Italy, Croatia advance to men's water polo final

Italy will have a chance at its first men's water polo gold medal in 20 years after advancing out of Friday's semifinals with a victory over Serbia.

Waiting for the Italians in Sunday's final will be Croatia, which is looking for its first Olympic gold in the sport following a defeat of Montenegro.

Italy finished ninth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but is coming off a 2011 World Championship and bested defending Olympic gold medalists Hungary in the quarterfinals. It can now grab its first gold in the Olympics since 1992 in Barcelona.

In the 9-7 win over Serbia, which saw Italy score four times in the first period, Valentino Gallo paced the offense with three goals.

Croatia advanced with a 7-5 win, leading 5-1 by the half. Six different players had goals for Croatia, with Sandro Sukno scoring twice.

Following a sixth-place finish in Beijing, Croatia is looking to surpass its previous best finish of a silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games. It bested the United States, which finished second in Beijing, in the quarters.