Resuming play in the last quarterfinal matchup of the USPA Gold Cup® at International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC), 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso took the lead for Scone on U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1, scoring three goals in the remaining three chukkers of play to stave off a Coca-Cola comeback 12-10, and lift the reigning USPA Gold Cup® champions back into the semifinals.
Prior to the weather postponement, an undefeated Scone took to Field 1 looking to keep their undefeated streak alive, while a 1-2 Coca-Cola were riding high off their recent comeback against La Indiana, seeking to carry their winning momentum against a formidable Scone. Utilizing the powerful dynamic between Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso that has been effective for Scone throughout the GAUNTLET, the Cambiaso duo combined for the first goal of the match, with Poroto carrying the ball between the posts. Awarding Coca-Cola four penalty hits in the first half, Nico Pieres was only able to convert once for Coca-Cola from the line on a Penalty 4. Managing to find more success in the field, Pieres and Gillian Johnston both struck for Coca-Cola in open play, however, the first half was dominated by Scone’s driving attack. Circulating the ball between Kristos “Keko” Magrini and the Cambiaso’s, the trio combined for eight first half goals, with two coming from captain Adolfo to give Scone a commanding 7-3 advantage.
With heavy rain blanketing IPC, the match was concluded the following morning, where Adolfo Cambiaso quickly picked up where he left off to add another two quick goals, including a Safety to increase Scone’s lead to eight. Gaining a reputation for their strong second half performances, Coca-Cola’s push for a comeback began with a run of four unanswered goals, including Johnston’s second of the game. Cutting Scone’s once dominant lead to just two goals, Poroto Cambiaso finally managed to shut down Coca-Coca’s sudden emergence on a Penalty 2 conversion. Adding an additional three goals in the final chukker of play, Coca-Cola almost extended the match to overtime, but the leadership and assertiveness of Adolfo Cambiaso was too much for Coca-Cola to overcome. Averaging just 1.5 goals per game in the tournament, Cambiaso had his first offensive breakout performance of season, accounting for six goals in their 12-10 victory, keeping Scone’s bid alive for a second consecutive USPA Gold Cup® title.
Semifinal action begins Thursday, March 24 at IPC, with Pilot facing Tamera at 11:00am ET, followed by Scone and Park Place at 3:00pm ET, in an anticipated rematch of the C.V. Whitney Cup® final.
Photo Credit ©Alex Pacheco