USA Men’s Water Polo Finishes Rio Pool Play with 10-7 Win Over Italy


  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Swimming: August 6-13
  • Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro
  • Prelims – 9:00 a.m/12:00 p.m PST/EST (1:00 p.m local), Finals – 6:00 p.m/9:00 p.m PST/EST (10:00 p.m local)
  • Schedule & Results

The U.S. Olympic Men’s Water Polo Team had no chance of moving on to the knockout stages of the water polo tournament in Rio de Janeiro, but that didn’t stop them from playing with all they had. The Americans took down Italy in their final match of the 2016 Olympic Games by a score of 10 to 7.

Italy’s Francesco di Fulvio opened the score, getting a shot past U.S. goalkeeper McQuin Baron 45 seconds into the first quarter. Pietro Figlioli made it 2-0 for Italy with 4:29 left to play. Tony Azevedo put the U.S. on the scoreboard 28 seconds later, and Josh Samuels tied the game at 2-2 with 1:31 on the clock. Italy picked up two more goals in the last minute of play (from Matteo Aicardi and Figlioli) and the score stood at 4-2 at the end of the quarter.

Bret Bonanni scored for Team USA with 6:13 on the clock in the second period. Luca Cupido added another point for the Americans with a power play goal with 3:51 left to play, tying the score at 4-4. Di Fulvio put the Italians back on top, 5-4, with 2:31 on the clock, but Thomas Dunstan quickly took advantage of a power play to score a goal for Team USA, and the score was tied again. Italy’s Michael Alexandre Bodegas put one more in the net for Italy on a power play with :04 on the clock, and the teams went off at halftime with Italy leading, 6-5.

Merrill Moses started in the goal for the U.S. in the third quarter, replacing Baron. Alex Obert of the U.S. scored the first goal of the period, slipping one by Italian goalkeeper Stefano Tempesti with 6:47 left to play. Italy went up 7-6 with a goal from Christian Presciutti at 5:25 left. Samuels tied it up again with 4:14 left, and Obert ended the quarter with the go-ahead goal with :15 left to play. The U.S. led, 8-7, for the first time in the match heading into the final period.

The United States dominated the fourth quarter, marking twice and holding Italy scoreless. Azevedo connected for the second time with 5:57 on the clock to put the U.S. up 9-7. Bonanni wrapped it up with the Americans’ 10th goal with 2:41 left to play in the quarter. Team USA finished with a 10-7 win to end their run in Rio.

U.S. captain Azevedo said after the match, “It was good we finished strong. We had a couple of guys who hadn’t scored a goal all tournament and they finally (did). We came out and we played together and we came out with a win. Unfortunately we aren’t where we wanted to be, but when you are in the Olympic Games you are representing your country and you are representing a lot more than your individual self.”

Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 10 (2, 3, 3, 2) T. Azevedo 2, J. Samuels 2, A. Obert 2, B. Bonanni 2, L. Cupido 1, T. Dunstan 1
ITA 7 (4, 2, 1, 0) P. Figlioli 2, F. di Fulvio 2, M. Aicardi 1, M. Bodegas 1, C. Presciutti 1
Saves – USA- M. Moses 6, M. Baron 4 – ITA – M. Del Lungo 6, S. Tempesti 5
6×5 – USA – 4/6 – ITA – 2/6
Penalties – USA – 0/1 – ITA – 0/0

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7 years ago

Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, Croatia, Greece… best water polo is played on the Balkan.
Serbia and Montenegro are not much in individual events, but you through a ball in field, and you get world powers, especially Serbia.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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