Unbeaten China sink Uzbeks; Singapore impress

China joined champs Kazakhstan as the only unbeaten teams in the two-pool preliminary phase of the water polo event in the 9th Asian Swimming Championships at the iconic Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex off the Dubai Bypass Road on Wednesday.

By Moni Mathews

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Published: Thu 22 Nov 2012, 11:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:04 PM

In Group A, China beat the strong Asian bronze medal rated team, Uzbekistan, 28-6 as Liang Zhongxing the top scored with five goals for the winners.

Late on Tuesday night in a thriller, spirited Singapore manned by part-timers and eyeing a high fourth place finish behind Kazakhstan, China and Japan, did their campaign good with an 8-all stalemate against the ambitious Saudis.

And, having had to recover quickly from the gruelling draw against Saudi Arabia, the Singaporeans whipped Sri Lanka 24-4 on Wednesday morning.

“We did everything ok, and everything right and we had a good start so I’m happy with that,” Singapore captain Eugene Teo who scored goals said.

Singapore were due back in the pool on Wednesday night for their second match of the day against Uzbekistan, the outcome of which will prove vital in their quest to finish fourth in this competition.

“Psychologically we just need to get more hyped up. That’s about it. But technically everything is ok,” said Teo. Teo added: “It’s tough because the top teams are all professional. And half our team are studying. We also have doctors and lawyers on the team. So we have careers and studies that have to be put first before water polo. The talent is there – we just don’t have the time to train together.”

Nerves frayed as Saudi Arabia and Singapore fought out a 16-goal all square thriller.

The Saudis started off by far the more dominant team, scoring three unanswered goals within the first three minutes, before Singapore got in on the action. And by the first break Saudi Arabia had further extended their lead, thanks to a Bader Al Dughather goal off a counter-attack for a 4-1 surge.

Their strong start provided what would prove to be a vital buffer for the Saudis as Singapore clawed their way back into contention, having the better second, third and fourth quarters.

It was in the third quarter that they eventually drew level, at 5-5 off a Yang Yip goal. And after Singapore, in blue caps, briefly took the lead at 5-6 (the only time in the match they were in front), the Saudis came back to square things up again at 6-6. White capped Saudi Arabia then moved two in front, thanks to goals from Hattan Al Olayan and Baseem Al Harbi.

moni@khaleejtimes.com



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