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SHANGHAI, China, July 30. IT took extra time to do it, but Italy upended defending champion Serbia, 8-7, in the gold-medal match of the men's water polo tournament at the FINA World Championships.
Maurizio Felugo's single goal of the match wound up being the difference maker for Italy. Matteo Aicardi connected for a hat trick for Italy, while Filip Filipovic had a hat trick for Serbia in the loss, including Serbia's final two goals. The win for Italy is its first in men's water polo since hosting the 1994 World Championships in Rome. Italy also won the tournament in 1978 in West Berlin.
Croatia won the bronze-medal match with a 12-11 defeat of Hungary. Miho Boskovic went four-for-four from the field to lead Croatia, while teammate Ivan Buljubasic chipped in a hat trick for Croatia as well. Denes Andor Varga and Peter Biros each had a hat trick for Hungary in the loss. The win gave Croatia its second consecutive bronze medal after winning the 2007 world title. The loss kept Hungary off the podium for the second straight championships.
Spain edged the U.S., 11-10, in the 5th-6th place classification match. Guillermo Molina Rios and Ivan Ernesto Perez Vargas each collected a hat trick for Spain in the win, while Peter Varellas led the Stars and Stripes with a hat trick in the loss.
Montenegro downed Germany, 8-5, in the 7th-8th place classification match. Aleksandar Radovic and Darko Brguljan led Montenegro with two goals each in the win, while Julian Real and Paul Schueler each had two goals for Germany in the loss.