SEA Games: Shock as mighty Singapore water polo team held to a draw

Indonesia's Benny Respati tries to block a shot from Singapore's Chiam Kun Yang (white cap) during the SEA Games men's water polo match between both countries, on Aug 18, 2017.
Indonesia's Benny Respati tries to block a shot from Singapore's Chiam Kun Yang (white cap) during the SEA Games men's water polo match between both countries, on Aug 18, 2017.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

KUALA LUMPUR - The Singapore men's water polo team were held to a shock 4-4 draw by Indonesia in a round-robin match at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil on Friday (Aug 18).

Singapore started strongly, taking a 2-0 lead at the end of the first quarter through Samuel Yu and Chiam Kun Yang.

Chiam then scored another goal to extend his side's lead, and Indonesia netted one through Maulana Bayu Herfian.

The defending SEA Games champions still led 3-1 at half-time.

But their opponents fought back in the second half, with Ridjkie Mulia narrowing the gap to 3-2 and Benny Respati levelling the scores at 3-3.

Indonesia's Ridjkie then scored another goal to give his team a 4-3 advantage going into the final quarter.

Ang An Jun prevented the Singaporeans from falling to their first-ever defeat in the competition by scoring the crucial equaliser in the fourth quarter.

The match was a high-intensity affair that saw emotions run high and a scuffle broke out in the last quarter, which resulted in Yu and Indonesia's Beby Willy Eka Paksi being sent off.


Indonesia's Silvester Goldberg Manik (left) brawls with Singapore's Sean Ang (cap 10, clutching his head) during the SEA Games men's water polo match between both countries on Aug 18, 2017. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Speaking to media after the match, left driver Koh Jian Ying said: "In close games like that emotions tend to boil over, it's never a good thing to have fights ... but it was just in the heat of the moment.

 

"I think the guys will be more fired up for sure to play better the next match, so definitely we will come (back) in harder."

Singapore will next play Malaysia in their last round-robin match on Sunday. They had earlier notched 13-2 and 7-5 wins over Thailand and the Philippines respectively, and are still within reach of a 27th SEA Games gold.

Should two teams have an equal number of points, the team with the superior goal difference will win.