La Dolfina head into their 11th consecutive final going for an unprecedented triple crown for the third year in a row.
As with every big clash, they’re calling it El Gran Clásico and this weekend’s Argentine Open season finale has every right to be billed as such as La Dolfina and Ellerstina go head-to-head for the third time this season.
Only this time there is slightly more at stake. La Dolfina head into their 11th consecutive final going for an unprecedented triple crown for the third year in a row after they edged past La Aguada 13-10, while Ellerstina held off Las Monjitas 16-12
In defeating Ellerstina in last year’s Argentine Open, the all-conquering quartet equalled the double-triple set in the 1975 season by the Colonel Suarez team.
After wins at the Tortugas and Hurlingham Opens, they now stand one match away – a potential 35th straight victory for good measure – from writing themselves into history.
La Dolfina vs Ellerstina a la final del 122do Abierto de @asocdepolo. Gran clásico con los mejores del mundo #Polo pic.twitter.com/XZqQGFIC3M
— La Romana Polo Club (@PoloRomana) December 7, 2015
At the helm will be Adolfo Cambiaso, who has focused his mind on just this scenario since he finished the European season with victory in Sotogrande. La Dolfina’s No. 1 knocked in eight goals on Saturday. Ellerstina’s Facundo Pieres, Cambiaso’s rival for world No. 1, did the same on Sunday.
Following victory on Saturday, Cambiaso told La Nacion: “It is my pride as a club and as an organisation. But we must continue, there is still much to be done.”
During this campaign, Cambiaso racked up his 800th goal on Argentine fields as he continues to defy the odds and the injuries which have nearly curtailed the 40-year-old’s bid for the ‘Triple Coruna’.
“In recent years, at times, there has been much suffering,” added Cambiaso, referring to his shoulder problems. “Last year I found it impossible to play. And this year, half of the season, I also got injured and could hardly play the final of the Hurlingham. But now I’m fine, so I’m happy.”
Ellerstina, perennial runners-up to La Dolfina in the last three years, will be doing their utmost to claim top honours on Sunday.
They will aim to do so against the backdrop of Cambiaso’s performances in the first two Opens. In the Tortugas final, Cambiaso played like a 20-year-old, rolling back the years as he scored 10 of the 11 goals against Ellerstina.
Then, in the Hurlingham final, he scored a last-gasp penalty goal to deny Ellerstina once more.
An anti-climax at a packed house in Palermo on Sunday? Not if Cambiaso has one final, heroic say.
Final: Saturday, Dec 12
La Dolfina v Ellerstina, 1630 local time
Adolfo Cambiaso 10 (handicap), David Stirling 10, Pablo Mac Donough 10, Juan Martín Nero 10
Pablo Pieres 10, Nicolás Pieres 9, Gonzalo Pieres 10, Facundo Pieres 10