Water Polo: Russia Defends Goodwill Gold, Italy Edges USA -- July 28, 1998
The Russian water polo team successfully defended its 1994 Goodwill Games gold medal by trouncing Spain, 11-5, at the Nassau County Swimming and Diving Center. Russia sprinted to a 5-0 lead within the first five minutes of the match. Aleksandr Erychov put Russia ahead 7-1 with 4:48 remaining in the first half. Spain mounted a brief rally, cutting the deficit to 7-4 with one minute left in the second quarter, but Russia pulled away for the decisive win.
In the bronze medal match, Italy raced to a 3-0 lead after one period of play and extended the advantage to 4-0 when Alberto Ghibellini scored early in the second quarter. But the United States calmed down and trimmed the lead to 4-3 at halftime behind goals by Wolf Wigo, Brad Schumacher and Jeremy Pope.
The United States sprinted down the pool and got the ball to Brad Schumacher, who scored an apparent game-tying goal with three seconds showing on the clock, but an offensive foul was called just prior to the shot, and the goal was nullified.
"The loss was not for lack of effort," Wigo said. "The last shot was clearly a goal. It's unbelievable."