Singapore water polo team to face Austria in Fina Challengers Cup final
Singapore clinched their spot in the final of the Fina Water Polo Challengers Cup Singapore 2019 presented by TYR with a hard-fought 11-8 win over Ireland at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Saturday (Oct 12).
A hat-trick by captain Koh Jian Ying, and two goals each by Ang An Jun and Yu Junjie, along with goals by Wayne Chong, Tang Yee Heng, Chow Jing Lun and Lee Cheng Kang, secured the victory for the hosts, who will meet Austria in the final at 6pm on Sunday.
In front of over 500 spectators, the Republic raced into a 4-2 lead in the first quarter and went into the half-time break with a 5-3 advantage.
Ireland found a reply to every Singapore attack in the third quarter, as both sides traded goals, but Singapore found resolve in them to hold a three-goal lead going into the fourth quarter at 8-5.
The hosts then held on for the 11-8 victory after scoring another three goals in the final quarter.
Singapore coach Dejan Milakovic was full of praise for his side’s performance.
“It was a very tough game and Ireland played very well, but the good thing is that we controlled the game from the beginning and we held the advantage throughout the game. It was very physical, but we defended well and we finished the game calmly, so hopefully the boys can recover quickly for the game tomorrow,” said the Serb.
“I thought the boys coped well with the physicality of the Irish. They gave us some problems with their forwards who were all bigger than our players, and they punished us with a penalty and a goal, but the boys eventually managed to control their forward play and play to the tactics that we talked about during the time-outs and breaks in between each quarter, so I am happy."
In the final on Sunday, Singapore will meet Group B winners Austria, who cemented their spot with a 17-7 win over India.
Sunday's schedule at OCBC Arena
10am – 9th and 10th placing: Zimbabwe v Taiwan
11.30am – 7th and 8th placing: Malaysia v India
3pm – 5th and 6th placing: Philippines v Hong Kong
4.30pm – Bronze medal play-off: Ireland v Indonesia
6pm – Gold medal play-off: Singapore v Austria
Tickets for the finals are priced at $15. They are available via www.sportshub.com.sg/event-detail/574.