The fifth day in the 126th Abierto Argentino de Polo began with an impressive showing from La Irenita in the 16-11 victory over La Aguada, while La Dolfina produced another dominant performance in the convincing 18-8 win against La Ensenada at Palermo.
The opening game of the day was a foul ridden match with a combined 29 fouls between La Irenita and La Aguada as the outcome of the game was decided on the penalty line. The pressure applied by La Irenita resulted in 13 penalty attempts, 10 of which were converted by the duo of Diego Araya and Juan Ruiz Guinazu. Often on the defensive due to their foul trouble, La Aguada struggled to match the offense of La Irenita, despite the seven-goal performance from Alejandro Novillo Astrada in the 16-11 defeat.
Scoring inside the first minute, Juan Juaretche gave La Irenita a quick 1-0 lead, but Alejandro Novillo Astrada responded with consecutive goals to push La Aguada into the lead. It would be the only lead La Aguada would see in the game as they committed three fouls to end the chukka, all of which led to penalty goals for La Irenita for a 4-2 lead. Overcoming foul trouble, La Aguada fought back to a 4-4 tie until La Irenita took control of the game with a balanced team effort. Four consecutive goals, one from each of the players on La Irenita were due to accurate passing and maintaining the possession advantage, leaving La Aguada trailing by four. Alejandro Novillo Astrada’s third and fourth penalty goals of the game reduced the deficit to three, but La Irenita’s Guinazu completed an impressive first half with a Penalty 2 conversion for the 10-7 lead.
In what proved to be the storyline of the game, four fouls committed by La Aguada in the fifth chukka affected their ability to challenge La Irenita for the lead. Failing to find the scoreboard, La Aguada saw their deficit grow to five after another penalty conversion from Araya. Conceding five of the first six goals in the second half, La Aguada was unable to string together enough goals to keep pace with La Irenita. Scoring just two field goals over the final four chukkas, La Aguada ultimately fell to a La Irenita team that took advantage of their 13 penalty attempts to finish with the five-goal victory.
From the opening throw-in of the second game, La Dolfina overwhelmed La Ensenada in all aspects of play, outshooting their opponents heavily with a relentless pressure on the attack. Finishing with 10 goals, Adolfo Cambiaso shot a perfect 6 for 6 from the field on a variety of runs to goal and shots from distance, leaving La Ensenada’s defence hopeless in stopping the elite team of 10-goalers. Converting a penalty goal in each of the first five chukkas, La Dolfina completed the convincing double-digit victory.
A back and forth opening three minutes resulted in chances for both sides, but La Dolfina found their stride and set a fast pace that forced La Ensenada into three fouls in the first chukka. Two penalty 4 conversions for Cambiaso gave La Dolfina the 3-0 lead, starting a run of seven consecutive goals to begin the game. La Ensenada was held scoreless until the third chukka when Jeronimo del Carril finally got La Ensenada on the scoreboard, but it was abruptly followed by consecutive goals from Cambiaso. Moving forward in the game, Juan Martin Nero was effective for La Dolfina scoring four goals in the first half, pushing La Dolfina to a commanding 12-3 lead.
Holding a large lead, La Dolfina continued to produce an efficient attack led by a strong second half from Pablo MacDonough. Assisting on three of La Dolfina’s five second half field goals, MacDonough’s passing left La Ensenada a step behind as their deficit grew to an insurmountable 12 goals with just two chukkas remaining. Four consecutive goals from the duo of Facundo Fernandez Llorente and Juan Martin Zavaleta over the sixth and seventh chukkas left La Ensenada with a strong finish, but the large lead from la Dolfina was easily managed to complete the 18-8 victory.