Story Courtesy of International Polo Club Palm Beach
A busy Sunday at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida, had all four teams in Bracket I in action, beginning with Palm Beach Equine capturing their first win of the tournament, defeating Coca-Cola 15-10. In the second match on the U.S Polo Assn. Field, La Indiana narrowly defeated Aliano Realty/Horseware 12-11 and became the first team to reach two victories in the 2020 Ylvisaker Cup.
The feature game of the week saw the two undefeated teams in Bracket I battle in an exciting match that came down to the final minutes. Each team provided a dynamic duo in the match, with Hugo Lloret and Mariano Obregon combining for nine goals, while La Indiana’s Jeff Hall and Facundo Obregon countered with eight goals in the narrow victory. Foul trouble hindered Aliano Realty/Horseware in the opening stages of the game, committing four fouls in the opening chukker that resulted in a Penalty 2 conversion for Facundo Obregon and extra possessions leading to field goals from Hall and Michael Bickford. In what proved to be the crucial chukker of the game, La Indiana scored four straight goals, all from the field, to build a significant 7-1 lead. Aliano Realty/Horseware was left a step behind, struggling to slow a La Indiana offense that was receiving contributions from their trio of scorers in Obregon, Hall and Bickford. Mariano Obregon had a strong finish to the half, converting a Penalty 4 and adding a goal from the field to bring Aliano Realty/Horseware back within three, trailing 8-5 at halftime.
The impressive comeback from six goals down was almost completed at the beginning of the fourth chukker, after another penalty conversion from Mariano Obregon, this time from the 30-yard line, brought Aliano Realty/Horseware within one, leaving the outcome undecided with two chukkers remaining. Refocused, La Indiana made Aliano Realty/Horseware work for every opportunity in a tough fifth chukker, only conceding a penalty one, while extending their lead back to two on Santiago Gomez Romero’s only goal of the game. With their sights still set on the comeback, Aliano Realty/Horseware exploded out of the gate in the sixth chukker, tying the game at 11-all after a field goal from Lloret and Mariano Obregon’s third penalty conversion. The tense final moments of the game had the spectators on the edge of their seats, but La Indiana was able to hold off Aliano Realty/Horseware after a goal from Hall secured the narrow 12-11 victory that pushed them to the top of Bracket I with an undefeated 2-0 record. The Best Playing Pony award went to Jeff Hall’s Juliet, while the Most Valuable Player honors were awarded to Joaquin Panelo.
La Indiana’s Facundo Obregon winds up for the ball alongside his brother, Nino Obregon.
Palm Beach Equine vs. Coca-Cola
With all but one of their 15 goals coming from the field, Palm Beach Equine overwhelmed Coca-Cola in the opening game of the day on a potent attack that converted a remarkable 14 of 19 shot attempts. Led by eight goals from up-and-coming player Gonzalo Ferrari, Palm Beach Equine captured their first victory of the tournament. A fast pace in the first chukker saw the ball quickly move from end-to-end as the teams traded goals, remaining deadlocked 2-all on goals from four different players. Providing a significant impact on the game, Ferrari found space on the receiving end of passes from Gringo Colombres and Lucas Diaz Alberdi to give his team a narrow 4-3 lead. Two goals from Sugar Erskine looked to bring Coca-Cola back into the game, but Ferrari returned the favor for Palm Beach Equine, adding an assist of his own, while also scoring his fourth goal of the game to extend their lead to two.
Undeterred by the strong offense from Palm Beach Equine, Coca-Cola responded with accurate shooting of their own, scoring three goals on four shots from the duo of Erksine and Miguel Novillo Astrada, bringing Coca-Cola back within one goal. Finally fighting their way back into the game, Coca-Cola tied the score at 10-all, much to the excitement of the spectators on-site, with just over a chukker remaining in the game. Before the end of the fifth chukker, Palm Beach Equine converted their lone penalty goal of the game on a Penalty 4 from Gringo Colombres. The outcome was very much undecided entering the final chukker until Ferrari took over the final minutes, scoring three unanswered goals to finish the game and complete the 15-10 victory.
The Ylvisaker Cup tournament continues this week with games on Wednesday, January 22, Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26. Click here to learn more about the Ylvisaker Cup.
All Photos Courtesy of ©Alex Pacheco.