Gold Cup – 24/6/09

Sumaya defeats Zacara in a thrilling match

By Antje Derks

After the Apes Hill debacle of yesterday, I was interested to see how Queen’s Cup runners up Sumaya would fare against Zacara. I need not have worried they won 12 – 10, but the match was tight and Sumaya certainly didn’t have it all their own way.

Indeed, after some cracking polo by Eduardo Novillo Astrada Lyndon Lea’s Zacara ended the first chukka 3 – 2 ahead. Astrada continued his run at the start of the fourth, opening up a two goal lead. A missed penalty was also a missed chance for Zacara to go three goals ahead.

The experience of the new England coach, Milo Fernandez Araujo became apparent after he converted one goal and set up the next for the in-form Nachi Du Plessis. Sumaya went ahead after their patron, Ahmad Aboughazale scored a cracking goal to end the chukka 5 – 4 in the lead.

In the third chukka it was Ignacio Toccalino’s turn to set the pitch alight. He won the throw-in twice, scoring two fabulous goals in succession, putting Zacara back on top. Hilario Ulloa was quick to level the scores, in a game that was turning into a real nail-biter.

Such was Zacara’s devotion to the cause that Eduardo Novillo Astrada’s mother kept up a running commentary throughout the match with members of her extended family as well as frantically knitting a baby blanket without ever taking her eye off the ball…. now that is multi-tasking in my book!

By half-time Sumaya were 8 – 7 in the lead and Ulloa added to the total mid-way through the fourth. Mrs Astrada’s encouragement must have reached her son’s ears since Eduardo broke free of the pack and scored after a magnificent run. Unfortunately for them Nachi Du Plessis was again playing out of his boots, taking the ball from one end of the field to the other, taking Sumaya to 10 – 8 at the end of the fifth.

A penalty mid-way through the sixth saw Ulloa put Sumaya further ahead, but after a silly mistake, Eduardo again broke free to score. Another goal by Toccalino put Zacara within spitting distance of victory, but Milo slotted in a sneaky one right on the bell, making it 12 – 10 to Sumaya.