Team Singapore celebrates winning the silver medal (Photo Credit: Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee / Action Images via Reuters)
Team Singapore’s women’s water polo team had to settle for silver medal at the 28th SEA Games at the end of a tense and closely fought encounter with a much-improved young Thailand team.
In front of a passionate crowd at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Monday, Thailand emerged as 5-4 winners in the final round-robin game which had become a ‘winner takes all’ encounter.
The Thais took the lead early through Alwani Sathitanon but Singapore's Lynnette Tan equalised, only for Alwani to make it 2-1 to Thailand. But shortly before the end of the first quarter Angeline Teo scored to level the game at the end of the opening quarter.
There were chances galore for both teams that went begging but by half-time the two sides had only added another goal each as they went into the break at 3-3.
Thailand broke clear in the third quarter with Alwani on target again before captain Varistha Saraikarn converted a penalty to make it 5-3.
Singapore captain Gina Koh pulled one back for Singapore but despite plenty of exertion and pressure late in the game, the home side were unable to add to their tally and had to settle for second place in the competition.
Team Singapore's Low Seet Teng and Thailand's Sathitanon Alwani (R) in action (Photo Credit: Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee / Action Images via Reuters)
Head coach Edmund Choo Chin Cheng gave credit to the winners: “Thailand has improved a lot. We were prepared for them, we planned, we watched them, but they did well,” he said, adding that Singapore had let nerves get to them.
“We tensed up, tried to rush the movement too much, should have cooled down a bit more. We missed chances andwere rushing for the goal. They needed to be calmer, they were too tense and that needs to be improved,” he said.
Koh promised the team would bounce back from the disappointment.
“We gave our best so there are no regrets. Unfortunately we lost but we will come back harder in the next competition,” she said.
Team Singapore’s men’s water polo team will face off against Team Indonesia in the decisive game on Tuesday.