La Albertina Abu Dhabi Qualify for Triple Crown in Victory Over Cria Yatay
A battle between the two remaining winless teams in the 126th Abierto Argentino de Polo held implications for multiple teams seeking to qualify for the 2020 Triple Crown. In the tense match at Palermo, La Albertina Abu Dhabi defeated Cria Yatay 17-14, scoring the final seven goals of the game to qualify for the 2020 Triple Crown.
A foul ridden game featured 15 combined penalty goals, with both La Albertina Abu Dhabi and Cria Yatay finishing 100% from the penalty line in the back and forth affair. Cria Yatay controlled possession in open play during the first half, led by the efforts of Ignacio Laprida who forced numerous turnovers and started their counterattack, but were overwhelmed in the second half by a quick La Albertina Abu Dhabi attack. An impressive performance from Francisco Elizalde, who finished with seven field goals on eight shots led La Albertina to a dominate end of the game and the three-goal victory.
The game began with three consecutive Penalty 2 conversions to give Cria Yatay the slim 2-1 lead, but the remainder of the first chukka saw the two teams continue to exchange goals resulting in Cria Yatay maintaining their one-goal advantage. Five fouls committed by Cria Yatay slowed their attack and contributed to four unanswered penalty goals for La Albertina Abu Dhabi, three off the mallet of Alfredo Cappella to extend their lead to three. A response from Cria Yatay over the third and fourth chukkas displayed a balanced attack, including a goal and an assist from Tomas Garcia del Rio, playing in place of Magoo Laprida. Fighting back into a 10-10 tie, Cria Yatay matched La Albertina Abu Dhabi on the scoreboard, leaving the outcome to be determined in the second half.
Exploding out of halftime with an unrelenting attack, Cria Yatay outshot La Albertina Abu Dhabi 6-0 in the fifth chukka, keeping the ball in the attacking half to begin a run of five straight goals. Joaquin Pittaluga’s sixth and seventh goals of the game anchored the run for Cria Yatay, leaving them three chukkas away from claiming victory. The match changed in an instant at the start of the sixth chukka behind the duo of Francisco Elizalde and Ignacio Toccalino that provided La Albertina Abu Dhabi with accurate passes for unmarked runs to goal. Over the seventh and eighth chukkas, three consecutive goals for Elizalde, all assisted by Toccalino, propelled La Albertina Abu Dhabi into the lead, with a final goal from Victorino Ruiz Jorba securing the victory and sending La Albertina Abu Dhabi into next year’s Triple Crown.