Team Singapore opened their FINA Water Polo Challengers Cup 2019 Presented by TYR competition last night, with a convincing 26-5 win over Zimbabwe. In the Group A match at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, the Republic raced to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, before going into the halftime break with a 10-3 lead. The 27-time SEA Games champions, then extended their lead to 15-4 after the end of the third quarter, and finished off strongly with another 11 goals to notch the victory.
Lee Cheng Kang led the way with 7 goals for Team Singapore, earning himself the Player of the Game award in the process. Chiam Kun Yang, Ang An Jun and 15 year-old Tang Yee Heng helped themselves to hat-tricks, while Ooi Yee Jia, Wayne Chong, Jayden See and Chow Jing Lun were also on target.
After the win, Singapore's head coach Dejan Milakovic felt that his charges have to do better in the remaining fixtures, beginning with tonight's Causeway Derby against Malaysia.
“The positive thing about the Zimbabwe game is that we scored a lot of goals and we won easily. We have to do much better by being more focused and to concentrate from the beginning of the game. We made too many mistakes in defence and especially in attack, and we suffered a few times without any reason, so we have to prepare ourselves better for the rest of the games”, said the Serbian.
Team captain Koh Jian Ying further added, “I am happy that we won, and even though I thought we played okay today, there is definitely room for improvement in terms of our finishing and our communication.”
The earlier Group A fixture yesterday, saw Ireland beat Philippines 12-8, with Stiofan McMahon scoring a hat-trick to lead the Irish to victory. And there were 2 big scorelines in Group B, as Indonesia racked up a 23-10 win over India, while the tournament's top seed Austria, thrashed a young Chinese Taipei side 32-5, with Albert Schmidt contributing to 10 of his side’s 32 goals.
Coming up later today (Wednesday), we'll see Chinese Taipei take on Indonesia at 3pm, followed by the clash between Zimbabwe and Philippines at 4.30pm. Hong Kong, which had a bye yesterday, will take on Austria at 6pm and in the final game of the day, it'll be the battle between Singapore and Malaysia at 7.30pm.
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.
Lee Cheng Kang scored 7 goals against Zimbabwe and led Singapore to a 26-5 victory. (Photo: Colin Ong/SSA)