SPORT2020 Carnival Polo: Abuja Rubicon shrugs-off Malcomines, romp into finals

By Victor Okoye Rubicon of Abuja, on Thursday, ran away with a narrow 6 to 5 and a half goals victory against Malcomines, and romps into the finals of the race for the prestigious President’s Cup at the ongoing Carnival Polo Tournament in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the high 10 goal match for the tournament’s top prize saw Malcomines awarded half a goal at the start of the game to compensate for the teams’ handicap difference.

Total team handicap for Rubicon was 15 with the Badamasi brothers (+3), Jamilu Mohammed (+3) and the Argentine assassin, Gonzalo Bourdieu, a six goaler making up the team. Malcomines, on the other hand, had a total team handicap of 13 with Hamisu Buba (+3), Murtala Mohammed (+3), Fernando (+2) and Juan Cruz of Argentina, a five goaler at the top of the playing quartet. The pulsating but nerve-wracking encounter was indeed a bizarre upset caused by Rubicon against a more illustrious opponent. But for the highly rated Buba, who did meet up with his rating, especially in the first two chukkers as he failed to convert a lot of chances for Malcomines, the score line would have been different.

In spite of all his errors in front of goal, however, Buba still managed a hat-trick, as Murtala and Cruz scored a goal each to tally five goals, just a half goal short of victory Rubicon’s youthful Badamasi brothers, proved to be quite a handful for the Jos-based team as Mohammed and Bourdieu combined well, switching in between the defensive and sweeper roles to feed the attacking duo. Bourdieu scored a total of four goals, while Idris Badamasi and Mohammed scored a goal each for Rubicon to post a six goal tally. At the other end, Malcomines were relentless as they matched the fire power of their opponents but still fell short with only five goals. With the result, table toppers Rubicon, who had won their first two games, have now secured a berth into Sunday’s final with maximum points.

Jos-based Malcomines are second with three points, while Lintex and Keffi Ponies, who are yet to register any points in the tournament, are third and fourth respectively. FCT-based Rubicon will again slug it out with Malcomines in Sunday’s final, while Lintex and Keffi Ponys play for a chance to win the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Cup. In other results of matches played on Friday, 60 yards thrashed D-Hayatt by 6 goals to 3 and a half goals for the Legislative Shield. By this, the winner of the encounter between 60 yards and Casiva, with three points, will face six points leader, Fas Agro, in Sunday’s finals. The tournament, which started on Monday, will end on Sunday, Nov. 15, with the grand finale.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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