Washington once again showed that they are a very strong team. It is hard to remember a time when a team from the qualifications inspired such expectation as this team from Cordoba, Argentina, has. As Facundo Sola told PoloLine after their last match, Washington have to be sharper if they want to claim a win. Both of their games in Palermo got off to a strong start, but they struggle to maintain their rhythm throughout the second half of the match.
-Las Monjitas is a serious team. Unfortunately for them, only in Palermo have they managed to play with all four main players. The arrival of Sebastián Merlos and Cubi Toccalino gave the team notable strength. Toccalino is having the best year of his polo career, and was instrumental in both Palermo games. In fact, in their game against Washington, Las Monjitas resembled a different team once Cubi got involved more in the third chukker.
-Ellerstina at times went back to being the great team they were when they faced Alegría and La Dolfina in Hurlingham. Polito was noticably more relaxed; Polito is key in Ellerstina’s fight to win the title.
-La Aguada is also playing high quality polo. All four players have been consistent throughout the tournament, with both those in attack and defence living up to the challenge. Sapo Caset is having his best season in years.
-La Dolfina showed that their opponents have to give 120% if they want to defeat them. In what was undoubtably Alegria’s best game of the season, La Dolfina still managed to emerge victorious. When his team needed him most, Cambiaso came through to score two great goals to put La Dolfina up at the end of the fifth.
-Hilario Ulloa is again performing a high standard of play; it is clear that he has been playing 10-goals for a while now. It will be interesting to see if his handicap changes at the end of the year. The change in positions in Alegria was a determining factor: Ulloa, Monteverde, Laprida and Mannix at back showed a different attitude compared to the game they lost against La Aguada.
-Sunday saw a good turn out at Palermo, with large crowds watching the game and enjoying the After Polo events. Monday wasn’t as successful, being a weekday; however, more people attended than the previous Monday.
-PoloLine chose the following MVPs for each match: Alejandro Novillo Astrada (Las Monjitas vs Washington), Facundo Pieres (Ellerstina vs Chapaleufú), Ignacio Novillo Astrada (La Aguada vs Magual) and Adolfo Cambiaso (La Dolfina vs Alegría). Special mention to Hilario Ulloa and Alfredo Cappella.
– The AACCP honoured the following horses: Gete Libertad, played by Facundo Sola, Open Z Jones, played by Gonzalo Pieres, Gete Olimpia, played by Guillermo Caset and Oli Chicha, played by Juan Martín Nero.
-What’s to come: Magual and Alegria will fight for their first victory at Palermo in the first game of the weekend. The first semifinal will follow – La Dolfina will face La Aguada. Sunday will see Washington face Chapaleufú, a battle between the youngest team and the most experienced team. The second semifinal will close the weekend – Ellerstina vs Las Monjitas.