The U.S. men's water polo team tried to rebound after suffering its first loss of the Tokyo Olympics.
Hungary pushed the U.S. men's water polo team farther down the Group A standings with an 11-8 win on Saturday.
The Americans traded goals with the traditional powerhouse in the first half and led 4-3 with 1:44 left before halftime on a goal by Ben Hallock. Hungary answered with two goals in the next 70 seconds for a 5-4 halftime lead, then scored the only three goals of the third quarter to take firm control.
Local news from across Southern California
The U.S. (2-2) is still virtually assured of a quarterfinal berth with one game to go in group play but would need other results to fall their way to move higher than fourth.
The United States didn't trail in the match against Italy until Nicholas Presciutti put in a rebound with 1:40 remaining to give Italy its first lead of the game at 12-11, which proved to be the final margin in the preliminary match. With the loss, the U.S. fell to 2-1 and squandered an opportunity to guarantee a spot in next week's quarterfinal. Italy improved to 2-0-1.
The U.S. jumped out to 4-0 lead, with Alex Bowen scoring two early goals.
After Italy tied it at 9-9, Max Irving and Alex Obert each scored to give the U.S. an 11-9 advantage with 5:22 remaining. Italy then scored two straight, with the tying goal coming on a penalty shot by Francesco Di Fulvio with 2:22 remaining.
Di Fulvio had five goals and Stefano Luongo added three for Italy. Bowen, Obert, Irving and Luca Cupido each had two goals for the United States.
Players with Southern California connections on the team are Alex Wolf (Huntington Beach/UCLA ), Ben Hallock (Westlake Village), Hannes Daube (Long Beach/USC), Johnny Hooper (Los Angeles), Marko Vavic (Rancho Palos Verdes/USC) and Max Irving (Long Beach/UCLA).