La Dolfina vs La Esquina Los Machitos
La Dolfina began their bid for their 5th consecutive Campeonato Argentine Abierto de Polo in dominating fashion, defeating La Esquina Los Machitos 24-6 on Field 2 in Palermo.
From the opening throw-in, La Dolfina controlled possession and had all four ten-goalers at their best, shooting 61% from the field as a team and converting all seven penalty attempts for the game. La Esquina LM was left searching for answers as La Dolfina received at least four field goals from every player, providing too many angles of attack for La Esquina LM to cover.
Five minutes into the game, La Esquina LM was caught a step behind as La Dolfina raced out to a 4-0 lead, with Adolfo Cambiaso and David Stirling both scoring two goals from the field. One of La Dolfina’s three fouls in the game, resulted in a penalty 4 conversion for Mariano Aguerre as the first chukka ended with a 4-1 lead in favour of La Dolfina.
The remainder of the first half continued to display the dominance of La Dolfina, as they held La Esquina LM to zero shots in the 2nd and 3rd chukkas, while scoring five consecutive goals to extend their lead to 9-1. Juan Martin Nero was effective from the penalty line, converting both of his chances in the 3rd chukka, while David Stirling attacked relentlessly, scoring two more field goals before the end of the first half. La Esquina LM had their strongest chukka in the fourth, scoring three goals, with Rodrigo Andrade scoring two of those goals from the field, but La Dolfina scored three goals of their own in the chukka to take a commanding 11-4 lead into halftime.
The fortunes of La Esquina LM didn’t change in the second half as La Dolfina’s dominance continued, accounting for 10 of the first 11 shots in the half. Holding La Esquina LM off the scoresheet in the 5th and 6th chukkas, La Dolfina added six more goals to their total, as Juan Martin Nero began to come forward more aggressively, resulting in three field goals, bringing his total to seven goals by the end of the 6th chukka.
Late fouls from La Esquina LM in the 8th chukka, provided La Dolfina with three more penalty attempts, as Nero converted two and Cambiaso converted one to complete their perfect seven for seven shooting from the penalty line. Finishing with the 24-6 victory, behind nine goals from Juan Martin Nero, La Dolfina’s performance shows their sights are set on another Argentine Open title.
La Aguada vs La Irenita
Both victorious in their opening games of the 2017 Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo, it was La Aguada who was victorious once again, defeating La Irenita 12-7 on Field 1 in Palermo.
Led by Miguel Novillo Astrada’s defensive effort and five-goal performance, La Aguada was effective transitioning from defence to offence, preventing La Irenita from creating the scoring chances that were necessary for them to win. Held to zero field goals in the first half, La Irenita was unable to string together the passes to get past the back line of Miguel and Ignacio Novillo Astrada. Offensively, La Aguada was paced by a combined 9 for 12 shooting from Miguel Novillo Astrada and Alfredo Bigatti, as Bigatti provided key goals late in the game for La Aguada to finish with the five goal victory.
A back and forth defensive battle was the story early in the game, as the ball was kept in the middle of the field and both teams were just missing their scoring opportunities. La Aguada missed their four shot attempts in the opening chukka, along with La Irenita missing their lone shot attempt as a scoreless 0-0 tie carried into the 2nd chukka. The style of the game didn’t change in the following two chukkas, as their were few scoring chances but La Aguada’s Alejandro Novillo Astrada finally opened the scoring in the 2nd chukka, finishing a nice run to goal. After a penalty conversion from La Irenita’s Guillermo Willington tied the score, Miguel Novillo Astrada scored his first goal of the game giving La Aguada the slim 2-1 lead after the 3rd chukka.
La Aguada found their stride in the 4th chukka, breaking the game open on perfect 4 for 4 shooting, with three of those goals coming from the mallet of Miguel Novillo Astrada. In what had been a low scoring game, La Irenita suddenly found themselves trailing 6-2 at halftime, struggling to generate any shots toward goal. The aggressive defensive effort from La Aguada in the first half kept La Irenita from holding the ball but resulted in nine fouls, as La Irenita’s only offence came via two penalty goals from Willington.
The second half displayed a better offensive performance from La Irenita as Juan Ruiz Guinazu was more involved on the attack, scoring two goals, one each in the 5th and 6th chukkas, but La Aguada was efficient converting their opportunities, making three of their four shot attempts in the 6thchukka to maintain a 10-6 lead. The game was physical late as the teams battled over the final two chukkas but ultimately it was the team defence of La Aguada, along with Bigatti’s timely goals in the 8th chukka, pushing La Aguada over the edge, finishing with the 12-7 victory.