U.S. women’s water polo loses in Olympics for first time since 2008

US womens water polo loses in Olympics for first time
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The United States women’s water polo team entered the Tokyo Games regarded as a heavy favorite to win an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic gold medal.

The U.S. team had not lost a match en route to gold medals in 2012 at London and 2016 at Rio de Janeiro.

That streak ended Wednesday.

Hungary defeated the U.S., 10-9, in a preliminary round game at Tatsumi Water Polo Centre, the United States’ first defeat since losing to the Netherlands in the gold-medal match at the 2008 Beijing Games.

U.S. attacker Maggie Steffens, left, passes in front of Hungary’s Vanda Valyi during the United States’ loss at the Tatsumi Water Polo Center in Tokyo on Wednesday.

(Gary Ambrose / For the Times)

The U.S. led, 8-6, after three quarters, but Hungary tied the score, 9-9, with 1 minute 53 seconds left. Center Rebecca Parkes scored the game-winning goal with 45 seconds left, her third goal of the game.

Maddie Musselman scored three goals and Rachel Fattal and Makenzie Fischer each scored two goals for the U.S. team.

The U.S. fell to 2-1 in preliminary-round play. It plays ROC on Friday.

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