Facunodo Sola hits match-winning hat-trick in 5th chukker.
Al Habtoor’s leading player Facuno Solo could not have hit peak form at a better time as he scored a stunning hat-trick in a tense final chukker to help hs team defeat a gritty Bangash 12-9 in the 20th HH President of the UAE Polo Cup at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort on March 16.
Both team were lock at 8-goal each at the end of the fourth chukker, but it was Al Habtoot who came out stronger in the decider to strike four goals without conceding any, for a resounding victory. It was their second of the six-team 18-goal handicap tournament, following their 14-12 victory over the UAE Polo Team in an earlier game. One of the UAE’s leading polo clubs and tournament organisers, Al Habtoot comprise a strong team lead by Mohammed Al Habtoor, Felix Esian, Martin Podesta and the mercurial nine-handicapper, Solo. “I am delighted with the way the team performed under pressure,” said Al Habtoor. “The whole performance was very good right from the start. “We also won a tense match against UAE Polo Team which shows that we can handle the pressure. By playing this way and staying positive will also help the team to perform better. Overall out performance was solid and we look forward to our next match against Abu Dhabi (March 21).
“A win there will put us in a strong position in the tournament,” Despite losing two games on the trot Haider Bangash remained up-beat and said: “Full marks to our players for putting up such a spirted performance for the second consecutive match. “We lost both matches narrowly, which means that we can still mix it with the top teams. Perhaps we need to look at some things in our strategy and hopefully raise our game in the coming matches. Bangash play Desert Palm Polo Team in their third league match on March 21.
The ‘President of the UAE Cup’ offers a lucrative purse of AED 500,000.
The final of the tournament scheduled for March 27. All games are being held at the state-of-the-art Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club in Abu Dhabi which was founded by HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and is run under the patronage and directives of his son, The Chairman of Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Tuesday, March 17
2.30pm Ghantoot vs Abu Dhabi
4.30 Desert Palm vs UAE
Friday, March 21
3.30pm Ghantoot vs UAE
Saturday, March 22
2.30pm Desert Palm vs Bangash
4.30pm Al Habtoor vs Abu Dhabi
Tuesday, March 24
Friday, March 27
AT A GLANCE
What: HH President of the UAE Polo Tournament
When: March 11-27
Where: Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Abu Dhabi
Teams: 6 Polo Teams
Tournament Handicap: 18 Handicap
Watch it Live: www.presidentpolocup.ae
Notes: Crowd Cancelled
EVENT SPONSORS AND PARTNERS
- Governing Partner: Abu Dhabi Sports Council
- In association with: Emirates Polo Association
- Event Sponsors:
- YAS Capital Investments
- YAS International Properties LLC
- YAS International Development
- YAS International Holding
- YAS International Investment
- La Roche Pharmacy
- Official Car:
- Premier Motors – Maserati
Official website: www.presidentpolocup.ae
Official social media: www.instagram.com/ghantootpolo