08/08/2012 12:40 EDT | Updated 10/08/2012 05:12 EDT

Filipovic scores 3 goals and Serbia survives Australia to reach men's Olympic water polo semis

LONDON - Filip Filipovic scored three times and gold medal-favourite Serbia rallied from a three-goal halftime deficit to beat Australia 11-8 and advance to the semifinals of men's Olympic water polo.

Australia looked poised to pull off what would have been a massive upset, hitting long distance shots and playing pressure defence that frustrated a powerful Serbia attack for much of the match.

But Serbia's talent eventually overcame Australia's pesky defence, and Filipovic put his team ahead 9-8 with just over four minutes to play and the Serbs held on to reach Friday's semifinals.

Serbia advances to play either three-time defending champion Hungary or 2011 world champion Italy.