Teams Azerbaijan and Germany qualify for the big final of the 1st FIP Arena Polo European Championship Azerbaijan in Baku. POLO+10 is present and reports live for you!

Six days, six international teams and highly competitive matches for the 1st FIP Arena Polo European Championship turn Azerbaijan’s capital Baku into the worldwide focus of the sport of polo.

After a thrilling first weekend teams Azerbaijan and Germany have now claimed the role of favourites and are focussing on Saturday’s big final. “Azerbaijan turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament”, says Jan-Erik Franck who was not only the official commentator but also advised the German team referring to his own arena experience during the absence of team coach Dirk Baumgärtner. “With the very strong Argentinean Silvestre Garros, who had been coaching the Azeri team for the past three months one could see a massive improvement and progress of playing skills and strategy within the team.” In the opening match of the Championship the Azeris beat Germany by two goals. Tomorrow they will face each other again in the final.

A horse race opened day five of the tournament, which was presented by the grooms of all teams. In the first match of the day Germany faced Switzerland and straight from the start team Germany took control of the game. Patrick Maleitzke, Philipp and Oliver Sommer sharing positions with the talented young Niklas Steinle making debut appearance. With a very fast pace and a strategically smart game plan, Germany took an early lead already in the first chukka and never looked back. Switzerland started with a goal advantage of 1.5 but the dominance and dribbling skill combined with strong teamplay lead Germany to a convincing victory of 7 – 4.5.

In the second game of the day Spain faced Azerbaijan and spectators enjoyed a very competitive and fast match. Enthusiastic support of the local audience spurred team Azerbaijan on. Incredibly fast, tactically strong with very clever plays – the Azeri team took control of the game. Applause, applause … and with a 9 – 3 win Azerbaijan team secured, as the only unbeaten team of the entire tournament, their place in Saturday’s final. Outstanding performances from Elchin Jamalli who made life easier for team captain and teacher Silvestre Garros, as well as team mates Tarlan Gurbanaliyev and Elmir Aliyev.

Italy against Ireland was the third pairing of the day with Ireland starting with a half goal advantage and scoring the first goal of the match just a few seconds after the initial throw-in. With Siobhan Herbst, the Irish team was the only team to had a lady player. Team Italy included the youngest player of the tournament: 16 year old Giordano Magini from Polo Club Roma. The game started with a very even first half. Having lost their best player Franco Piazzo due to an injury at the beginning of the tournament, Italy played with substitution, Sebastian Amaya, who brought highly motivated action into the game. At the start of chukka number four Italy had taken the lead by 5 – 3.5 which remains the final result.

Oliver Ellis, who umpired the matches together with Marcelo Garrahan: “This first FIP Arena Polo European Championship is a unique experience. The first half of the tournament was held in the new polo hall. The second half is taking place in the arena. The organisation of the venue is professionally organised by Reto Gaudenzi and his team of World Polo. The venue creates a great vision for the sport of polo here in Baku.”

World Polo and the ARAF-Elite Horse & Polo Club organise this first ever FIP Arena Polo European Championship. And they go ahead: As Reto Gaudenzi, CEO of World Polo announced, the first Polo School in the Caucasian area is going to be build soon at the Elite Horse and Polo Club, where as well the construction of two new fields is planned. Next December, Azerbaijan will present an application for the 2017 World Polo Championship in the upcoming FIP Annual Meeting in Buenos Aires. 2016 Baku will host an international polo tournament for higher rated teams.

Results:
Friday, September 4th


GERMANY vs. AZERBAIJAN
 7 – 9
SPAIN vs. ITALY
 10 – 4.5
SWITZERLAND vs. IRELAND

 6.5 – 9

Saturday, September 5th

ITALY vs. AZERBAIJAN
 6.5 – 12
SWITZERLAND vs. SPAIN
 3.5 – 8
IRELAND vs. GERMANY 2.5 – 5



Sunday, September 6th

SWITZERLAND vs. ITALY
 11 – 1
GERMANY vs. SPAIN
 8 – 5
IRELAND vs. AZERBAIJAN 4.5 – 7

Thursday, September 10th
AZERBAIJAN vs. SWITZERLAND 11 – 6.5
ITALY vs. GERMANY 3 – 5
IRELAND vs. SPAIN 8.5 – 6

Friday, September 11th
GERMANY vs. SWITZERLAND 7 – 4.5
SPAIN vs. AZERBAIJAN 3 – 9
ITALY vs. IRELAND 5 – 3.5

Teams:
Team Azerbaijan

Elchin Jamalli
Tarlan Gurbanaliyev
Hasanov Rashad
Silvestre Garros

Team Ireland
James Connolly
Siobhan Herbst
James Kennedy Jr.
Keelan McCarthy
Patrick Ephson

Team Spain
Marcos Álvarez Talegón
Alvaro Álvarez Talegón
Antonio Ayesa Guix
Luis Benjumea Llorente

Team Switzerland
Luca Zindel
Cedric Schweri
Tito Gaudenzi
Fabio Meier

Team Germany
Patrick Maleitzke
Oliver Sommer
Philipp Sommer
Niklas Steinle

Team Italy
Franco Piazza
Oscar Caronna
Giordano Magini
Gianluca Magini

Schedule:
Friday, 4th September 2015
16.30 Gate Open
17.00 1st Polo match GERMANY – AZERBAIJAN
18.00 2nd Polo match SPAIN – ITALY
19.15 3rd Polo match SWITZERLAND – IRELAND

Saturday, 5th September 2015
16.30 Gate Open
17.00 1st Polo match ITALY – AZERBAIJAN
18.00 2nd Polo match SWITZERLAND – SPAIN
19.15 3rd Polo match IRELAND – GERMANY

Sunday, 6th September 2015
16.30 Gate Open
17.00 1st Polo match SWITZERLAND – ITALY
18.00 2nd Polo match GERMANY – SPAIN
19.15 3rd Polo match IRELAND – AZERBAIJAN

Thursday, 10th September 2015
16.30 Gate Open
17.00 1st Polo match AZERBAIJAN – SWITZERLAND
18.00 2nd Polo match ITALY – GERMANY
19.00 3rd Polo match IRELAND – SPAIN

Friday, 11th September 2015
16.30 Gate Open
17.15 1st Polo match GERMANY – SWITZERLAND
18.00 2nd Polo match SPAIN – AZERBAIJAN
19.00 3rd Polo match ITALY – IRELAND

Saturday, 12th September 2015
16.30 Gate Open
17.00 Welcome Speech and Azerbaijan Horse Show
17.30 Presentation all teams
18.30 Polo game finals 5/6 Place ITALY – SWITZERLAND
19.30 Polo game finals 3/4 Place IRELAND – SPAIN
20.30 Finals European Championship AZERBAIJAN – GERMANY
21.30 Prize giving ceremony
22.15 AZERBAIJAN Polo Party at Elite Horse & Polo Club (Ticket Hotline: (+994 12) 565 31 51, (+994 77) 498 00 00 or (+994 55) 920 99 51)

Gallery:

For further information please visit www.worldpolo.com