Singapore made it two wins in a row in Group A at the FINA Water Polo Challengers Cup Singapore 2019 Presented by TYR when they beat Causeway rivals Malaysia 20-5 at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Wednesday evening.
In a prelude to a potential match up at the upcoming SEA Games in December, the hosts raced into a 5-0 lead in the first period and extended their lead to 10-1 at half time. They plundered another seven goals in the third period to extend their lead 17-3, before scoring another 3 goals in the 4th period to finish victorious.
Tan Yee Heng, 15, scored his second hat-trick in two matches to help Singapore beat Malaysia 20-5. Photo: Colin Ong/SSA
Fresh from scoring 7 goals yesterday against Zimbabwe, Lee Cheng Kang was red-hot once again in front of goal as he plundered another 6 goals against the Malaysians, taking his overall tally to 13 goals in the competition.
Yu Jun Jie, who won the Player of the Game, scored the goal of the game with a backhanded penalty on his way to a hat trick. Youngster Tan Yee Heng also notched a hat-trick, his second in a row. Team Captain Koh Jian Ying scored a brace and Ang Ang Jun, Ooi Yee Jia, Chow Jing Lun, Wayne Chong, Jayden See and Goh Wen Zhe each contributed a goal each.
Malaysia’s goals were scored by Toh Yi Xiang (2 goals), Bryan Wong, Mohd Irshad and goalkeeper Chee Huan Song.
“We controlled well from the beginning in defence, we repeated some mistakes from yesterday, so we need to work on those mistakes before the next game on Friday, to lessen those mistakes so that our game will become smoother, but the good thing is that the boys are trying and they know what to do”, said Singapore Head Coach, Dejan Milakovic.
While it was much better performance by the team today, Singapore assistant coach Eugene Teo felt that were some areas that still needed improving.
The former National Team captain said, “Communication between the boys and the transition through the counter attack, they need to be more observant to who is the correct person to pass to, where you should be passing to and we should not be stopping at every counter-attack, I think these are the most important things that we can further work on.”
Singapore will have a bye on Thursday, but there will be no rest for the team as they play a training match against Austria.
“With some of the players having minor shoulder problems, nothing serious though, the rest will be good. We will be having a training match with Austria, and it will help us prepare for the game against Philippines on Friday”, added Dejan.
In the earlier Group A match, Singapore’s opponents on Friday, Philippines, beat Zimbabwe, 18-2, with Reynaldo Salonga Jr pacing the Philippines with 7 goals.
In Group B, Indonesia and Austria both recorded their second wins of the competition, with Ridjkie Mulia scoring 15 goals to take his tally to 22 goals in the competition as the Indonesians beat Chinese Taipei 31-15, while Austria were given a tough fight by Hong Kong, but the Europeans eventually prevailed 19-6 over the East Asians.
Thursday’s matches at the OCBC Aquatic Centre will see Indonesia and Hong Kong will face off at 3pm, followed by another all South East Asian clash when Philippines take on Malaysia at 4.30pm. The match at 6pm will see India looking for their first win of the competition when they face Chinese Taipei, and the final game of the day at 7.30pm will see Zimbabwe taking on Ireland.
Tickets are priced at $40 for a season pass (Tuesday to Sunday), $10 for the group stage, $15 for the finals on Sunday, and $20 for a weekend package (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The weekend package deal is available till 10th October.
Fans can purchase the tickets at www.sportshub.com.sg/event-detail/574