LONDON (AP) -- Peter Varellas scored three goals as the U.S. edged Montenegro 8-7 to get off to a winning start in the men's water polo at the London Olympics.
In a hard-fought contest between two medal contenders, the U.S. had just enough firepower to outlast a talented Montenegro team.
U.S. captain Tony Azevedo scored from distance with less than a minute to play to put the Americans ahead 8-6, but Vladimir Gojkovic answered 10 seconds later to pull back within a goal.
Montenegro then had possession with 17 seconds to play but couldn't get off a shot before time expired.
The win puts the U.S., which has 10 players from the squad that took silver four years ago in Beijing, atop Group B along with Romania and gold medal-favorite Serbia.