|After about 100 days of excellent polo, the second edition of the Polo Challenge, in the Dominican Republic, has come to an end.
On Friday during the afternoon, on Casa de Campo’s field 2, the final of the Caribbean Open took place, pitting the undefeated Lechuza Caracas against Cinque Terre.
Previously, during the morning, the Subsidiary Finals took place, a battle between Casa de Campo and HPA. The much awaited final match took place in a very special setting: Casa de Campo was crowded and joyful, as there was not only polo on the agenda but also a spectacular “Concours d’elegance” a show of antique cars with many exceptional vehicles to admire. Before the final, as in every final of the Polo Challenge, the National Anthem was sung by Johanna Almánzar.
The match kicked off in high spirits. Lechuza tried to take control of the game from the start. And Juan Martin Nero, who coincidentally was celebrating his birthday that day, opened up the scoreboard. After this, his La Dolfina teammate Pelon Stirling scored as well. Lalo James was able to complete a great play and scored the third one for Lechuza. Santiago Toccalino, who has had a great season, scored for Cinque Terre, and the first period ended 3-1. From then onwards, the match turned into a closed buy very attractive game. It was a strategic duel, featuring two teams that weren’t shy to attach but had solid defenses. After the first half of the game, Lechuza was leading by 4-2. Victor Vargas scored again, but Santi Toccalino scored two more, and Cinque Terre had only one goal left to tie the match. When the 5th chukka started, Lechuza scored twice and shut down the illusions of its opponent. In spite of the attacks and good intentions, Cinque Terre was unable to control Lechuza, that won by 7-5 and defended the title the team obtained in 2016.
MVP: Lalo James
BPP: Anastasia, played by Juan Martin Nero
During the morning, on Casa de Campo’s field 2, the local team defeated HPA by 11-8 with a great performance by Leo Matos (scored 6 times) and kept the Subsidiary Cup.