Everything is very leveled, it’s going to very tough

A previously runner up of the Queen’s Cup in 2018, 2019 and 202o, Park Place arrival to the tournament’s quarter final was preceeded by two consecutive defeats in the league stage. But as one of the biggest and most remarkable polo organisations worldwide, their aim was to beat their upcoming rivals and still undefeated Dubai. After a significant first half, that saw them leading by five goals, Andrey Borodin’s lineup claimed a 16-15 win and claimed the first ticket to the semifinals.

“I guess we had some good matches and very bad matches indeed. But we met up with the team several times, in order to earn enough confidence; I think we weren’t that good with stick-and-ball. We had to remain relaxed in order to handle the ball swiflty, try to steal it from them. We knew things would go well if we did so”, Francisco Elizalde told to PoloLine.

The La Pampa-born player, who is wearing the Park Place jersey for the first time, stated that “we did know we would have a very tough challenge against Dubai; until then, they were the best team or the tournament. We had to be very concentrated, and we were lucky enough to play very well in the first half and claim a wide gap. Perhaps we didn’t do that well in the fourth chukka, and they played very well. But the fact is that we did know that the match would be very tight; the two last chukkas were very close, and fortunately luck was on our side”.

Asked about being chosen as the match MVP, Fran Elizalde said: “I tried to contribute with the team as much as I could, I didn’t realize whether I was playing good or not, I only tried to help, control the ball, and be accurate with the passing; and when our contenders took possession of the ball, tried to steal it from them, because they are very good players indeed”.

Therefore, Park Place will play the first semifinal next Wednesday, against Great Oaks Les Lions, who defeated reigning champions, UAE Polo, in the match played on Saturday. A semifinal that will bring some extra spice because it will be a rematch – it was Great Oaks Les Lions who defeated Park Place in the championship match in 2020, although on this occasion there will be only four players who played that game – Park Place’s Facundo Pieres, Andrey Borodin and Will Harper, and Great Oaks Les Lions’ Dillon Bacon.

As a conclusion, and with regards to the equality within high goal English polo, Francisco Elizalde says that “all is very balanced, very leveled, a team win a match by just one or two goals; there are great teams, indeed, as well as very good teams who were out in quarter finals; it will very tough”.

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