18 goal tournament at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club is well underway
The 2015 Julius Baer Gold Cup began on Monday 23 February with a surprise for polo spectators. Ghantoot Polo (Nasser Al Shamsi (1), Felipe Llorente (3), Hugo Barabucci (6) and Ale Muzzio (8)), fresh from their successful campaign in The McLaren Cup earlier in the month, suffered a close defeat against Bin Drai Polo (Saeed Bin Drai (0), Agustin Canale (6), Manolo Fernandez-Llorente (6) and Raul Laplacette (6)). Saeed Bin Drai’s team overcame their opposition 6 goals to 5. In the second match of the afternoon, the Julius Baer Team by Habtoor (Mohammed Al Habtoor (0), Santiago Cernadas (6), Martin Iturraspe (6) and Guillermo Cuitino (6)) scored 8 goals to Edrees Polo’s (Sultan Edrees (0), Pablo Llorente (6), Juan Ruiz Guinazu (7) and Pierre Henri N’Goumou (5)) 5.
Polo continued on Tuesday with an exciting match between Zedan (Amr Zedan (0), Martin Gandara (4), Facundo Fernandez-Llorente (4) and Pablo MacDonough (10)) and Desert Palm II (Tariq Albwardy (1), Tom Brodie (2), Diego Cavanagh (8) and Matias Zavaleta (7)). The scores were tied at chukkas two, three and in the last, forcing the game into overtime before Zedan managed to score the ninth winning goal. HH Sheikha Maitha’s UAE (Lucas Monteverde (9), Santi Stirling (5) and Ignacio Acuna (4)) side led throughout their game against Desert Palm I (Rashid Albwardy (2), Martin Valent (4), Facundo Castagnola (6) and Santiago Laborde (6)), and although the scores were tied in the fifth, victory was achieved after 9 goaler, Lucas Monteverde converted a 60-yard penalty to win the match 9-8.
Following a rest day, teams took to the pitch once again on Thursday 26 February with Edrees versus Ghantoot, and Mahra (Rashid Al Habtoor (0), Guy Gibrat (5), Joaquin Pittaluga (7) and Nacho Gonzalez (6)) pitted against Bin Drai. Sadly for Edrees supporters, the team lost their second match of the tournament with Ghantoot defeating them 6 goals to 4. The Bin Drai team faired better with a victory of 10-7 over Rashid Al Habtoor’s Mahra side.
The tournament continues today with Desert Palm II versus UAE and Abu Dhabi’s (their first game of this 18 goal event) against Zedan.
Photograph: UAE’s Lucas Monteverde on the ball during the 2015 Julius Baer Gold Cup. By Gonzalo Etcheverry/ DPGC 2015.