LONDON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Croatia built a five-goal lead through the first half Wednesday and eliminated the United States from Olympic water polo medal contention with an 8-2 victory.
The quarterfinal victory over the Americans will send Croatia against Montenegro in the semifinals while the other matchup will bring together Italy and Serbia.
Hungary and the United States played in the gold medal game four years ago in Beijing, and neither of those countries will earn a medal in these Games. Hungary fell to Italy in their quarterfinal contest 11-9.
Serbia twice rallied from a three-goal deficit to defeat Australia 11-8 and Montenegro was an 11-9 winner over Spain.
The Americans failed to score in the opening two periods and could never make a run on Croatia, which rolled unbeaten through Group A during the preliminary phase of the tournament.
"The Olympics is a pretty amazing thing, happening once every four years, and you have to be at your peak for those two weeks," U.S. Coach Terry Schroeder said.
"For whatever reason, we started out well and we were strong against Montenegro, but after that we seemed to be a little bit up and down. We never found our rhythm."
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