos 3, J. Garcia 2, L. Loncar 2, M. Jokovic 2, A. Vukicevic 2, L. Bukic 3,
D. Holland had 16 saves for the United States, while Ivan Marcelic had 11 for Croatia.
USA 6/13, CRO 5/14, 6×5
Punishments: USA, 1/1; Croatia, 2/2