Flexjet Dominate Colorado 9-4 to Begin Their 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship

 

Flexjet powered to an impressive 9-4 victory over Colorado during a fiercely fought encounter in the third game of the 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.

 

In a match where most of the action took place in the middle of the field, both teams fought for possession and field territory with neither team able to gain significant ground by half time. Colorado managed to score 3 first half goals due to a slightly better conversion rate of 3 for 8, but in a game with few fouls, Flexjet’s only source of offense early was two penalty 2 conversions. Using their set plays as a foundation to score goals, Flexjet dominated the second half with efficient shooting and exceptional defense that held Colorado to zero goals and just three shot attempts in the final three chukkas. Flexjet overcame a scary injury for Rodrigo Andrade in the fifth chukka, on a play that saw a hard hit shot from Nico Pieres ricochet off his helmet and force him out of the game. Ultimately, the lack of Colorado offense late in the game led to the convincing 9-4 victory for Flexjet.

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The first few chukkas came down to a battle of attrition with Colorado’s Robert Jornayvaz active out front of the game, scoring Colorado’s first goal to complete a brilliant team effort. Gonzalito scored two goals from the penalty line to give Flexjet the slim 2-1 lead, but they were unable to extend the lead as they couldn’t finish their attacks after intelligent inter-playing between Gonzalito and Nico Pieres. Colorado came alive in the 3rd chukka, outscoring Flexjet 3-1, led by two goals from Diego Cavanagha s Colorado held a 4-1 lead at halftime.

 

The momentum changed in the second half as Flexjet began to convert their attacks, scoring two goals in quick succession, a trend they continued throughout the second half. Colorado was held without a shot or penalty attempt in the fourth and fifth chukkas as Flexjet dominated play, increasing their lead to three with one chukka remaining. The defensive work continued for Flexjet as Colorado was held scoreless, with Flexjet substitute Alejandro Novillo Astrada contributing defensively. Ultimately the story of the game was the abaility of Gonzalito and Nico Pieres, who finishined with five and four goals respectively, to outplay the elite players on Colorado and finish with the five-goal victory.