The United States team defeated Serbia 13:7 on the opening day of the International Tournament in Podgorica.
The Olympic champions suffered a loss, but this outcome isn’t a big surprise. There were no favorites in this match. Serbia arrived with a rejuvenated squad. On the other side, most of the members of the Team USA haven’t played many games in the last few months (because they play in the Greek league, which has been put on hold). They are still getting into shape. But, the experience of the American players proved decisive today. They dominated the match.
Serbia – USA 7:13 (3:4, 2:4, 1:3, 1:2)
Serbia: Mitrovic 2, Velkic 2,Gogov 1, Tomic 1, Toholj 1.
USA: Farmer 3, Bowen 3, Daube 2, Williams 2, Irving 2, Hooper 1.
For full statistics and play-by-play action visit: Total Waterpolo Arena, match Serbia – USA
The match began with an action-packed first quarter. After less than three minutes of play, the Americans earned a 2:0 lead. The Serbs equalized in the 6th minute (2:2). Alex Bowen gave the Americans a 3:2 advantage in the 7th minute, but Stefan Mitrovic replied immediately, and the Olympic champions leveled the score for the last time. Just nine seconds before the first break, Matt Farmer found the net for 4:3.
The Americans opened the second quarter excellently – with two goals in the first minute of this period. Alex Bowen scored an action goal, and 21 seconds later, Williams found the net after a counter-attack. In the middle of the quarter, Max Irving converted a penalty, and Team USA went up 7:3. Petar Velkic ended Serbia’s goalless phase that lasted more than eight minutes for 4:7. The USA regained a four-goal lead after Hannes Daube scored from the 5m line, but Stefan Mitrovic kept Serbia’s hope by converting a man-up three seconds before the middle break (5:8).
Both sides scored a goal apiece in the first minute of the second half (Irving 5:9, Tomic 6:9). Matt Farmer netted from an extra, and Team USA regained a four-goal lead. Shortly before the end of the third period, center-forward Matt Farmer scored his 3rd goal, and the difference between the sides became five goals for the first time – 11:6.
In the fourth quarter, there were many missed shots and both teams made mistakes in offensive play, but Team USA stretched the margin to seven (13:6) in the last minute. After that, Nebojsa Toholj beat the buzzer and scored a consolation goal for Serbia.
Tomorrow, Serbia will play against Montenegro. The tournament will be finished on Friday with an encounter between Montenegro and the USA.
Follow the live action on the Total Waterpolo Arena tournament page.
Thursday, January 28
Montenegro – Serbia (18:00 CET) – follow live on Total Waterpolo Arena
Friday, January 29
Montenegro – USA (11:00 CET) – follow live on Total Waterpolo Arena