USA settle for second place at the Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club
Brazil, not known for its snow sports, had journeyed through the snow polo tournament without a loss, taking to the field for the Final against USA on Saturday 8 February. The three-aside team of Gustavo Garcia, Guilherme Lins and Aluisio Viella Rosa took on Delmer Walton, Mike Azzaro and Tommy Biddle Jnr. to win with a score of 11-5. Garcia set the tone of the game, galloping out of the first throw-in in a flurry of snow to score the first goal, before then setting up Viella Rosa who secured the second goal much to the shock of the USA team. Lins scored a penalty towards the end of the first to leave the score 3-0 going into the second. The beginning of the second chukka saw penalties dictate play with both sides displaying their frustration. The first penalty went in favour of Biddle Jnr followed by a penalty for Garcia. Azzaro managed a goal for USA before the Brazilian, Lins found the posts again to take his team to a 5-2 lead at half-time.
By the end of chukka three, the Brazilians were way ahead, on the attack and hammering the States’ defence. Garcia got them there with two penalties in the first two minutes and a further goal from Lins made it 7-2. Some back chat to the umpires from the USA team left them giving away another penalty converted by Garcia, before Viella Rosa scored twice and Lins followed suit. The trophy was in the Brazilian’s sights as the USA team trailed well behind on an 11-2 score. Biddle Jnr. scored again for the USA side – his third goal for his team – before his teammates made an impact on the scoreboard. Delmer ran across the snow chicaning around the Brazilians to make it 11-4 and a final attempt from Azzaro made it through the posts in the last 30 seconds, but it was too little too late. All three players on the Brazilian team managed to score at each and every opportunity. Gustavo Garcia was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, with the award for the Best Pony going to Bagi.
Earlier in the day, Argentina and France played out the Subsidiary Final for third place. The free-running French trio had gone unbeaten in the tournament until their Semi Final defeat against the USA; their opponents Argentina had grown in stature after coming unstuck in their opening match against New Zealand and losing narrowly to Brazil in their Semi Final. Argentina claimed a well-deserved third place with an 8-5 victory.
Photograph: Brazil win the 2015 Fortune Heights Snow Polo World Cup for the first time. By Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club.