LONDON (AP) -- If the U.S. women's water polo team's semifinal matchup against Australia at the London Olympics looks familiar, it is.
The meeting Tuesday at the water polo arena in Olympic Park is a rematch of the semifinal four years ago at the Beijing Games that the Americans won 9-8 behind three goals from Brenda Villa.
"There's a very heated rivalry," said American defender Melissa Seidemann. "We love playing that team. It's a physical game every time. They're great athletes, great competitors, and it's always a great game."
And it's a game, historically, that's always been played for high stakes: The two teams have played each other at every Olympics since women's water polo debuted at the Sydney Games.
In 2000, the home crowd cheered Australia on to a victory over the U.S. in the gold medal game, while four years later in Athens the Americans came out on top to win bronze.
This year, both teams came into the games tapped as the favorites to claim the gold, and they're both unbeaten so far.
Australia cruised through its preliminary group by outscoring its opponents 37-19, then nearly tripped up in the quarterfinals against China, squeaking through in a penalty shootout.
The U.S., meanwhile, struggled a bit defensively in the preliminary stage before putting on a defensive display in the quarterfinals to beat 2012 European champion Italy 9-6.
"I think the greatest thing about it is that you have two great teams, deep teams, they're fast, they're strong, great goalies - it's going to be a fun and exciting game," U.S. coach Adam Krikorian said. "I'd be surprised if it were anything other than a one-goal game."
"My team is very young, so this is a new experience for them," Hungary coach Andras Meresz said. "This is the best Hungarian team in 20 years, so I am very happy to take them to the semifinal."
Spain, meanwhile, beat Britain 9-7 to remain undefeated in London and reach the semifinals in the country's first appearance in women's Olympic water polo.
"We believe in ourselves and if we play our game we will be there (in the final)," Spain coach Claudio Camarena said.
Ryan Lucas can be reached on Twitter at www.twitter.com/relucasz