Argentine Open – Day 10 – Semi-final 2

Cria Yatay vs La Dolfina Polo Ranch


In a back and forth physical game that saw the first overtime in the 2017 Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo, La Dolfina Polo Ranch defeated Cria Yatay 11-10 on Field 2 in Palermo.


An evenly matched affair that saw a tie score at seven different points in the game, it was La Dolfina Polo Ranch that that utilized their penalty opportunities to overcome 3 for 10 shooting from the field. A combined 36 fouls between the two teams, 20 of which were committed by Cria Yatay resulted in 11 penalty attempts for Diego Cavanagh and he took advantage late in the game. Converting his final four attempts, including the overtime penalty 4, Cavanagh’s 10-goal performance sealed the victory for La Dolfina Polo Ranch. 


The pace of the game was set early in the first chukka, with five fouls slowing the play, but it was Cria Yatay that was provided the only penalty attempt, as Joaquin Pittaluga converted the penalty 2 giving Cria Yatay the early 1-0 lead. After Cavanagh and Christian Laprida traded goals in the 2nd chukka, La Dolfina Polo Ranch gained their first lead of the game in the third chukka, despite shooting at goal zero times from the field. Three goals on three penalty attempts, Cavanagh led the way for La Dolfina Polo Ranch offensively throughout the game and Cria Yatay was unable to keep him off the penalty line.


In the final chukka of the first half, Pittaluga converted a penalty attempt of his own to even the score, but Cavanagh quickly responded, this time from the field, giving La Dolfina Polo Ranch the 5-4 lead. With both teams scoring just two goals from the field, the tight, physical style of game set up a foul ridden second half that provided Cavanagh with multiple opportunities to lead his team to a victory.


Cria Yatay’s Christian Laprida broke through from the field, scoring back-to-back goals followed by a field goal for Valerio Zubiaurre, turning a one-goal deficit into a two-goal advantage. Ignatius Du Plessis scored La Dolfina Polo Ranch’s lone field goal in the second half in the 6th chukka, while Cavanagh took advantage of another Cria Yatay foul to close the deficit to one. The physical game continued over the final two chukkas, but Cria Yatay received spot hits, while Cavanagh received penalty attempts. Six fouls for each team, created many stoppages late in the game and allowed for very few chances from the field, but it was Cavanagh scoring his 9th goal in the 8th chukka, sending it to overtime. 


A tense overtime chukka saw multiple backhands to protect against a run, but the story of the game continued with a La Dolfina Polo Ranch foul providing Cria Yatay with a spot hit. Unable to create a scoring chance, Cria Yatay was forced into a foul of their own and Cavanagh once again took advantage, converting the penalty 4 attempt and the victory for La Dolfina Polo Ranch.



Alegria vs Ellerstina


The second semi-final in the 2017 Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo, saw Ellerstina overcome a strong second half from Alegria, finishing with the narrow 15-14 victory on Field 1 in Palermo.


Behind efficient shooting and controlling the throw-in battle, Ellerstina took advantage of their chances from the field, while limiting Alegria to 35% shooting on 17 attempts. Despite building a three-goal lead in the first half, Ellerstina saw their lead vanish due to consistent foul trouble throughout the game, providing 10 penalty attempts for Alegria’s Sapo Caset. With just minutes remaining in the game, the duo of Polito and Facundo Pieres provided back-to-back goals, sending Ellerstina to the final for a rematch against La Dolfina.


The opening two chukkas so both teams score one goal each, with Ellerstina’s two goals coming from the field and Alegria’s goals coming via the penalty line. That story continued throughout the first half as Alegria was unable to score a field goal, missing all eight shot attempts, yet Caset converted all four penalty attempts, keeping Alegria within striking distance. 


Ellerstina was able to separate themselves in the third chukka, with Polito Pieres scoring two goals, one each from the field and the penalty line, providing his team with a two-goal advantage. Ellerstina was able to extend that lead to three in the fourth chukka on perfect 3 for 3 shooting, receiving one goal each from Polito, Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres. Outscoring Alegria 6-0 from the field, Ellerstina’s seven first half fouls prevented them from increasing their lead and the pressure of the Alegria attack continued into the second half.


Just over a minute into the second half, Hilario Ulloa converted Alegria’s first goal from the field, which was quickly followed by a penalty 2 conversion for Caset, bringing Alegria to within one goal. The pace of the game increased in the 6th chukka as the two teams combined for eight goals, highlighted by three more penalty conversions for Alegria as they continued to take advantage of Ellerstina’s foul troubles. Trailing since the beginning of the third chukka, Alegria finally tied the game at the end of the chukka on Ulloa’s second goal of the game, leaving the outcome of the game to be decided in the final two chukkas.


Caset’s eight penalty conversion of the game opened the 7th chukka as Ellerstina found themselves down by one and beginning to feel the pressure of a potential upset. After Facundo Pieres quickly scored to restore the tie, Facundo Sola and Polito Pieres traded goals as the game was sent to the 8th chukka to determine the winner and a spot in the final.


An Ellerstina foul, their 13th of the game, provided Caset with a penalty 4 opportunity and a perfect tip from Alegria’s Fred Mannix, sent the ball through the goal and gave Alegria a one goal lead. Facundo Pieres answered with a penalty 4 covnersion of his own and just seconds later, it was Polito Pieres who took advantage of a throw-in win to finish a run to goal, giving Ellerstina the lead with under three minutes remaining. A final effort from Alegria wasn’t enough as Ellerstina survived, hanging on for the close 15-14 victory