Water polo girls survive scare in SEA Games opener
It was a close shave for Singapore's national women's water polo team as they pipped Indonesia 7-6 in their opening SEA Games round-robin opener at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The Singapore team dominate the Indonesians to race to a 5-1 lead by the end of the third quarter, but a mental lapse in the closing quarter saw them concede five goals.
Singapore captain Gina Koh told The New Paper that the late blip was a result of opening-day jitters.
"There is always uncertainty for the first start (of the campaign), but we performed quite well for the game today," said the 25-year-old.
"I guess the nerves kicked in because of the tight score in the fourth quarter.
"In a match, there is always time for our opponents to make great plays.
"There were lapses in the last quarter, and the odds were against us. But we managed to keep our composure to secure the win."
After a goalless first quarter, Ng Yi Wen gave Singapore the lead in the second quarter.
Indonesia drew level through Rani Raida, but Angeline Teo scored to make sure the Republic entered the break with a 2-1 lead.
Singapore then turned on the style in the third quarter with goals from Teo, Loke En Yuan and skipper Koh.
Indonesia mounted a courageous comeback with five goals in the final quarter, but goals from Ng and Teo sealed a 7-6 win and prevented a major upset.
Singapore narrowly missed out on the gold medal at the 2015 SEA Games on home soil when they lost 5-4 to Thailand in the final.
When asked about their gold-medal prospects this time around, Koh said: "We are trying to keep our spirits high in the camp. The girls are all physically fit and we are as prepared as we can get.
"Our opponents are all very strong this year, but we will put up a good fight to go for the gold."
Singapore will take on Malaysia at 5pm today.