By International Polo Academy

The 15 th game of the 2017 Gold Cup saw La Indiana finish with a convincing 10-6 victory over La Bamba de Areco. La Indiana pressured La Bamba de Areco throughout the game, using exceptional team defence to gain possession and produce 18 shots at goal. Pite Merlos, substituting for his injured brother Agustin Merlos, provided strong defensive positioning, allowing Nic Roldan and Luke Tomlinson to attack goal relentlessly. The inability of the La Bamba de Areco offense to break through the back line of La Indiana was ultimately the difference in the game.

From the opening throw-in, La Indiana controlled possession of the ball and did not allow many counter attacks from their opposition. The pressure from La Indiana resulted in six shots on goal in the opening chukka but only two shots were put through the goal, as Roldan and Michael Bickford opened the scoring for La Indiana.

La Indiana did not let up in the 2 nd chukka as a penalty 2 conversion and field goal for Roldan, his 2 nd and 3 rd goals of the game, pushed La Indiana’s lead to four goals as La Bamba de Areco was unable to find the score sheet, missing both shot attempts through two chukkas. The combination of Merlos and Tomlinson defensively were limiting space for Diego Cavanagh and Magoo Laprida as La Bamba de Areco continued to search for answers in the first half. As the 3 rd chukka came to a close, La Bamba was still without a goal and were fortunate to only be trailing by four goals as La Indiana only converted three of nine shot attempts from the field.

After an injury forced Laprida out of the game, his replacement Guillermo Terrera provided the offensive spark that La Bamba de Areco was looking for, as Terrera scored two goals in the 4 th chukka, the second of which coming from over 100 yards away. La Indiana began bringing Tomlinson forward as Merlos was covering defensively but La Indiana’s inability to convert around goal, missing five of six shots in the 4 th chukka kept La Bamba de Areco in the game.

However, the slow start for La Bamba de Areco ultimately did them in as they were never able to get within striking distance and did not produce enough scoring chances throughout the game to mount a comeback. La Indiana used four goals from Roldan and Tomlinson to cruise to the 10-6 victory and move to 3-1 in the Gold Cup.

La Indiana: 6/18. La Bamba de Areco: 4/10.
La Indiana: 4/4. La Bamba de Areco: 2/4.
La Indiana: 8. La Bamba de Areco: 11.
La Indiana: 9. La Bamba de Areco: 14.

Score La Indiana: 2-0, 4-0, 4-0, 6-2, 8-3, 10-6.
Scorers La Indiana: Nic Roldan 4, Luke Tomlinson 4, Michael Bickford 2.
Scorers La Bamba de Areco: Guillermo Terrera 3, Rodrigo Rueda 2, Diego Cavanagh 1.

Up next, El Remanso defeated Habtoor 11-9 on Field 1 at Cowdray Park Polo Club under the Argentine Ambassador’s Cup. El Remanso used an efficient passing attack that saw all four players score at least two goals, placing immense pressure on the Habtoor defense. Despite losing the throw-in battle 17-10, El Remanso was able to quickly transition from defense to offense, with Oliver Cudmore and Charlie Hanbury releasing downfield to stretch the field. Shooting 10 for 15 (67%) on the game, El Remanso wore down Habtoor on their way to their 2nd victory.

Oliver Cudmore ran the opening throw-in of the game through the goal to open the scoring for El Remanso but minutes later, Habtoor’s Francisco Elizalde replied with a nice neckshot to even the score at 1-1. The pace of the game picked up and was end to end which favoured the passing attack of El Remanso. Goals from the field from James Harper and Cudmore stretched El Remanso’s lead to two but Nico Pieres scored two goals of his own, one from the field and one from the penalty line to even the score.

The final four chukkas turned into a game of runs as El Remanso continued to play a fast-paced game, with Harper controlling the flow of the game from the #4 position. From the start of the 3 rd chukka, El Remanso scored eight of the next nine goals, providing them with an 11-4 lead halfway through the 5 th chukka. During that span, El Remanso shot 7 for 11 from the field and converted their lone penalty attempt for the game, all while holding Habtoor to one goal on their four shots.

Trailing by seven goals, with ten minutes remaining, Habtoor had a tall task ahead of them but they finally ended El Remanso’s run of goals by beginning a run of their own. Nico Pieres converted a penalty 2 for his 4 th goal of the game and quickly followed that with a penalty 3 conversion to cut El Remanso’s lead to five. A final push in the 6 th chukka saw Pieres score three more goals, two from the penalty line and one from the field, to bring his goal total to eight for the game but it wasn’t enough to overcome the balanced El Remanso attack as the all-English El Remanso held on for the 11-9 victory.

El Remanso: 10/15. Habtoor Polo: 4/11.
El Remanso: 1/1. Habtoor Polo: 5/7.
El Remanso: 9. Habtoor Polo: 6.
El Remanso: 10. Habtoor Polo: 17.

Score El Remanso: 1-1, 3-3, 6-4, 8-4, 11-6, 11-9.
Scorers El Remanso: Ollie Cudmore 3, James Beim 3, Charlie Hanbury 3, James Harper 2.
Scorers Habtoor Polo: Nico Pieres 6, Fran Elizalde 1, Own Goal 1, Goal Given 1.

BPP by the Argentine Breeders Association: Open Petrova. Player: Nico Pieres.

The Gold Cup for the British Open will resume on Tuesday with the following matches:
Sommelier vs Monterosso
Talandracas vs RH Polo

All matches will be streamed live on Pololine.TV, produced by Polocam.

Picture Galleries:
La Indiana vs La Bamba de Areco
Argentine Ambassador’s Cup: El Remanso vs Habtoor Polo

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