Las Monjitas Dominant in Argentine Open Debut
The second day of play in the 2018 Abierto Argentino de Polo saw two strong tournament debuts with La Albertina Abu Dhabi defeating La Canada-Angiocor-DRF 18-10, while Las Monjitas overwhelmed Cria Yatay in a 22-9 victory at Palermo.
In a start and stop game that saw 23 combined fouls, La Albertina created more opportunities throughout the game, led by a seven-goal performance from Francisco Elizalde. La Canada were unable to match the potent La Albertina offense, converting just 5 of their 13 attempts from the field. Early foul trouble became a concern for La Albertina but increased discipline in the second half allowed them to dominate open play and finish with the convincing eight goal victory.
A fast opening chukka featured a relentless La Albertina attack that shot at goal five times to race out to a two-goal lead. Elizalde was an offensive force early in the game, scoring his third goal by the end of the second chukka and providing a constant threat to score downfield. La Canada worked their way back into the game behind the penalty shooting of Jared Zenni, who converted all four of his penalty attempts in the opening half. Before the end of the half, Alfredo Cappella helped keep La Albertina’s lead, scoring three consecutive goals, while setting up a goal for Nic Roldan to give his team the 8-6 lead.
After the two teams traded goals within the first minute of the second half, the remainder of the half was dominated by La Albertina as they scored five consecutive goals, with all four players contributing at least one goal over the run. The balanced attack proved too much for La Canada to counter, as they were left on the defensive throughout most of the half, held to zero field goals in the sixth and seventh chukkas. Elizalde placed his final stamp on the game, adding three more goals to his total in the final two chukkas to lead La Albertina to the 18-10 victory.
Las Monjitas made their debut in the final leg of the Triple Crown, quickly forgetting a slow first chukka to dominate the remainder of the game. Las Monjitas played at a high pace in the game, with all four players coming forward at different times and contributing at least four goals each in an attack that proved difficult for Cria Yatay to contain. Remaining disciplined also played to Las Monjitas’ strength in open play where they finished with 25 shots compared to just 15 for Cria Yatay in the resounding 22-9 victory.
Coming out with their strongest effort, Cria Yatay’s Magoo Laprida scored on the opening throw-in and Cria Yatay continued to pressure the Las Monjitas defense, firing four shots at goal, but were unable to convert any of their other attempts, leaving the score tied at 1-1. The remainder of the first half saw Las Monjitas enforce their will on the game, led by three consecutive goals from Sapo Caset in the second chukka. A disciplined Las Monjitas team kept Cria Yatay off the penalty line, utilizing their proficient attack to extend their lead. A five-goal fourth chukka saw all four players find the scoresheet, as Cria Yatay found themselves in a large deficit, trailing 12-5 at halftime.
Las Monjitas increased their defensive effort in the second half, holding Cria Yatay to just one shot attempt over the fifth, sixth and seventh chukkas, displaying an organized defense that will serve them well over the remainder of the tournament. Leaving no doubt in the result, Las Monjitas’ Santiago Toccalino effectively came forward from the #4 position to score three goals during a run of eight consecutive goals as Las Monjitas left Cria Yatay searching for ways to stop the potent Las Monjitas offense. Shooting an accurate 64% on an impressive 25 shot attempts sealed the dominant 22-9 victory for Las Monjitas.