La Dolfina Wins Sixth Consecutive Argentine Open Title
The conclusion of the highly anticipated final in the 2018 Abierto Argentino de Polo saw Las Monjitas unable to stop La Dolfina’s reign in the tournament, as they claimed their sixth consecutive title with the 17-12 victory in front of a packed crowd on Field 1 at Palermo.
The excitement surrounding Las Monjitas’ entry into the final gained steam early in the game with tournament scoring leader Sapo Caset pushing his team into the lead in a combination of efficiency from the field and the penalty line to score his team’s first six goals. La Dolfina recovered from uncharacteristic errors behind a reorganised defence and an impressive 12-goal performance from Adolfo Cambiaso, who dominated the game through his possession attack and accurate 7 for 8 shooting from the penalty line. Jumping on Las Monjitas’ backhands, La Dolfina quickly counter-attacked throughout the second half, receiving 10 fouls in the second half while limiting Las Monjitas to just six shot attempts to complete the convincing five-goal victory.
Just 30 seconds into the game, Cambiaso used one hit from the sideboards on the 60-yard line to open the scoring and quickly gain the early lead. Unfazed by the quick goal, Las Monjitas responded with Hilario Ulloa and Caset connecting for an early goal and then forcing La Dolfina into two fouls, resulting in two penalty goals for Caset and a 3-2 lead for Las Monjitas. Building on their momentum to finish the opening chukka, Las Monjitas continued to pressure La Dolfina into committing turnovers, with Caset being an offensive force, scoring three consecutive goals. The last of three had the fans frantic with las Monjitas holding a three-goal advantage and threatening La Dolfina’s Argentine Open dominance. The lead was short-lived as Cambiaso put La Dolfina on his back, utilising his immense experience to take over the game. With a re-focused Juan Martin Nero and Pablo MacDonough guarding the back of the game and keeping Las Monjitas off the scoresheet in both the third and fourth chukkas, Cambiaso was relentless, scoring six unanswered goals to finish the half and give La Dolfina the 9-6 lead.
Facundo Sola finally ended the Cambiaso run with a safety conversion to begin the second half, yet Cambiaso continued his dominance to extend La Dolfina’s lead. Converting his third consecutive penalty 4, Cambiaso’s pinpoint accuracy from the 60-yard line gave La Dolfina the edge they needed to separate themselves in the game, taking advantage of each opportunity presented to them under the intense pressure of the final. Las Monjitas’ potent attack from the opening two chukkas was stifled and held to just one shot in each of the final three chukkas due to a La Dolfina defence that intercepted and blocked pass after pass from Las Monjitas. The numerous interceptions by La Dolfina in the attacking half left Las Monjitas scrambling to defend against the counter attack and committing too many fouls to mount a comeback. Caset’s ninth goal of the game brought his team back within four, but three consecutive goals into the eighth chukka for La Dolfina sealed the victory as the celebrations began for La Dolfina’s sixth consecutive tournament title.