Mexico wins FIP World Championship Zone A’s first game against Guatemala
On the morning of Wednesday 26 April, the Orthwein’s family Port Mayaca Polo Club’s perfectly prepared Ground 5 saw the first game of the Zone A playoffs as Mexico and Guatemala came head to head in the field.
Mexico started the first chukka at a great pace, passing the ball amongst players and making numerous attempts at goal. They dominated the first half, taking the lead against Guatemala, but were unable to convert the penalties needed to widen the gap. Guatemala ploughed on through the match, gradually closing in on Mexico culminating in a half goal advantage with less than two minutes to go in the fifth chukka, following a spectacular neck shot from José Miguel Aguilar. Mexican cousins Alejandro Gonzalez Keil (3) and Mariano Gracida Marin (4) lead the game’s final attack ultimately closing play, with seconds to spare, on 10 – 9 ½ after two thrilling final chukkas.
On Friday 28 April Guatemala will take on the USA, with Mexico playing the USA the following Sunday, 30 April, deciding who will represent Zone A in October.
Eight international teams will compete in Sydney, Australia this October, for the FIP World Championship title, including a team from host nation Australia and the current World Champions Chile. Argentina and New Zealand have already won their place in the final eight with only Zones A, C and E still battling it out in the qualifiers.
Mexico: Juan José de Alba (4), Alejandro Gonzalez (3), Mariano Gracida (4) & Carlos Hernandez (3)
Total 14 handicap goals.
Guatemala: Jose Ignacio Beltranena (2), Sebastian Aycinena (2), José Miguel Aguilar (3) & Fernando Beltranena (3)
Total 10 handicap goals.
Photograph: Courtesy of Port Mayaca Polo Club