LONDON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Three scores by Maro Jokovic helped build a late four-goal lead Sunday and Croatia hung on to win the Olympic water polo gold medal by downing Italy 8-6.
It was the first gold medal in the sport for Croatia, which denied the Italians what would have been their first Olympic title in 20 years. Italy has been the Olympic water polo runner-up seven times.
Maurizio Felugo scored for Italy 25 seconds into the third period to forge a 3-3 tie and the Italians did not produce another goal until 3:59 remained in the game.
Serbia won the bronze medal by defeating Montenegro 12-11 in an emotional contest that saw both of Serbia's coaches ejected from the pool in the final minute.
It was a match between countries that split in 2006.