Australian men's water polo coach John Fox took aim at the referees as his team fell just short pulling off its biggest upset and a first-ever Olympic semi-final berth with an 11-8 loss to Serbia.
The Sharks led at every change of their London Games quarter-final against the Beijing bronze medallists, but were unable to withstand a Serbian comeback that netted five unanswered goals in the final quarter.
The Australians scored just one goal in the second half, Fox left questioning the legality of Serbia's defensive squeeze.
"I don't think we fell apart, I thought they changed their defensive structures," Fox said.
"We weren't getting value for our drives.
"Eleven exclusions to six - I can't work it out - they're the heaviest team in the competition.
"We were driving on them and basically weren't getting any reward. I'm a little bit miffed at that."
Having never beaten Serbia at major tournament, the Australians recovered from a slow start to score five straight goals for a 5-2 lead.
They maintained the three-goal advantage to halftime and led 8-6 going into the last period before their offence stalled - Australia unable to get in any decent scoring position over the closing minutes.
In his fourth and most likely last Olympics, Tom Whalan admitted his side struggled to handle the Serbs when they lifted in the closing two quarters.
"The emotions in sport are the absolute highest of highs and lowest of lows and I experienced two of those today," Whalan said.
"I've got a smile on my face because I think we really - at least for three quarters - showed what the Australian team could do and that's match the best team in the world.
"Unfortunately water polo's four quarters and we lost momentum and they stepped up.
"They scored some very big goals and we didn't stop them. Simple as that."
Australia will now playing in the classification group as they attempted to match their best Games finish of fifth which they achieved at the 1984 and 1992 Olympics.