Yesterday the semifinals of the Cartier Gold Cup of the 45th INDI International Polo Tournament were held at Santa María Polo Club in Sotogrande. In the first match, Ayala Polo Team defeated Brunei by 13-12 in the last chukka of the game and thanks to a great goal by Nicolás Pieres, while Dubai won against Lechuza Caracas in the following match by 12-5.

Ayala had a great first half facing Brunei, maybe the best of the season so far. Facundo and Nicolás Pieres were at the top of their game, but also with Tom Brodie as a protagonist in attack and defence. That was definitely how Inigo Zobel’s team was able to take the lead in the first three chukkas, and even though the goal advantage shortened further and evened at some parts of the game, the match was always favourable for them.

Brunei, with David Stirling Jr. showing great skills, put serious pressure in the second half of the match, and was able to even out the actions and the scoreboard when there was only one minute till the bell announced the end of the game. That was when Nicolás Pieres stole a ball at the middle of the field, and made an outstanding move that ended up in a goal, to give Ayala the pass for the finals by defeating its opponent by 13-12.

In the second match of the afternoon, that pitted Dubai and Lechuza Caracas against each other, there were two very marked stages. The first one was rowdy and even, both teams were in order and taking advantage of the few chances of scoring that came up. The second half was all about Dubai: Rashid Albwardy’s team, with Adolfo Cambiaso as the master puppeteer of the team, absolutely surpassed Lechuza in tactics and horses and set an unreachable difference for the Venezuelan patron Victor Vargas’ team. Dubai emerged victorious by 12-5 and will fight Ayala next Sunday to defend the title achieved last year, before today’s rival, Lechuza Caracas.

Nicolás Pieres, Ayala Polo Team: “Sometimes it just has to happen naturally. We came into the semis through the back door, and today we won a very difficult match, and are very pleased with the results. We know the final is going to be tough and we will have to give our 100% to get the coveted Gold Cup.”

Adolfo Cambiaso, Dubai Polo Team: “We knew it was going to be tough but I believe we had a good match. We played far better than how we have been doing so, and the horses performed really good too. On the second half we were able to broaden the difference as the first one was even, we ended the third chukka 4-3 and from there with a couple of quick goals we managed to get a bigger difference, and were able to control it on the following chukkas. Dubai is lucky to have a solid organization, excellent and big, some horses in the last game didn’t get to play, so they were fresh and well rested for this one. Tomorrow I’ll start thinking of the finals, as we are very pleased to have won this game, it’s always great to be present at the definitions, and we are happy about it.”

Alejo Taranco, Dubai Polo Team: “The match came out that way, even though we entered on the 7th chukka with a 7-goal difference, we knew we must secure the first two minutes and after that we were at ease for the rest of the game. I feel I played two entirely different games: the first half was bumpy, the defense was tough and we were very cautious. Then on the second half, we broke with this, the horses responded greatly, as they were well rested, and now we must think towards Sunday’s final, we came for that moment.”

Bahar Jefri, Brunei Polo Team: “It was a very tough game, we didnt start so well, but they did, then we had two very strong last chukkas and we were close. I hope next year we can pull it through, we were able to win the Triple Crown on 2008, but each season is tougher as the teams are excellent and as well as the organizations.”

Aerolineas Argentinas Gold Cup (Medium Goal)

Yesterday in the afternoon the semifinals of the Aerolineas Argentinas Gold Cup on the medium goal category were disputed, and teams Brunei and Golden Goose qualified for the big final.

Brunei, the champion of the Silver Cup defeated GSA by 9-8 while Golden Goose Deluxe Brand did the same with Seven Sevens but by 11-8. Thus, Brunei and Golden Goose will meet next Saturday at 18 on the Los Pinos Field 4 for the most important cup of the medium goal category.

The finalists of the Subsidiary Cup were also decided, Royal Salute and Twenty/20, after defeating Santa Quitería (11-5) and Sainte Mesme (10-9) respectively. This match will also take place on Saturday but at 16:30 on the Los Pinos Field 2.

Teams (High Goal):
Dubai Polo Team (22)
Rashid Albwardi (2)
Adolfo Cambiaso (10)
Alejo Ortiz de Taranco (6)
Santiago Stirling (4)

Brunei (22)
Pablo Mac Donough (10)
Bahar Jeffrey (1)
David Stirling (10)
Josh Cork (1)

Lechuza Caracas (22)
Víctor Vargas (1)
Julián de Lusarreta (6)
Juan Martín Nero (10)
Juan Jauretche (5)

Ayala Polo Team (22)
Íñigo Zobel (0)
Jack Hide (3)
Facundo Pieres (10)
Nicolás Pieres (9)

Dos Lunas – A&G Banca Privada (22)
Hugo Lewis (2)
Pascual Sáinz de Vicuña (6)
Lucas James (7)
Juan Agustín García Grossi (7)

Teams (Medium Goal):
Golden Goose Deluxe Brand (14)
Ian Galliene (1)
Christian Bernal (5)
Gaetan Charloux (3)
Santiago Zubiaurre (5)

Saint Mesme (14)
Robert Strom (4)
Louis Jarige (2)
Clemente Zavaleta (7)
Birger Strom (1)

Twenty /20 (14)
Kevin Korst (2)
Tommy Garbarini (5)
Philip De Groot (1)
Juan Monteverde (6)

Seven Sevens (14)
Dimitri Vozianov (0)
Nicolás Espain (7)
Santiago Laborde (6)
Ollie Cork (1)

Brunei (14)
Facundo Fdz-Llorente (6)
Guillermo Willington (7)
Rosendo Torreguitar (1)
HRH Princess Azemah (0)

Royal Salute (14)
Malcolm Borwick (6)
Richard Fagan (1)
Santiago Cernadas (6)
Rico Richert (1)

GSA (14)
Henry Porter (1)
Martín Valent (5)
Matías Machado (5)
Gastón Bardengo (3)

Santa Quitería (14)
José Manuel Entrecanales (1)
Gonzalo Entrecanales (2)
Manuel Alberto Crespo (7)
Pelayo Berazadi (4)

Kazak (14)
Sebastien Aguettant (0)
Patricio Neves (5)
Pierre Henri N’Goumou (5)
Patrick Primael Paillol 4

The Emerging / FCT (13)
Roger Carlsson (0)
Sacha Pictet (1)
Ignacio González (6)
Guillermo Cuitiño (6)

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