singapore vs iran asian water polo cup

The Singapore team line up at the start of the crucial game against Iran. Up to this point, both teams were unbeaten. Singapore were the underdogs. (Photo 1 © Low Sze Sen/Red Sports)

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Toa Payoh Swimming Complex, Saturday, October 5, 2013 – Singapore led 4–3 at half-time but finally succumbed to Iran 6–10 and had to settle for second place in the 3rd Asian Water Polo Cup. Iran finished as champions while Kuwait were third.

Eugene Teo (2), Paul Tan (1), Koh Jian Ying (1), Samuel Yu (1) and Chiam Kun Yang (1) got the goals for Singapore.

Singapore matched the Iranians in terms of the number of shots on goal but the Iranians converted 10 of 26 attempts (38.5%) while Singapore went 6 for 27 (22.2%).

Singapore had won all their previous games, beating Sri Lanka (26–5), China (8–0), Kuwait (8–4) and Philippines (22–2).

Said Singapore head coach, Lee Sai Meng: “The team is definitely disappointed in losing the match against Iran. It was a very good game and I believe the team has learnt a lot from it.

“The Iranian team controlled the tempo of the game very well and managed to turn it in their favour during the second half, which is something that comes with professional experience. The Singaporeans are smaller than them and will tire faster in such a physical game.”

Iran finished undefeated to win the tournament, putting a collective 90 goals past their five opponents and letting in 20. Their biggest win came in a 30–1 thrashing of Sri Lanka.

“The first two periods were very challenging because Singapore played well and it is always important to start well in the match,” said Paolo Malara, head coach of Iran.

“We managed to keep the score line narrow which helped in the second half. Rhat is very important because when the score line starts to widen, like in the second half, you start to lose concentration.

“Singapore has surprised us in a good way and I think they have all the attributes it takes to make a successful team in the future as long as they progress step by step.”

The attention of the Singapore team will now turn to the upcoming 2013 South-east Asian Games in Myanmar and getting used to the new rules that FINA, the world governing body, has introduced to speed up the pace of the game.

Said Eugene Teo, the Singapore captain: “Our team, though young, has gained a lot more exposure together compared to when I first started. Looking ahead, we aim to win the 2013 SEA Games and achieve a top-four placing at the 2014 Asian Games next year. With the new rule changes taking place, I believe the way forward in training is to return to the basics of maintaining tip top fitness and ball passing.”

Ivan Tan, Vice President (Water Polo), Singapore Swimming Association said: “This is the first time Singapore has hosted two international water polo events back-to-back, and the support has been tremendous.

“The Singapore men’s and women’s teams have both performed above their expectations coming in second positions, while the youth teams gained great competition experience playing at the Asian Youth Championships last week.

“Water polo as a sport provides exciting entertainment, we certainly hope there are future opportunities to organise water polo events at the new Singapore Sports Hub.”

Singapore Squad
Nigel Tay (#1), Lin Diyang (#2), Loh Zhi Zhi (#3), Eugene Teo (#4), Lim Yao Xiang (#5), Paul Tan (#6), Chiam Kun Yang (#7), Samuel Yu (#8), Toh Zhi Hong (#9), Sean Ang (#10), Yip Yang (#11), Koh Jian Ying (#12), Byron Quek (#13)

Score by Quarter
Singapore vs Iran
1st Q: 2–2
2nd Q: 2–1 (4–3)
3rd Q: 1–4 (5–7)
4th Q: 1–3
Final Score: 6–10

Final Rankings
1st Iran
2nd Singapore
3rd Kuwait
4th China
5th Philippines
6th Sri Lanka

Day 5
Philippines 11 Sri Lanka 11
China 6 Kuwait 9
Singapore 6 Iran 10

Day 4
Iran 18 Kuwait 3
China 17 Philippines 3
Sri Lanka 5 Singapore 26

Day 3
Philippines 3 Kuwait 22
Sri Lanka 1 Iran 30
Singapore 8 China 0

Day 2
Iran 25 Philippines 4
China 23 Sri Lanka 5
Kuwait 4 Singapore 8

Day 1
Singapore 22 Philippines 2
Sri Lanka 7 Kuwait 26
China 6 Iran 10

Full results and stats

More photos next page