Water polo: National team finish strong in Singapore water polo challenge cup

SINGAPORE - The men's national water polo team edged out the University of New South Wales (UNSW) 7-6 to finish third in the Singapore Water Polo Challenge Cup on Sunday (June 11).

The victory sees the national team taste their first victory in the tournament, having narrowly lost their previous three matches.

Held at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Singapore opened the scoring early on, ending the first quarter with a 2-1 lead.

UNSW refused to back down, pushing the home team all the way until they equalised to level the scores at 6 all in the final quarter.

Emboldened by their comeback, the Australians went on the offensive, hitting the post once.

The Singaporean defence stood firm against the onslaught of attacks with goalkeeper Lee Kai Yang making several important saves.

With 27 seconds left on the clock, Koh Jian Ying grabbed the winner, giving Singapore the bronze.

The four-day tournament, which is in its second year, also featured Iran and Serbia's Under 20s who will contest the final.

According to recently appointed head coach Dejan Milakovic, the competition serves as an important build-up to the SEA Games in August.

Singapore's regional dominance in the sport extends way back to its debut at the 1965 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games (now known as the SEA Games) hosted by Malaysia.

Since then, the national team have won gold in every edition of the Games. Fifty-seven years on from that first gold , the team will be looking to repeat history and claim their 27th consecutive SEA Games title in Kuala Lumpur come August.