Undefeated Brunei Defeat Dos Lunas in Copa de Oro Opener
The Copa de Plata champions Brunei continued their undefeated play in the season at Sotogrande in their opening game of the 2019 Copa de Oro, defeating Dos Lunas 15-7 at Santa Maria Polo Club.
In what began as an evenly matched game, Brunei separated themselves from Dos Lunas on the scoreboard beginning with the third chukka. Completing an 11-2 run over the following three chukkas, it was the dynamic duo of Camilo Castagnola and Juan Martin Nero that led Brunei to victory, combining for nine goals and five assists during that span. In what was a fast-paced game with 36 shot attempts, the accuracy of Brunei ultimately gave them the advantage, converting 60% of their shots compared to just 38% for Dos Lunas. With a persistent and accurate attack, Brunei kept possession in the attack half and held Dos Lunas to just three field goals over the final four chukkas to capture the convincing eight-goal victory.
An exciting opening chukka saw Brunei and Dos Lunas battle end-to-end, trading goals to remain tied at two goals each. Dos Lunas received goals from Joaquin Pittaluga and Juan Zubiaurre, who played in place of Martin Iturraspe for his first game of the season. A foul ridden second chukka resulted in the two teams continuing to alternate goals after Nero converted a Penaly 2 and Luis Domecq converted a Pittaluga pass to tie the score at 3-3. The game changed in the third chukka behind Brunei’s dominance from the throw-in line, winning all five throw-ins to hold a significant possession advantage. Perfect 4 for 4 shooting from the field along with Nero’s third penalty goal of the game overwhelmed the Dos Lunas defence leading to a 5-0 chukka in favour of Brunei as they held the 8-3 lead at halftime.
Carrying the momentum from the end of the first half into the beginning of the second half, Brunei kept Dos Lunas pinned in their own half, producing seven shots at goal. Despite the unyielding pressure, Brunei converted just two of their attempts, one each from Castagnola and Nero, who continued to work seamlessly to attack Dos Lunas. In what proved to be the story of the game, any hopes of a Dos Lunas comeback was thwarted by the performance of Castagnola in the fifth chukka, scoring three goals on perfect shooting to extend Brunei’s lead to an insurmountable eight goals. Maintaining their lead, Brunei captured the 15-7 victory in their opening game of the Copa de Oro, as they remain undefeated on the season.