The final playoffs in Chantilly were played simultaneously in two fields. If France lost against England, Spain had to win to qualify for the final round. Germany on the other hand could force a penalty shootout with France and Spain by winning.
Everything was set on Chantilly’s field 1 for Spain vs. Germany. Germany played fast and open polo, changing their positions for this game as Heinrich Dumrath was back. Spain on the other hand tried to slow the pace a bit, making the game more favorable for their players and horses. The game was tied for the duration of the match, with Germany having a slight advantage thanks to the goal and a half awarded for the handicap difference. Spain could take the lead with only 30 second to go after Pelayo Berazardi’s lecture of the field left him alone with the ball and no opposing players in front.
Spain qualifies for the final round in Sydney after 9 years of their last World Polo Championship semifinal in Mexico 2008.
Result Spain-Germany: 5-4 1/2
Spain (14): Mario Gomez 4, Antonio Ayesa 3, Pelayo Berazardi 5 and Jose Trenor 2.
Germany (12): Heinrich Dumrath 3, Max Bosch 3, Caesar Crasemann 3 and Caspar Crasemann 3.
Meanwhile England vs France. England’s previous wins had them at least on an eventual penalty shootout. France had to win and wait for Spain vs Germany’s result to see if the qualified directly or forced a penalty shootout.
The locals won for most of the match, playing fast paced polo with the help of N’Goumou and Paillol. England seemed to be playing below their possibilities, then the 4th chukker came and with it the best horse of the final, played by an even more impressive Will Lucas. Everything was decided in the last half, with England finally beating France 7-6.
This result, along with Spain’s last second win, qualifies the englishmen for Sydney.
Spain and England will be joining Australia, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and USA to form seven out of the eight teams.
Result England-France: 7-6
England: Henry Porter 2, Mark Baldwin 3, Satnam Dhillon 5 and Will Lucas 5. Total 14 goals.
France: Julien Reynes 3, Patrick Paillol 5, Pierre N’Goumou 5 and Alexandre Sztarkman 1. Total 14 goals.