By Gonzalo Etcheverry
In another exciting double action day of the Julius Baer Gold Cup, Julius Baer and Ghantoot achieved two important wins at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club against UAE Polo and Mahra, respectively.
Julius Baer by Habtoor Polo defeated UAE Polo by 9 goals to 6 in a tough match which saw Guillermo Cuitiño becoming mvp and top scorer of the game after scoring the 9 goals of his team. Cuitiño led Julius Baer to their first win in the tournament against a really tough rival like UAE that fought back till the end, but it was not enough to beat a solid Julius Baer team.
Julius Baer: 2-1/ 4-2/ 5-3/ 6-5/ 9-6
In the second fixture of the day, Ghantoot also had a happy afternoon at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club after defeating Mahra by 6 goals to 5 in a testing game.
Team made by Youssef Bin Desmal, Lucas Díaz Alberdi, Tomás Fernández Llorente and Bautista Bayugar suffered till the last minutes to secure the victory. Bayugar was the top scorer of the match with four goals.
Ghantoot: 0-1/ 2-1/ 4-1/ 5-3/ 6-5
The Julius Baer Gold Cup will resume next friday at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club with the following order of play:
2pm: Zedan vs Wolves Polo
Followed by: Bin Drai vs Edrees.
All the Julius Baer Gold Cup matches can be watched live at Pololine.tv thanks to Polocam.
Mohammed Al Habtoor (Julius Baer by Habtoor Polo): “Game was about running and our team played the best game since the Silver Cup. Play UAE is always very difficult, Lucas is 9-goal, Benoit is maybe one of the best 6 I’ve seen in my life, but we worked hard, everyone today played over their handicap. Today was my first lunch with the team since the Silver Cup, I told them that all teams were winning and that we were not winning. Bin Drai was better than us the other day, but today we played how we really are, we proved everyone who we are, and that we can beat good teams. We talked frankly and well, this was our last chance to the semifinals. Everyone is in the same place now”.
Guille Cuitiño (Julius Baer by Habtoor Polo): “Level in Dubai is raising a lot; we were a little bit lucky today, the team was really good from the beginning of the season. We started the Gold Cup with many expectations but we faced a really tough opponent in our first game, Bin Drai. They are a really good team but we beat today a really good team as well. We had a meeting yesterday with Mati (Torres Zavaleta) and Manu (Elizalde), today we had lunch with Mohammed and always believing that we can make it, that the team is good, that the horses are doing well. UAE defeated Ghantoot in their first fixture, Lucas brought very good horses from England, Vizcacha (Benoit) is a very experienced player, jack Hyde plays really well, they are one of the best teams, and we showed that we are still alive. We are looking forward to opur next games to reached the semis and the main goal was always the Gold Cup. After today’s matchdate everything became more even”.
Lucas Díaz Alberdi (Ghantoot): “Dubai is really hard, matches are being won by 2 or 3 goals at the most, until the last chukker anything is said, but to win like this is a great thing. The first cup we played was not at this fields, style of play was more open, more like in Argentina, and we didn’t play for almost a month. We reached our first game a little bit out of practice but today we talked, we analyze the videos and we changed our way of playing to a more dynamic and aggressive style. In terms of horses, we are well, the organisation is one of the biggest here, with many horses, but this polo is really difficult. We played the youth Open in Argentina with Bauti and Tomi, and with Bauti we’ve been playing together since the Potrillos Cup, we understand each other, and we always have a good time”.