Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

Malta and Iran will have a showdown on Sunday: the two favourite sides scored easy wins to reach the final, the hosts netted 18 goals, while the Persians stopped at 15. This is going to be their second clash here at the FINA World Men’s Development Trophy, in the prelims Iran won 12-8 but the gold medal match might be a different story. Saudi Arabia and Uruguay had to settle to play for the bronze medal.

Iran reached the final first, they came up with a convincing performance against Uruguay. Though they were a bit ‘off’ in the opening period, trailing 3-2, then staged a 0-4 rush in the second quarter which put them on the right track and they went all the way, gaining a fine 8-goal win.

Malta joined soon as they beat Saudi Arabia with ease. The hosts’ win was never in danger despite losing their captain and scoring machine Steve Camillery right in the first period as he was red carded for commenting a call while sitting on the bench. The Maltese weren’t panicking and offered a professional approach while extending the gap in each period. The encounter remained tense, though, the red cards came out from the refs’ pockets for no less than five times. 

In the crossover games played for the 5-8th places Tunisia earned its first win in this tournament as they managed to shut out the Peruvians for 14:34 minutes in the second half. In the other encounter Austria took revenge against Singapore for their defeat in the prelims. Just as on the opening day, this match offered twists and turns, the lead exchanged from time to time. Singapore almost repeated its great comeback from Tuesday (then they had won 9-8 after 5-8), going 6-7 up in the fourth after being 6-4 down but this time the Austrians managed to reply with three connecting goals to set up a match with Tunisia for the 5th place in the closing session of the meet.

 

Schedule for Sunday

  9.30 – Places 7-8th: Peru v Singapore

10.50 – Places 5-6th: Tunisia v Austria

12.10 – Bronze medal: Saudi Arabia v Uruguay

13.30 – Final: Malta v Iran