Brunei and MB Polo Top Standings in Copa de Plata
The fourth day of play in the 2019 Copa de Plata featured victories for Brunei and MB Polo as they top the standings with two games remaining before the semi-finals at Santa Maria Polo Club in Sotogrande. Brunei opened play with a convincing 12-7 victory over Dos Lunas, while MB Polo narrowly defeated Bardon 9-8.
An overwhelming performance from Brunei began from the opening throw-in to outshoot Dos Lunas 19-5 in the game, while also shooting an accurate 58% from the field. Camilo Castagnola produced his best game of the season with an impressive nine goals, while Dos Lunas struggled to maintain consistent possession in the defeat. The first chukka saw Brunei accumulate seven shots compared to zero for Dos Lunas, keeping the ball in the attacking half to build a three-goal lead behind a goal each from Castagnola, Juan Martin Nero and Jeffrey Bahar. Joaquin Pittaluga responded with a Penalty 4 conversion and field goal to cut the deficit to two, but Castagnola was an offensive force, adding two field goals in the third chukka to end the half and give Brunei the 6-3 lead.
Continuing his strong play from the field half, Castangola drove the Brunei offense in a perfect fourth chukka with four goals on four shots, to push his goal total to seven, as Dos Lunas was left searching for a way to slow the Brunei attack. Trailing by five, Dos Lunas was in need of a late comeback, but their inability to generate scoring chances left little hope for a late charge. Producing just one shot in each of the final five chukkas, Dos Lunas took advantage of each opportunity to shoot 80%, but the large disadvantage in shots kept them trailing throughout the game. Brunei sealed the 12-7 victory after two more goals from Castagnola, improving to 3-0 in the tournament.
The second game of the day between Bardon and MB Polo came down to the final chukka as the foul ridden affair resulted in 15 combined penalty attempts between the two teams. Early dominance from the field for MB Polo gave them a lead which they wouldn’t concede due to missed penalty attempts from Bardon in the second half. Battling foul trouble in the game, MB Polo was able to outshoot Bardon 4-0 in the opening chukka, but only held a 3-2 lead after Penalty 3 and 4 conversions for Bardon. Playing in place of Pablo MacDonough, Polito Pieres scored his third goal of the game in the second chukka, extending MB Polo’s lead to four, while Bardon was held without a field goal for the second consecutive chukka. Matias Machado finally broke through for Bardon to end the half, but the 6-3 lead in favour of MB Polo left Bardon in need of a strong second half to capture the victory.
Focused on maintaining their lead, the MB Polo defence played a tight marking style against Bardon, providing little space in open play but the result was foul trouble that provided Bardon with seven penalty attempts over the final three chukkas. Little offense was generated from the field between the two teams, with Bardon once again held off the scoresheet from the field for the fourth time in five chukkas. Bardon was able to produce opportunities from the penalty line, but despite receiving four penalty attempts in the fourth and fifth chukkas, they converted just two, leaving MB Polo with the three-goal lead. Bardon came alive in the final chukka, with the duo of Rodrigo Andrade and Machado scoring a goal each from the field, leaving MB Polo ahead by just one goal. Late indiscipline gave Bardon the opening they needed, but a missed Penalty 4 for Bardon ultimately proved to be the difference in the close game, with MB Polo surviving the late comeback to claim the 9-8 victory.