By Darlene Ricker
Ellerstina Johor defeated El Paraíso13-8, and La Aguada Las Monjitas took a 14-10 victory over La Irenita in the fourth round of the 123rd Argentine Open Polo Championship HSBC on Sunday in Palermo.
The first part of the Ellerstina-El Paraíso match can only be described as one of the fastest low-scoring contests in recent memory. Ellerstina scored just one goal in the first chukka, and El Paraíso did the same in the second. Each team scored twice in the third chukka, which ended in a tie at 3. The match turned into a real ballgame in the fourth. Ellerstina poured it on, making four goals and holding El Paraíso scoreless. The first half ended with a four-goal advantage for Ellerstina (7-3).
From that point on, Ellerstina forged ahead, stretching the gap to six goals in the sixth chukka (11-5) and seven in the seventh (13-6). El Paraíso came through with an eleventh-hour rally in the final chukka, with Agustín Merlos making two goals and keeping Ellerstina off the board. The game ended 13-8 for Ellerstina.
In the other match, La Aguada Las Monjitas came on strong right out of the gate with three consecutive goals. A startled La Irenita woke up and responded with two goals. The gap remained tight through the fifth chukka, which ended 8-all. La Aguada slowed edged ahead, winning the game 14-10 with three back-to-back goals.
The tournament resumes Tuesday, when Washington faces Cría Yatay and La Dolfina opposes Alegría. All games in the Open are being live streamed on ESPN (except for in Latin America): http://espni.go.com/player/video/playdemoesp/index.htm