In the final test match on European soil for both Olympic medal contenders Italy defeated Serbia 10-9 in the city of Civitavecchia on Tuesday in front of 700 spectators. Top scorer for Italy Michaël Bodegas netted the winner for the home team who topped the current European and world champions who were playing without starting trio Filip Filipovic, Andrija Prlainovic and centre forward Dusko Pijetlovic, all rested by head coach Dejan Savic. The match marked an anniversary for both Gojko Pijetlovic and Stefan Mitrovic who eached played their 200th match for the national team while Italy youngster Francesco di Fulvio recorded his 100th cap.
The Italians took a 2-0 lead and in the third quarter even extended their advantage to three goals (8-5). Despite a close final stage of the match the home team prevailed. Tying Bodegas in scoring were Dusan Mandic and Milos Cuk for Serbia also contributing 3 goals to their team. Both sides now travel to Rio where the countdown to the start of the Olympic water polo tournament (Saturday, August 6) can begin.
Tuesday, July 26
Italy vs. Serbia 10-9 (2-0, 1-2, 5-3, 2-4)
Italy scorers: Michaël Bodegas 3, Francesco di Fulvio 2, Valentino Gallo 2, Niccolo’ Gitto, Alessandro Nora, Christian Presciutti.
Serbia scorers: Dusan Mandic 3, Milos Cuk 3, Milan Aleksic, Strahinja Rasovic, Stefan Mitrovic.