Another day of full packed action at the 127th. Argentine Polo Open Championship, with two games on Friday December 4. While La Ensenada La Aguada claimed their second consecutive victory in the competition, Ellerstina made an extraordinary debut against Los Machitos. In the day’s opening contest, La Ensenada La Aguada (1-0) met up with Cria GT (0-1). Two young and powerful teams, who played enjoyable debut matches. Cria GT featured once again Tomás García del Río, filling in for the injured Joaquín Pittaluga.
Cria GT had a stronger start, holding La Ensenada La Aguada scoreless in the first chukka. The blue jerseys made a quick comeback within the first minutes in the second period; following a great play by Alfredo Bigatti, Segundo Bocchino put the ball into the goalposts while Jero del Carril converted a 30-yards penalty to tie at 2-all. A very close contest would have been expected, but the two following chukkas belonged to La Ensenada La Aguada. Not only with Jero del Carril as their highest scorer once again, but also with their four members fitting to perfection in order to display a solid team play against a powerful contender such as Cria GT. By half time, they outscored Cria GT 5-1, with the scoreboard reading a 8-3 lead in favour of La Ensenada La Aguada.
La Ensenada La Aguada’s dominance continued thoroghout the second half, while Cria GT’s efforts to close the gap were quickly neutralized by their opponents, and only managed to score mostly thorugh Iñaki Laprida’s penalty conversions. But Cria GT made a comeback in the last chukka. Iñaki Laprida, Lerin Zubiaurre and Magoo Laprida keep their team’s hopes alive, by scoring three consecutive goals to close the gap to a narrow 12-13. But luck was not on their side; La Ensenada La Aguada, played very well, controlled the match and the scoreboard and earned a very much deserved second win at Palermo.
A family affair came up next on field 1 at Palermo, with the match between Ellerstina – the only team eligible to win the Triple Crown – and Los Machitos (0-1). The three Pieres brothers made their debut at the Cathedral against their brother-in-law, the legendary Mariano Aguerre. Ellerstina’s debut in the Open was what everybody expected, according their performance thoroghout the 2020 Triple Crown. No matter the rival, no matter who they have to battle against, the Pieres-Ulloa foursome make things very easily, playing swiftly and accurate, an extraordinary foursome riding extraordinary horses. Ellerstina seized the reins since the first minute, overwhelming Los Machitos through their lethal weapon, the one and only Facundo Pieres, in addition to an outstanding performance by Gonzalito Pieres, who played one of his best games of the year. Without doubts, Ellerstina are a team who know exactly what to do, how to do and when to do. Having hired Hilario Ulloa (do they have a new boy in? No one realized that!) gave them the extra power they needed. Their overwhelming dominance in led them to a commanding 14-4 lead by half time.
In addition, it was such a special day for Facundo Pieres as well; not only he was the absolute top scorer (16 goals), but he also produced his 500th goal in his career, through a corner in the fifth chukka, that marked Ellerstina’s 17-5 advantage. There’s no much one can say about Ellerstina, only that they remained very concentrated in order to control the scoreboard to reach an impressive 25-10 victory. Ellerstina is still unbeaten, a team who is yearning for that Palermo that’s escaping them since 2012. This 2020, they found a system, they found their positions on the field (with Nico already established as the back they needed), they demonstrated what they are able to do. And they are fully committed to get what they want the most: Palermo.
LA ENSENADA LA AGUADA 13-12 CRIA GT
La Ensenada-La Aguada: Segundo Bocchino 6 (2 goals), Alfredo Bigatti 8, Matías Torres Zavaleta 8 (4), Jerónimo Del Carril 7 (7, six penalties). Total: 29.
Cría Geté: Valerio Zubiaurre 8 (2 goals), Magoo Laprida 8 (2), Tomás García del Río 7 (1 penalty), Ignacio Laprida 8 (7, six penalties). Total: 31.
Score La Ensenada La Aguada: 0-2, 3-3, 7-4, 8-5, 9-6, 10-8, 13-9, 13-12.
Umpires: Gastón Lucero and Guillermo Villanueva. Third Man: Esteban Ferrari.
BPP Polo Argentino: Luca Nebulosa (Open Iphone x Neblina), played by Alfredo Bigatti.
Polero Eulogia (Open Naipe x Erminda), played by Segundo Bocchino.
Malapata Adinerada (Luna) (Chapa Guri x Chapa Naomi), played by Matias Torres Zavaleta.
ELLERSTINA 25-10 LOS MACHITOS
Ellerstina: Facundo Pieres 10 (16 goals, five penalties and three corners), Hilario Ulloa 10 (3), Gonzalo Pieres 9 (6), Nicolás Pieres 10. Total: 39.
Los Machitos: Agustín Merlos 8 (1), Ignacio Toccalino 8 (4, two penalties), Mariano Aguerre 7 (3), Santiago Toccalino 8 (2). Total: 31.
Score Ellerstina: 5-0, 8-3, 11-3, 14-4, 17-5, 22-7, 24-8, 25-10.
Jueces: Martín Pascual and Gonzalo López Vargas. Árbitro: Federico Martelli.
BPP Polo Argentino: Gete Opalina (Los Machitos Libano x Gete Opereta), played by Facundo Pieres
Lavinia Carta (Lavinia Naipe x Zorrita), played by Hilario Ulloa.
CP Sonia (Sportivo x Machitos Sabona), played by Facundo Pieres.
The Argentine Open resumes on Sunday December 6:
12pm: La Dolfina vs. La Irenita II
4pm: La Natividad Las Monjitas vs. Murus Sanctus