Habtoor vs King Power Foxes
Game 11 of the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup at Cowdray Park Polo Club saw the tournament’s first overtime as King Power Foxes narrowly edged out Habtoor for the 14-13 victory, in a game which featured three Pieres’ brothers.
Habtoor had a four goal lead with less than 12 minutes remaining and will be remembered as a stunning comeback by King Power Foxes or a lack of composure from Habtoor, allowing King Power Foxes back into the game.
The high powered offensive game was close throughout the first half, but a dominant passing attack from Habtoor in the 4th chukka gave them a four goal lead with less than two chukkas remaining. King Power Foxes were able to mount a comeback thanks to a foul ridden 5th chukka from Habtoorand accurate shooting from Facundo Pieres as they completed the comeback and finished off the victory on the back of another Habtoor foul in overtime to seal the win.
A back and forth first half saw neither team have more than a one goal advantage until late in the 3rd chukka when King Power Foxes extended their lead to 6-4. It didn’t last long as back-to-back goals for Habtoor, one from Nico Pieres and one from Mohammed Al Habtoor to finish the half, produced a 6-6 tie at halftime.
Habtoor was the first team to break away, scoring three goals on five shots in the 4th chukka, while keeping King Power Foxes off the scoresheet to race out to a three goal lead in the second half. That lead was stretched even further as Paco O’Dwyer’s 2nd goal of the game to start the 5th chukka, gave Habtoor a four goal lead. However, King Power Foxes began to fight back as they took advantage of a lack of composure from Habtoor, as they committed five fouls in the rest of the 5thchukka, providing Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres with the extra possessions needed to begin their comeback. Four goals on 3 for 3 shooting from the field and converting their lone penalty attempt to cut King Power Foxes’ deficit to one.
On the back of Facundo Pieres’ three goals in the final chukka to bring his total to nine for the game, King Power Foxes completed the comeback. The fouls that caught up with Habtoor in the 5thchukka, hurt them again in overtime, as King Power Foxes attacked goal, only to be fouled and awarded a penalty 2. Gonzalito Pieres sent the ball through the goal to finish the game and give King Power Foxes the 14-13 overtime victory
El Remanso vs La Indiana
The 12th game of the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup saw La Indiana defeat El Remanso 11-9 in an open game on a hot day at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
It was a balanced game with all eight players contributing, but ultimately was decided in the second half as La Indiana pulled away with efficient shooting to finish with the 11-9 victory.
The 4th and 5th chukkas were critical in the outcome of the game as La Indiana converted 5 of 7 shot attempts, with two goals off the mallet of Michael Bickford and one goal for each of the other three players on the La Indiana side. El Remanso converted only 1 of 5 shots over that span, helping La Indiana extend their lead to three, resulting in too big of a deficit for El Remanso to recover from in the final chukka.
Zero penalty shots were seen in the first half, leaving the scoring to open play as Agustin Merlos accounted for four of La Indiana’s five goals in the first half on 4 for 5 shooting from the field. El Remanso continued the balanced offensive attack that has been seen throughout the season, as their first four goals were all scored by different players, with James Beim scoring his 2nd goal of the game in the 3rd chukka to even the score up at 5-5.
La Indiana made an adjustment in the second half against the tough El Remanso defence, using Bickford up front and pulling Luke Tomlinson forward as Roldan was tightly marked throughout the game. La Indiana pulled away in the second half, thanks to a stretch from the 4th to the 6th chukka, where La Indiana outscored El Remanso 6-1. Merlos was efficient on the day, shooting 5 for 7 from the field to lead all players with five goals for the game. Along with Tomlinson’s three goals, El Remanso could not contain the tough La Indiana team as soon as all four La Indiana players contributed offensively.
A late fall from Agustin Merlos in the 6th chukka saw him replaced by older brother Pite Merlos, but La Indiana had maintained their three goal advantage with only a few minutes remaining and held on for the 11-9 victory.