Italy had shocked everyone by progressing to the final, beating defending champions Hungary, who had won gold in the last four Games, and pre-tournament favourites Serbia on their way to the gold medal match.
However, Croatia proved a step too far as Maro Jokovic scored a hat-trick to sink the Italian challenge. Italy also had a hat-trick hero in Maurizio Felugo, but his three goals weren't enough to claim gold.
Italy won the first quarter 2-1, but Croatia hit back in the second and led 3-2 at half time. Croatia had raced into a 5-3 lead by the end of the third, and successfully held off a late challenge by Italy in the fourth.
Earlier in the day, Serbia claimed bronze with a dramatic and ill-tempered win against Montenegro.