FINA Communication Department

The final round-robin day of the competition at the Al-Arabi Sporting Club began with a match between the teams from Peru and Saudi Arabia, the sixth and second place teams in Group A. Peru came into the match winless and left it in the same state as they lost to the team from Saudi Arabia by a score of 13-7. Peru actually led 2-1 at the end of the first period as both teams played a slow paced game. The Saudis scored a number of cherry picking goals where with just the shooter and the goalie, the goalie had no chance.The day’s second game was also a Group A encounter – between the top ranked Egyptians and the third ranked Uruguayans. In the first period, the Egyptians jumped out to a 4-1 lead and the result was never in doubt. They led 9-2 at the half and the final score was Egypt 15 Uruguay 4 as the team from the Americas was never really in the game.

Game 23 began the day’s second session and was played between the remaining 2 group A teams – Tunisia and Singapore. The loser of the game would finish fifth in the Group with the winner finishing fourth. Because it is the weekend, there is a great turnout of proud and vocal Tunisian supporters filling the acquatic complex with their cheering. The teams were tied at 4 at the end of the first period. Singapore took control of the game leading 9-7 at the half and stretching their lead to 11-7 with 2 minutes to play in the third period. Then, the drama began. Much to the delight of their fans, the Tunisians began their comeback and the intensity of the cheers increased with each goal. The Tunisians scored 4 straight goals with no response or answers from the Singapore team. The storybook finish concluded with the winning goal from no.11, Bouhlel – his second of the period and only 1 second left on the clock. After a missed long distance shot from Singapore, the frenzy and cheering of the fans resounded throughout the swimming complex as they celebrated their victory. The win placed the Tunisians into fourth place in the Group – they were tied with Uruguay in points but placed behind them on goal difference.

KUW vs PUR - credit: @ahmad_akbar
KUW vs PUR - credit: @ahmad_akbar

Group B’s matches began with the winless Guatemalans taking on the winless team from South Africa. The winner would play for places 7 and 8 while the loser for places 9 and 10. It was clear from the outset that this would not be the day for Guatemala. The South Africans took control in the first period leading at its end. The lead would increase in each of the next three quarters. The game ended with Guatemala losing 17-3 and facing an encounter with Singapore on Saturday for the ninth place position. The South Africans will be facing the impressive comeback team from Tunisia. South Africa will have a difficult task as they try to take seventh place at this event.

The final game of the round robin was played between Puerto Rico and the host team from Kuwait. The winner would finish second in Group B. Both teams, evenly matched came out an played cautiously from the outset.  They were tied 3-3 at the end of the first period. In the second, Puerto Rico cashed in a penalty shot and scored three other markers outscoring the Kuwaitis by 2 in the period to lead 7-5 starting the second half. They outscored Kuwait 2-1 in the third period to take a 9-6 lead into the final frame. The team from Kuwait then seemed to get its act better together and threw all they could at the Puerto Ricans. They outscored them 4-1 tying the game up with a minute and a half to play. Neither team could net the winning goal and the game ended up tied at 10-10. Unfortunately for the host team from Kuwait, Puerto Rico had obtained a better result against the top team in the group, Uzbekistan. Using the FINA tie-breaking procedure, the Puerto Ricans were placed second in the group while Kuwait had to settle for third.