FINA Communication Department

Day 4 of the FINA World Men’s Water Polo Development Trophy began on a warm and sunny day in Kuwait City. The Republic of South Africa, trying to bounce back from a gut-wrenching loss the evening before played the team from Puerto Rico in the day’s first game. The Puerto Ricans, representing the Americas, jumped out to a 4-1 first period lead over the African team and extended their lead to 8-3 at the half. The Puerto Rican dominance continued throughout the rest of the game and they took away the 2 points with a 14-6 win over the South Africans. The South African no.6, Schooling, was the high scorer of the game netting 5 of the 6 goals for the team from South Africa.Game 2 saw Saudi Arabia try to get back on the winning track in their game against Singapore. The Saudis took a 3-2 lead at the end of the first quarter and then held the team from Singapore goalless in the second to lead 6-2 at the half. In spite of being outscored by 2 goals in the second half, the team from Saudi Arabia was the victor, winning by a final score of 9-7. Gahal led the winners with 4 goals.

The afternoon session began with Tunisia attempt to gain its second victory of the event against Uruguay, which going into the game as the third placed team in Group A. The Tunisians scored the first goal of the game but Uruguay had moved ahead 2-1 by the end of the first period. Each team scored once in the second period so Uruguay was leading 3-2 at the half. By the end of the third period, the team from Tunisia had fallen further behind and were down 3-5. Uruguay seemed to be in control of the game but with 3:45 left in the period, Tunisia had cut the deficit to 1. A Uruguayan exclusion with 24 seconds left was followed by the award of a penalty shot to Tunisia with 9 seconds to go in the game. Najib scored on the penalty and with the tie (7-7), Tunisia left the pool with third point of the tournament.

TUN vs URU - credit: @ahmad_akbar
TUN vs URU - credit: @ahmad_akbar

The next game featured the top ranked Group A team, Egypt, against the bottom dwellers from Peru. As expected, the Peruvians were in tough against a more skilled and experienced Egyptian team. They continued to work all game but fell to the better team by a score of 23-6. Omar, wearing no.6 for Egypt scored 9 goals for the winners while his counterpart wearing no.6 for the Peruvians scored 4 times.

The competition day ended with a match between the host team, Kuwait, and the first ranked Group B team, Uzbekistan, from Asia. The game started with a high degree of intensity, both teams playing similar styles based upon quick counter attacks and driving within the offensive end. The teams were tied at 2 and 3 at the ends of the first 2 periods. With both goaltenders turning in strong performances, the Uzbeks took a one goal lead, 4-3 into the final frame. In the fourth quarter, the better conditioned athletes from Uzbekistan were rewarded for better seeing the field of play and good passing as they took control of the game, winning the final frame 5-1 and locking up first place in Group B with a 9-4 victory. Al Rumaidhin (no.3) and Ali (no.9) scored twice each for the Kuwaitis while Yakovlov (no.2), Spridonov (no.3) and Qosimov (no.5) had pairs for the winners.