Fran Elizalde (7) replaced the injured Ignacio Novillo Astrada (9) and played well but one can’t help feeling that the Novillo Astrada brothers were not playing as well as a team as they would normally. This was partly down to a number of missed shots at goal that they would usually have scored but today they didn’t. Partly down to an inspired performance from Cria Yatay who, like La Irenita yesterday, were another team that qualified for the Open. The new format of quarterfinals has given us two of the most exciting matches for many years.
Cria Yatay had nothing to lose and played freely and fearlessly throughout this match, chasing every play to make the most of their opportunities. Against a well established team with a depth of pony power that is envied by many, Cria Yatay looked as though they might struggle.
However, the spirit shown and the excellent team play had them ahead in the first 2-1 and they never lost the lead thereafter. Leading 5-3, 8-4 and then 9-7 at halftime they were proving a difficult team for La Aguada to deal with. A scoreless fifth chukka (9-7) with Cria Yatay scoring two goals in the sixth to go 11-7 up made for an interesting situation with La Aguada being held scoreless for three chukkas! How often does that happen? With Cria Yatay winning the seventh, they were 13-8 up going into the last. A penalty at the start of the eighth brought La Aguada to 13-9 but another goal for Cria Yatay a couple of minutes from time put them five goals up and a late goal by La Aguada failed to be enough and Cria Yatay won 14-10. Joaco Pittaluga was outstanding in his tactical play and his penalty taking ( he scored six of seven penalties) and scored seven goals in this match. He looks under handicapped at 7 goals.
Could this be the biggest surprise result in the Argentine Open this century? Let’s see, because Cria Yatay have now earned a semifinal place to play Triple triple champions La Dolfina this Saturday.
MVP: Joaquín Pittaluga.
BPP: Irenita Shakira, played by Joaquín Pittaluga.
Cría Yatay: Guillermo Terrera (h) 8 (1 goal), Cristian Laprida (h) 8 (4), Joaquín Pittaluga 7 (7, 6 penalties) and Ignacio Laprida 7 (2). Total: 30.
La Aguada Las Monjitas: Francisco Elizalde 7 (2), Eduardo Novillo Astrada (h) 9 (3), Miguel Novillo Astrada 9 (1 penalty) and Alejandro Novillo Astrada 8 (4, 2 penalties). Total: 33.
Score Cría Yatay: 2-1, 5-3, 8-4, 9-7, 9-7, 11-7, 13-8, 14-10.
Umpires: Matías Baibiene and Martín Aguerre. Third man: Gastón Dorignac (h).