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USA men’s water polo falls again, won’t advance from group play

Water Polo - 16th FINA World Championships: Day Three

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JULY 27: Merrill Moses of the United States gives instructions in the Men’s Water Polo Preliminary Round group B match between United States and Russia on day three of the 16th FINA World Championships at the Water Polo Arena on July 27, 2015 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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The United States men’s water polo team will not advance from pool play after falling 8-5 to Montenegro in a must-win game at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center in Rio on Friday.

Filip Klikovac put the Montenegrins up within a half-minute of play, but Bret Bonanni netted to even things up. Sasa Misic then scored, and the Yanks missed a power play chance. That double whammy had the U.S. down 2-1.

Montenegro’s stifling defense held up well into the third , when Joshua Samuels’ equalizer woke the game up. Montenegro went back ahead moments later. Were we off and running, offensively-speaking? 3-2 Montenegro.

The teams traded goals, the U.S. tally from John Mann, and the Americans headed to the fourth quarter down 4-3.

Star goalkeeper Merrill Moses stopped a penalty shot, only to see Montenegro find a fifth goal with 7:17 to go.

The U.S. will finish group play with a match against Italy on Sunday. Their record stands at 1-3.

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