The USA men's junior national water polo team rallied from a three-goal deficit to tie the game but Croatia came back to win, 5-4, in the quarterfinal round of the FINA Junior World Championship on Friday in Belgrade, Serbia.
Hannes Daube and incoming Stanford freshman Tyler Abramson each scored twice and Alex Wolf recorded 12 saves in net.
Croatia took control of the match early, building a 3-0 lead with 1:12 to play in the first quarter.
Daube stopped the run getting the United States on the board moments later for a 3-1 score after eight minutes. Abramson delivered the lone goal of the second period scoring with 2:13 to play in the first half leaving Team USA down 3-2 at halftime.
With 3:58 to play in the third quarter Daube scored his second goal to tie the match at 3-3. Croatia scored with less than a minute to play in the quarter taking a 4-3 lead into the fourth.
Croatia scored first in the fourth quarter to lead 5-3 but Abramson responded on the next possession with a power play strike for a 5-4 game with 6:17 to go in the match.
The United States would get no closer as their remaining opportunities were stopped by Croatia on the way to a 5-4 victory.
Both teams struggled on the advantage with Team USA going 1-of-8 and Croatia going 0-of-8 on power plays.