Italy start title attempt with a win - London 2012 - Water Polo
Reigning world champions Italy started their Olympic Games men's Water Polo campaign with an 8-5 victory over Australia.
The Italians' discipline during crucial man-up situations made the difference as they took advantage of almost all of their power-plays.
Australia fought back in the second half, but by then their opponents had done enough to see out the win.
Italy flew out of the blocks to take a 3-1 lead for the first quarter, as Niccolo Gitto, Danijel Premus and Alex Giorgetti scored from all three of their man-ups.
Australia took just one of their three chances when Tim Cleland found the back of the net.
A crucial moment came in the second quarter when Australia captain Sam McGregor squandered a penalty by straying over the five-metre line.
A goal would have taken the score to 3-2, but the miss triggered an Italian counter-attack and Matteo Aicardi netted to make it 4-1.
Italy went on to put daylight between their opponents as Maurizio Felugo scored a man-up to make it 5-1 before Ritchie Campbell pulled a goal back before half time.
Australia scored the only goal in the third period with a close-range effort from driver Rhys Howden to bring the score to 5-3 to Italy.
Italian Alex Giorgetti opened the scoring in the fourth period, before compatriot Pietro Figlioli took advantage of a man-up to make it 7-3.
Aidan Roach scored a long-range effort for Australia to bring the scores to 7-4, and an unlikely comeback looked possible when a Australian Johnno Cotterill scrambled home a goal to make it 7-5 after an Australian time-out.
However, it was Italy who scored the final goal to win by three.
Italy's conversion rate from man-ups was an impressive six from seven, while Australia only managed one from five.
The 2008 winners lost to the Beijing bronze medallists in a bruising encounter which saw Serbian driver Andrija Prlainovic score five second-half goals.
Hungary are aiming to win their fourth consecutive Olympic title - their 10th overall - while Serbia are seeking to improve on podium finishes in the last three Games, and clinch their first gold medal since Yugoslavia won in Seoul in 1988.