It’s business as usual for La Dolfina Saudi! On Sunday, November 27, in a match that didn’t lack of a bit of drama at the end, they claimed an OT win against Ellerstina to qualify for the final of the 129th Argentine Open, where they will face reigning champions, La Natividad. The final will be a rematch of last year’s remarkable game: the clash of the two Cañuelas-based teams. The Argentine Open, the most important polo tournament in the world and the highlight of the Argentine season, sees ten teams, up to 39 goals, compete.
As explained yesterday on PoloLine in the write-up about La Natividad’s win, League B definition was far more complicated, for both Sunday games. La Irenita Clinova and La Esquina met up to play the first match, that saw La Irenita Clinova, led by Bautista Bayugar’s remarkable performance,sweep over La Esquina in the first half. La Irenita Clinova’s dominance was so powerful that they closed the second chukka with an impressive 6-0 lead. While La Esquina managed to score a couple of goals, Isidro Strada scored in the last minute of the fourth chukka to secure a commanding 9-6 advantage for La Irentia Clinova by half time.
La Irenita Clinova played one of their best games of the season so far, not only thanks to Bayugar’s goals (he scored a total of ten), but for their accurate team play that overwhelmed La Esquina. By the start of the last chukka, La Irenita Clinova was 13-6 up. They scored once again to take the 14-8 win that secured them 500 crucial points and a ticket to the 2023 Triple Crown.
League B complications would continue on field 1 with the clash between La Dolfina Saudi and Ellerstina. La Natividad’s opponents in the final would emerge from this contest, but there was still a (very) slight hope for Cría La Dolfina.
La Dolfina Saudi got the action started with two penalty conversions from Poroto Cambiaso, who celebrated his 17th birthday on Saturday, November 26). Ellerstina replied quickly, adding two goals, so the first chukka ended 2-all. Poroto went on to score two more goals in the second chukka, giving La Dolfina Saudi a 4-2 lead. They widened their advantage (6-3) in the third after goals from Poroto and Juan Martín Nero. Despite a very slow fourth chukka with many fouls from both sides, La Dolfina Saudi, led by the extraordinary Poroto Cambiaso, who scored a total of 13 goals, still had the power.
La Dolfina Suadi were always three and four goals up. Every goal scored by Ellerstina was quickly replied by La Dolfina Saudi, who had taken a commanding 11-7 lead by half time. Poroto scored one more goal in the fifth, as did Ellerstina’s Facundo Pieres.
Ellerstina fought hard in the last few chukkas. They managed to come out stong in the sixth chukka, scoring two goals to La Doflina’s one. In the last chukka, Hilario Ulloa, Facundo and Nicolás Pieres pushed hard to score three unanswered goals and tie the game 14-all with only 30 seconds remaining. The clock continued running, and the match went into OT. That is when Poroto came through once more, converting a 30-yard penalty to claim the 15-14 win and a place in the most prestigious final in the world.
129th ARGENTINE OPEN – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27:
LA IRENITA CLINOVA 14-8 LA ESQUINA
La Irenita Clinova: Facundo Fernández Llorente 8 (1 goal), Tomás Fernández Llorente 8 (1), Bautista Bayugar 8 (10, 5 penalties), Isidro Strada 8 (2). Total: 32.
La Esquina: Pascual Sáinz de Vicuña 6 (2 goals), Cristian Laprida 8 (1), Lucas James 7 (1), Ignacio Laprida 8 (4 penalties). Total: 29.
Score La Irenita Clinova: 2-0, 6-0, 7-2, 9-3, 9-4, 12-5, 13-6, 14-8.
Umpires: Matías Baibiene & Martín Pascual.
Third man: Martín Aguerre.
LA DOLFINA SAUDI 15-14 ELLERSTINA (OT)
La Dolfina Saudi: Adolfo Cambiaso 10, David Stirling 10, Adolfo Cambiaso 9 (13 goals, 8 penalties), Juan Martín Nero 10 (2). Total: 39.
Ellerstina: Facundo Pieres 10 (10, 8 penalties, 1 corner), Hilario Ulloa 9 (1), Gonzalo Pieres Jr. 9 (1), Nicolás Pieres 10 (2). Total: 38.
Score La Dolfina Saudi: 2-2, 6-3, 7-4, 11-7, 12-8, 13-10, 14-11, 14-14, 15-14.
Umprires: Gastón Lucero & Gonzalo López Vargas.
Third man: José Ignacio Araya.
La Natividad and La Dolfina Saudi will play the final of the 129th Argentine Open on Friday, December 2.