By Alex Webbe
King Power Foxes (Top Srivaddhanaprabha, Pepito Araya, Gonzalito Pieres and Facundo Pieres) and Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Kian Hall, Adolfo Cambiaso and Juan Martin Nero) quickly reminded everyone of exactly who last year’s finalists were in the Cartier Queens Cup by dispatching La Bamba de Areco and HB Polo in the opening quarterfinals of the tournament Saturday afternoon.
In the opening match of the day HB Polo took the early lead on a penalty goal from Peon Stirling and a goal from Ludovic Pailloncy. Juan Martin Nero kept Dubai in the game with a single goal to trail, 2-1.
Stirling stretched the HB Polo lead to two goals in the second chukker, 3-1, but Dubai stormed back. An aggressive attack resulted in a pair of fouls that Adolfo Cambiaso turned into goals, tying the game at 3-3 to end the period.
The two teams traded goals in the third. Cambiaso and Stirling each scored twice to end the first half in a 5-5 deadlock.
A re-focused Dubai team took the field in the fourth chukker, scoring the first four goals of the period to give them the lead, 9-5. Sebastien Pailloncy and Kian Hall exchanged goals with Stirling converting a penalty shot for the final goal of the chukker. Dubai was in control of the game and left the field on top of a 10-7 score.
Stirling added two more goals to the HB Polo total n the fifth but Dubai was on cruise control. A goal from Rashid Albwardy and a pair of goals from Nero extended the Dubai lead to four goals, 13-9, with one chukker left in regulation play.
Dubai retained control in the sixth despite a last ditch effort by the HB Polo line-up. Two more penalty goals from Cambiaso went unanswered as Dubai rode off with the 15-9 win and a spot in Wednesday’s Cartier Queens Cup semi-finals.
King Power Foxes 14, La Bamba de Areco 10
The King Power Foxes got another step closer to returning to the final of the Cartier Queens Cup Saturday afternoon as they ran up an 8-4 halftime lead and then galloped off with the 14-10 win.
Diego Cavanagh scored twice in the opening chukker (once on a 60-yard penalty shot) and Gonzalito Pieres countered with two goals from the field for an opening 2-2 tie in the second quarterfinal game of the day. Three more second chukker King Power goals had La Bamba de Areco trailing 5-3 after two periods of play. Gonzalito Pieres scored twice for King Power while La Bamba de Areco managed only a single penalty goal from Cavanagh.
The King Power Foxes continued to roll in the third chukker with a goal from Pepe Araya and two more goals from Gonzalito Pieres (one on a penalty shot). Jean- Francois Decaux scored the only goal of the chukker for La Bamba de Areco, who trailed by four goals, 8-4, at the end of the first half.
The La Bamba de Areco defense finally managed to stem the King Power attack in the fourth chukker, holding them to a single goal. The La Bamba de Areco attack was held scoreless, however, and trailed by five goals, 9-4.
Four more fifth chukker goals from King Power put the game completely out of reach, with La Bamba de Areco trailing by seven goals, 13-6, despite a pair of scores from Cavanagh.
Araya added his third goal of the day as the King Power led grew to eight goals, 14-6, when the defending champions began to coast. La Bamba de Areco came up with four straight goals as King Power gave their horses a rest, sailing to the 14-10 victory and an invitation to the semifinals of the tournament on Wednesday.
The final two quarterfinals of the 2016 Cartier Queens Cup are scheduled to be played on Sunday with La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Nic Roldan, Agustin Merlos and Julian de Lusarreta) playing Sifani (Hilali Noordeen, Juan Gris Zavaleta, J.P. Clarkin and Luke Tomlinson) in an 11am game followed by a 3pm contest between Zacara (Jack Hyde, Lyndon Lea, Lucas Monteverde and Pablo MacDonough) and RH Polo (Ben Soleimani, Ali Patterson, Nico Pieres and Rodrigo Andrade). The winners will join King Power Foxes and Dubai in the semi-finals.