WP Trophy 2013, day 6: Uzbekistan triumphs over Egypt 8-5 and wins Trophy

FINA Water Polo Development Trophy 2013, Kuwait City (KUW) - credit: @ahmad_akbarOn the final day of the 4th FINA Men’s Water Polo World Development Trophy, Peru rested. They had finished sixth in Group A and, with 11 teams participating in the event, they became the 11th ranked team in the tournament. The ninth place game was played between another team from the Americas, Guatemala, and an Asian representative – Singapore. From the outset, this was a ‘no contest’. Singapore held the Guatemalans scoreless in the first period jumping out to a 4-0 lead. They continued to dominate leading 11-2 and 17-4 at the end of the next two periods before holding Guatemala down in the fourth period to win by a final score of 20-5. This gave Singapore a ninth place finish while Guatemala finished tenth giving the Americas the bottom two places.

The next morning game saw two African teams – South Africa and Tunisia battle it out for seventh place. The South Africans grabbed a 3-1 first period lead. Tunisia cut the deficit to 1 by the end of the half, trailing 4-3. Both teams shut down the offence of the other team in the scoreless third period so Tunisia started the fourth period down 1 goal. The game previous against Singapore, Tunisia had scored a come from behind victory in front of their boisterous fans. This time, again having the most vocal supporters in the tournament, they had no more surprises as South Africa, even missing a penalty shot, held Tunisia off and finished as 5-3 victor. South Africa, likely most improved team throughout the tournament took home a seventh place finish while Tunisia from North Africa finished eighth.

The 5-6 game had the host team from Kuwait meeting the third Americas’ team, Uruguay. The Kuwaitis and Uruguayans started cautiously, and the scored was tied at 2 after the first period. Kuwait then took the lead, moving ahead 4-3 at the half. Uruguay scored the next goal on a penalty shot but Kuwait answered with a marker from no.8, Mohammad, one of his 5 on the evening. They then scored a penalty of their own and went on to lead 8-5 at the end of the third period. They maintained their composure throughout the fourth period and handed Uruguay the loss, winning the game 11-5, with no.3, Samurio, scoring 4 of the 5 Uruguayan goals. This meant that the Kuwaitis finished fifth while the Uruguayans had to settle for a sixth place finish.


EGY vs UZB, Gold Medal Match - credit: @ahmad_akbar
EGY vs UZB, Gold Medal Match - credit: @ahmad_akbar

The bronze medal match had the fourth Americas’ team, Puerto Rico, playing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The teams started off playing conservatively. No.6 for the Saudis, Al Malki, scored the first goal of the game but Puerto Rico had taken the lead 2-1 at the end of the first period. In the second, they stretched their lead to 4 goals but the Saudi no.9, Olayan, scored with 5 seconds left in the half to cut the Puerto Rican lead down to 5-2. The goal was a sign of things to come as Saudi Arabia scored 5 times in the third period to take the lead 7-6 over the Puerto Ricans who were plagued with missed shots and crossbars. The Saudis kept their second half dominance intact in the final frame beating the Puerto Ricans by a final score of 10-8. The defeat left Puerto Rico in fourth place, while Saudi Arabia took the third place bronze medal position on the podium.

The match of the day, the gold medal match, highlighted the Asian team, Uzbekistan, the Group B winner against the strongest African team, Egypt, which had topped Group A. Again, the teams started cautiously, playing conservative water polo. In the second part of the period, Uzbekistan, probably the strongest passing team in the competition was able to score 3 goals while holding Egypt, which relies strongly on centre forward play, scoreless to lead 3-0 going into the second quarter. In that quarter, the Egyptian team was able to give its partisan, horn blaring, flag waving supporters some home by finally hitting the net with 2 markers and at the half, Uzbekistan had a 5-2 lead. At the end of the third period, they had cut the deficit to 2 trailing 6-4. Their inability to convert on extra man together with the high risk, high reward passing attack of the Uzbeks ultimately became their downfall as the game ended 8-5 in favour of the team from Uzbekistan. The Uzbeks took home the beautiful trophy while the team from Egypt had to settle for second place.

It was a clean sweep for Uzbekistan of the trophies as the Uzbek no.7, Kiril Rustamov, won the trophy awarded to the Highest Goal Scorer of the Tournament. And also from the gold medal winning Uzbekistan team, the goalkeeper, Aleksey Sokolov, took home the trophy for the Tournament’s Best Goal Keeper.


4th FINA World Men's Water Polo Development Trophy 2013, podium - credit: @ahmad_akbar
4th FINA World Men's Water Polo Development Trophy 2013, podium - credit: @ahmad_akbar