La Dolfina and La Dolfina Polo Ranch Set Scene for Semi-Final Matchup
The seventh day in the 126th Abierto Argentino de Polo resulted in La Dolfina and La Dolfina Polo Ranch remain undefeated to set up their next match in a winner take-all for a spot in the final. La Dolfina Polo Ranch opened play with a dominant 16-6 victory against La Irenita, while La Dolfina cruised to the 18-6 win over La Aguada on the fields at Palermo.
The story of the opening game was the large possession advantage for La Dolfina Polo Ranch, as they primarily played the game in the attacking half, forcing la Irenita into difficult positions defensively. Committing 9 fouls in the opening half, La Irenita conceded six penalty goals to Diego Cavanagh while struggling to generate any offense of their own, held to just four shots in the first half. The relentless attack of La Dolfina Polo Ranch proved to be too much in the convincing 10-goal victory.
After the two teams traded goals to begin the game, the field slanted in favour of La Dolfina Polo Ranch, led by the efforts of Diego Cavanagh who provided accurate penalty shooting throughout. A decisive second chukka built a large lead for La Dolfina Polo Ranch, behind three penalty conversions from Cavanagh, along with a field goal from Terrera. Consistently pinned in their own half, La Irenita managed zero shot attempts and just one goal over the second and third chukkas as part of a 9-1 run for La Dolfina Polo Ranch. Converting his sixth penalty goal of the half to bring his goal total to an impressive eight, Cavanagh extended La Dolfina Polo Ranch’s lead further to seven, leaving La Irenita facing a large deficit entering the second half.
In need of offense, La Irenita struggled to get past an organized La Dolfina Polo Ranch team that quickly jumped on turnovers and were effective at intercepting passes. Held to zero field goals in the fifth, sixth and seventh chukkas, La Irenita’s hopes of a comeback never came to fruition, with La Dolfina Polo Ranch effectively managing their lead and producing a possession heavy attack. Guillermo Terrera and Juan Britos combined for back-to-back goals in the seventh chukka to secure the victory as the duo combined for four goals and three assists in the second half in what was a dominant win for La Dolfina Polo Ranch.
Facing a difficult task in the second game, La Aguada fought hard to keep up with La Dolfina but shot an inaccurate 24% from the field. The deciding factor proved to be all eight La Aguada fouls leading to a penalty goal for La Dolfina on perfect 8 for 8 shooting from Adolfo Cambiaso. Conceding zero field goals in the first half allowed La Dolfina to build a large lead, which was never threatened by La Aguada to finish with the 18-6 victory.
Scoring inside the first minute of the game, Pablo MacDonough gave La Dolfina the early lead, but the remainder of the first chukka went scoreless leaving La Aguada still trailing by one goal. The momentum of the game shifted firmly to La Dolfina, behind two goals each from the duo of MacDonough and Cambiaso on perfect shooting from the field and the penalty line in the second chukka. Part of a six-goal unanswered run, all four of La Dolfina’s players found the scoresheet in a balanced team attack, but the continual penalty conversions from Cambiaso deflated La Aguada’s defence. A second penalty conversion for Alejandro Novillo Astrada was the only offense from La Aguada in the first half, trailing 10-2 against their heavily favoured opponent.
Scoring two goals from distance, Alfredo Bigatti and Lucas Diaz Alberdi gave La Aguada some life to begin the second half, but La Dolfina responded with their second six-goal run of the game to assert their dominance. Scoring three goals and adding an assist during that span, Cambiaso’s elite play was on full display, taking advantage of each opportunity presented by La Aguada. La Dolfina cruised to the convincing victory, just two goals away from repeating as the Argentine Open champions.