A high-goal charity match at Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club on Saturday has raised 33,600 euros for the Al Ain Private Centre for Care & Rehabilitation this evening after the hosts beat Habtoor Polo in a 9-7 clash. The 20-goal match, the highest handicapped polo to be played in the UAE this season was a new addition to Ghantoot’s polo calendar and is held under the patronage of the club’s chairman, HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Both sides are about to contest the Dubai Gold Cup, which takes place at Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club all next week. Ghantoot’s victory over defending champions, Habtoor Polo at this stage will bring a lot of confidence to the Royal club. Ghantoot’s Facundo Sola scored six goals, Juan Jaurechte two and Emirati player, Ahmed Al Nueimi one. For Habtoor, Martinez Ferrairo got four, while Mohammed al Habtoor, Guillermo Cuitino and Salvador Ulloa all got one. “To win a charity match for such a good cause is a really great feeling, said Ghantoot’s Facundo Sola. “It was a very exciting game, which is what you would expect from 20-goal polo.
“We know we are playing well, having just missed out in the semi-final of the Dubai Silver Cup last week, when losing 10-9 to Abu Dhabi. Habtoor went on to win that tournament and they are obviously a team in great form, so our win today was a fantastic confidence boost.” Ghantoot face a rematch with Saudi Arabian side, Zedan Polo in the opening game of the Dubai Gold Cup on Monday, and Zedan will be out for revenge after Ghantoot dumped them out of the Silver Cup last week. “There is a lot to play for next week and having got so close in the Silver Cup, it just makes us all the more hungry for success in the Gold Cup. We know all the sides very well and we know exactly what they are capable of. “There are no easy matches in any of the tournaments in the UAE so we hope we can continue in the same vein on Monday,” said Sola, who emerged as the Silver Cup’s highest goal scorer with a total of 16 for the tournament.
H E. Saeed Bin Houfan Al Mansouri, Vice Chairman of Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club said: “We would like to extend our thanks to all the people who supported us today. It was a fun, family day out and that is exactly what we hoped to achieve in organising this match.”
The Al Ain Private Center for Care and Rehabilitation was founded in 1999 through the personal initiative of a father of an autistic child. The center was established to provide basic education and care services for limited number of children who required extra help. A non-profit, non-governmental humanitarian organisation, the centre is currently housed in a villa with 20 classrooms to provide education and rehabilitation to 120 children. The facility can also house residential pupils and it currently hosts 73 children of which 33 come from GCC counties.
1. Ghantoot (+20)
Ahmed Al Neaimi (0)
Juan Jauretche (+5)
Hugo Barabucci (+7)
Facundo Sola (+8)
2. Habtoor (+20)
Habtoor Al Habtoor (0)
Guillermo Cuitino (+6)
Martinez Ferrairo (+7)
Salvador Ulloa (+7)