The beginning of play in Zone B of the 127th Abierto Argentino de Polo began at Palermo with a thrilling 12-11 overtime victory for La Dolfina Polo Ranch over Cria Gété more than four minutes into the extra chukka. Despite entering the game with two less goals on handicap, La Ensenada La Aguada held Los Machitos to zero second half goals, capturing the 12-7 win to conclude the second day of play.

               An evenly matched game between La Dolfina Polo Ranch and Cria Gété saw eight different instances with a tied score as neither team ever held more than a two-goal advantage. Diego Cavanagh and Ignacio Laprida led their respective teams with six goals each, fighting for the victory but the additional scoring opportunities for La Dolfina Polo Ranch ultimately won out. Cria Gété were more efficient from the field and penalty line but conceded eight more shot attempts along with two additional penalty attempts, including the game-winning penalty 2 conversion to Cavanagh in the defeat.

               Opening the game with a penalty 4 conversion, Cavanagh gave La Dolfina Polo Ranch the 1-0 lead until Cria Gété responded with three consecutive goals from the duo of Magoo and Ignacio Laprida. Outshot 6-0 in the second chukka, Cria Gété conceded four goals to La Dolfina Polo Ranch, two off the mallet of Cavanagh, but converted two penalties to finish the chukka tied at 5-5. The remainder of the first half saw momentum swing back and forth, beginning with two goals from Ignacio Laprida, followed by the lone goal in the fourth chukka for La Dolfina Polo Ranch’s Juan Britos, leaving the score at 7-6 for Cria Gété.

Increasing their focus on defense at the start of the second half, both teams were forced to utilize the pass to create offense. Guillermo Terrera set up consecutive goals to Cavanagh and Alejo Taranco to tie the score, but Cria Gété edged back into the lead after Valerio Zubiaurre’s second goal of the chukka. After a scoreless sixth chukka, La Dolfina Polo Ranch took their first lead since it was 1-0 on a penalty 2 conversion from Britos. Seconds into the eighth chukka, Magoo Laprida restored the tie in a game that was destined to be decided in overtime. Tied at 11-11, the two teams entered a ninth chukka with neither team able to break through for a goal. Four minutes into overtime, La Dolfina Polo Ranch attacked goal and were fouled just steps from the goal. Tapping in the winning penalty 2 goal, Diego Cavanagh secured the thrilling 12-11 victory for La Dolfina Polo Ranch.

               An intriguing second game saw Los Machitos score the first five goals, only to go scoreless throughout the second half and concede the final 10 goals of the game to La Ensenada La Aguada. Leading all players with eight goals, Jeronimo del Carril was instrumental in La Ensenada La Aguada’s comeback as he was seemingly everywhere on the field. Both teams produced 20 shots on goal, but Los Machitos missed the mark on their final 13 shots, ultimately sealing their fate in the 12-7 defeat.

               Organized and controlling possession, Los Machitos limited the opportunities for La Ensenada La Aguada to take the 2-0 lead on consecutive goals from Ignacio Toccalino. Extending their lead further, Los Machitos used a balanced team offense, receiving one goal each from Mariano Aguerre, Agustin Merlos and Santiago Toccalino to hold a commanding 5-0 lead. With their scoreless stretch pushing into the third chukka, La Ensenada La Aguada’s Jeronimo del Carril finally ended the drought and was quickly followed by a goal from Matias Torres Zavaleta to reduce the lead to three. Penalty trouble transferred the momentum back to Los Machitos, with two penalty conversions for Ignacio Toccalino giving his team the 7-3 lead at halftime. 

               Jeronimo del Carril identified himself as a standout player in the match, scoring five unanswered goals, three from the field and two from the penalty line to erase the deficit and tie the score at 7-7. Missing their opportunities at goal, Los Machitos found themselves trailing for the first time in the seventh chukka after Zavaleta’s second goal gave La Ensenada La Aguada the 8-7 lead. The continuous pressure kept Los Machitos in their own half as La Ensenada La Aguada dominated the final stages of the game. Two penalty 2 conversions for del Carril brought his total to eight, while field goals from Segundo Bocchino and Zavaleta completed the 9-0 second half in favour of La Ensenada La Aguada and the 12-7 victory.

Photo credit: Matías Callejo / Press AAP

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