The qualyfing round of the Gold Cup came to an end this afternoon with two good polo matches which resulted in Habtoor Polo, Ghantoot and Abu Dhabi qualyfing to the semifinals of the tournament.

In the first game of the day, at the main field of the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Abu Dhabi defeated Mahra by 6 goals to 3 and made their way to the semifinals with this victory. Mahra, as in almost all the tournament, made a good start but couldn´t maintain this level and Abu Dhabi over-powered them in the last two chukkers of the game.

In the second match, Habtoor Polo had to go into overtime to defeat Ghantoot by 8 goals to 7, thanks to a great goal from Nacho Bello. It was an exciting match, with great goals, one of them scored by Mohammed Al Habtoor, in a match which could have gone either way. Habtoor were leading for most of the match but the Ghantoot team reacted well later in the game to force the game to overtime. After missing three good chances to score finally it was Nacho Bello who, in a great individual play, scored for Habtoor and gave the victory for his team.

Ali Al Marri (0), Ghantoot’s Emirati star was upbeat. “We lost today but we can take a lot of good things from this match,” he said. “First of all we are in the semi-final so it didn’t affect our progression in this event. Secondly, we were able to fight back from two goals down to get level and earn a fifth chukker and I think that demonstrates the kind of commitment and passion that we play with at Ghantoot. Now we will be putting that golden goal behind us because all our energies will be focused on the semi-final on Monday against Bin Drai. Our objective all along has been to get into the final of this tournament and that has not changed.”

The semifinals of the Gold Cup will be held next Monday at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. Habtoor will face Abu Dhabi from 2.30 and Bin Drai play against Ghantoot at 4 pm.


The Teams:
Abu Dhabi (+16)
Faris Al Yabhouni (0, UAE)
Manuel Elizalde (+4, ARG)
Juan Jose Storni (+5, ARG)
Juan Ambroggio (+7, ARG)

Bin Drai (+16)
Saeed Bin Drai (0, UAE)
Ignacio Ithurburu (+2, ARG)
Salvador Ulloa (+7, ARG)
Juan Jose Brane (+7, ARG)

Ghantoot (+16)
Ali Al Merri (0, UAE)
Pelayo Berazadi (+4, ARG)
Juan Zubiaurre Canal (+4, ARG)
Facundo Sola (+8, ARG)

Habtoor (+16)
Mohammed Al Habtoor (0, UAE)
Ignacio Bello (+3, ARG)
Guillermo Cuitino (+6, ARG)
Martinez Ferrairo Ezequiel Edwardo (+7, ARG)

Mahra (+16)
Rashid Al Habtoor (0, UAE)
Guy Gibrat (+4, ARG)
Augustin Canale (+6, ARG)
Fernando Pipi Bourdieu (+6, UK)

Zedan (+16)
Amr Zedan (0, KSA)
Matias Logioco (+3, ARG) / Guillermo Healy
Rodolfo Ducos (+4, ARG) / Mariano Uranga
Nachi Heguy (+9, ARG)