by U.S. Polo Correspondent Alex Webbe

Adolfo Cambiaso scored six times and Valiente chalked up their second victory with a 12-9 win over Audi, but it wasn’t a day at the park for Bob Jornayvaz and company, as action in the 2013 Maserati U. S. Open continued at the International Polo Club in Wellington Thursday afternoon. “They’re a good team,” said Cambiaso after the match. “They’re going to qualify,” added the 10-goaler, referring to Audi’s ability to qualify for the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Valiente opened strongly, scoring three goals in the opening chukker for an early 3-1 lead. Cambiaso and Nico Pieres exchanged penalty goals in the opening minutes of play for a 1-1 tie, but Cambiaso and Pelon Stirling added single goals from the field for the early 3-1 score. The second chukker was defensive in nature with Nico Pieres scoring the only goal in the period on a penalty shot. After two periods Audi trailed Valiente by a single goal, 3-2. Nico Pieres converted another penalty goal just a minute into the third chukker to knot it up at 3-3, but the tie didn’t last long. Less than three minutes later Stirling’s second goal of the game had Valiente on top, 4-3. Ensuing goals from Santi Torres and Stirling (penalty conversion) ended the first half with Valiente leading by a score of 6-3.

Audi rallied in the fourth as Gonzalito Pieres scored consecutive goals to cut the Valiente lead to a single goal, 6-5. Cambiaso closed out the chukker with a goal from the field to push Valiente ahead by two goals, 7-5. A Cambiaso made it 8-5 on his fourth goal of the game, but consecutive penalty conversions from Nico Pieres whittled the lead back to a single goal, 8-7. With two minutes left in the chukker, Gonzalito Pieres tied it up at 8-8, with his third goal of the afternoon. Stirling gave the lead back to Valiente in the final minute of play with a goal from the field. With one chukker left in regulation time Valiente was holding a one goal, 9-8 advantage over a pressing Audi attack.

Cambiaso drilled the ball over 90 yards, out of a pack in the opening minute of the sixth chukker to extend the Valiente lead to two goals again, 10-8, but Audi continued to press. A Valiente foul sent Nico Pieres to the penalty line at the 5:03 mark where he converted another penalty shot for a goal, cutting the Valiente lead back to a single goal with five minutes left in the period. Sixty seconds later, Cambiaso scored from the field as the Valiente lead grew back to two goals, 11-9, as Audi struggled to take control of the ball. Stirling scored the final goal of the game with 28 seconds on the clock in a 12-9 Valiente win. Cambiaso was credited with six goals for Valiente. Stirling added five goals and Torres scored once in the victory. Nico Pieres led the Audi attack with six goals, all on penalty shots. Gonzalito added three goals from the field in a losing effort. The win boosts the Valiente record to 2-0 while Audi falls to 1-2.

ERG 11, COCA-COLA 7
It seemed like a good sign when Coca-Cola team captain, Gillian Johnston, took the opening throw-in 150 yards down the field to score in the opening 11 seconds of the game, but that was to be one of the few bright spots all day for Coca-Cola as they found themselves on the short end of an 11-7 score. Johnston’s opening goal held for over seven minutes until a penalty conversion by ERG’s Agustin Merlos tied it at 1-1 at the 3:17 mark. Agustin Merlos scored again in the last minute of the chukker for a first chukker 2-1 lead.

The ball was carried from one end of the field to the other in second chukker play. A minute and thirty seconds into the period, Agustin Merlos scored from the field for a 3-1 advantage. Julio Arellano responded with a penalty conversion for Coca-Cola, cutting the ERG lead back to a single goal, 3-2. A goal from the field from ERG 9-goaler Eduardo Novillo Astrada ended the scoring with ERG in front, 4-2. Paco de Narvaez scored his first goal of the match in the opening minute of the third period followed by a goal from team captain, Scott Wood, three minutes later, 6-2. A second penalty goal from Arellano cut the ERG lead to three goals, 6-3, at the end of the first half. The Coca-Cola was firing blanks in the fourth chukker as ERG had their way with them. Goals from Agustin Merlos and de Narvaez ended the chukker with Coca-Cola trailing by a humbling seven goals, 10-3.

Sixth chukker play had Coca-Cola having their most productive period of the game. Arellano scored on a penalty shot and a goal from the field while Coca-Cola also picked up single goals from Sugar Erskine and Sebastian Merlos as the ERG team appeared to be saving their horses. When the final horn sounded Coca-Cola came up short and ERG celebrated the 11-7 win. Agustin Merlos led the field with five goals on the day. De Narvaez added three goals with Astrada scoring twice and Wood adding a goal in the victory. Arellano led the Coca-Cola offense with four goals. Teammates Johnston, Erskine and Sebastian Merlos added single goals. The loss drops the Coca-Cola record to 1-2 with ERG sitting at 1-1.


The Teams:
Alegria (+26)
Julian Mannix (+2)
Hilario Ulloa (+9)
Mariano Aguerre (+9)
Facundo Obregon (+6)

Audi (+26)
Marc Ganzi (+1)
Nico Pieres (+8)
Gonzalito Pieres (+10)
Jeff Hall (+7)

Coca-Cola (+26)
Gillian Johnston (+1)
Sugar Erskine (+7)
Julio Arellano (+9)
Sebastian Merlos (+9)

ERG (+26)
Scott Wood (0)
Tincho Merlos (+9)
Eduardo Novillo Astrada (+9)
Paco de Navaez (+8)

Faraway Polo (+26 / +25)
Bo / Hutton Goodman (+1 / 0)
Santiago Chavanne (+9)
Nic Roldan (+8)
Matias Magrini (+8)

Lechuza Caracas (+26)
Victor Vargas (+1)
Polito Pieres (+8)
Juan Martin Nero (+10)
Francisco Elizalde (+7)

Orchard Hill (+26)
Steve van Andel (0)
Rodrigo Andrade (+8)
Pablo MacDonough (+10)
Matias MacDonough (+8)

Piaget (+26)
Melissa Ganzi (0)
Nacho Badiola (+6)
Sapo Casset (+10)
Miguel Astrada (+10)

Valiente (+26)
Bob Jornayvaz (0)
Pelon Stirling (+10)
Adolfo Cambiaso (+10)
Santi Torres (+6)

Zacara (+26)
Facundo Pieres (+10)
Lyndon Lea (+1)
Magoo Laprida (+8)
Mike Azzaro (+7)

Zorzal (+26)
Fred Mannix (+6)
Jason Crowder (+6)
Marianito Obregon (+7)
Mariano Gonzalez (+7)