The high goal season at International Polo Club, in Wellington, Florida, resumed on Sunday with matches for the USPA Gold Cup and the Carlos Gracida Cup. It was a wonderfully sunny day, and many polo fans came out to watch superstars Facundo Pieres and Adolfo Cambiaso play together once again. Yesterday also marked the debut of Flexjet in the 26-goal.
In the battle between Valiente and Flexjet on IPC’s number one ground, the latter team managed to take control of the game in the opening chukka, clearly showing their intentions of putting up a fight in the tournament. A goal from Gonzalito Pieres and another from Rodrigo Andrade gave Flexjet a 2-1 advantage by the end of the first.
But Valiente gained strength and quickly tied the game thanks to a conversion from Gillian Johnston, who came on as a substitute for Bob Jornayvaz. Flexjet battled back and made it to half time with a 6-4 advantage, to the surprise of many in the stands. Facundo Pieres and Adolfo Cambiaso set things straight in the fourth and quickly tied the match at 6-all. The fifth chukka was the best of the game, with good runs and goals from both teams.
Valiente went into the sixth and final chukka winning by one, and they made the most of their chances, as Gillian Johnston and Facundo Pieres each scored to seal the deal.
Tommy Beresford: “I started off a bit slow, but a couple of words from Adolfo helped me get into the groove of the game. Luckily I was able to perform better as the game went on, and help my teammates win the game.”
Nico Pieres: “It was a tough match against a team which should be considered as one of the best of all time. We were lucky to have the advantage for a few chukkas, but in part of the fifth, and also the sixth, they managed to control the ball and they started playing well, that’s why they won. We need to focus on being on good form for the next few games, shortening our lists and concentrating on playing well each chukka. It was our first match of the season. We played our first practice two days ago. Today was a good match to gain rhythm and confidence. Hopefully we will continue improving.”
USPA GOLD CUP: VALIENTE 11-8 FLEXJET
Valiente: Gillian Johnston 2 (3 goals), Tommy Beresford 4 (2), Adolfo Cambiaso 10 (2), Facundo Pieres 10 (4). Total: 26.
Flexjet: Melissa Ganzi A (1 goal), Gonzalo Pieres 9 (3), Rodrigo Andrade 9 (1), Nico Pieres 8 (3). Total: 26.
Score Valiente: 1-2, 2-4, 4-6, 6-6, 9-8, 11-8.
MVP: Nico Pieres.
BPP: Dalma, played by Facundo Pieres.
CARLOS GRACIDA CUP: LA INDIANA 11-8 PRESTIGE WORLDWIDE
La Indiana: Michael Bickford 2, Toro Ruiz 5 (5 goals), Facundo Obregon 6 (1), Jeff Hall 7 (5). Total: 20.
Prestige Worldwide: Will Johnston 2, Felipe Viana 5 (1 goal), Miguel Novillo Astrada 9 (5), Stevie Orthwein 4 (1). Total: 20.
Score La Indiana: 0-1, 4-2, 7-2, 8-4, 9-7, 11-8.
Action at IPC continues on Monday:
CARLOS GRACIDA CUP (20 goals)
10am: Goose Creek vs. SD Farms
USPA GOLD CUP: Valiente vs Flexjet
CARLOS GRACIDA CUP: La Indiana vs Prestige Worldwide