RH Polo and El Remanso Advance to King Power Gold Cup semi-finals
The first two quarter-finals in the 2018 King Power Gold Cup saw RH Polo defeat Park Place 15-11, while El Remanso displayed another strong offensive performance to defeat ALFI Investments 16-11 at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
The opening game saw a closely contested match, with RH Polo’s Sapo Caset leading his team to victory in a strong final chukka. Despite a valiant 10-goal performance from Juan Britos, Park Place couldn’t hold back the relentless attacking threats of RH Polo with the duo of Rodrigo Andrade and Caset combining for 12 goals. In the final three chukkas, RH Polo displayed their finest form, converting 8 of their 10 shot attempts to claim the first spot in the semi-finals.
After a strong opening chukka that saw RH Polo grab the early 3-1 lead, foul trouble led to penalty goals for Park Place as they looked to stay within reach of the fast-paced RH Polo offense. Despite zero field goals in the opening two chukkas, Park Place found themselves down just one goal behind the penalty shooting of Britos. The first half ended with Park Place being the stronger of the two teams after scoring four goals in the third chukka to grab the 7-5 lead.
Entering the second half, RH Polo was looking to clean up their foul troubles as Britos converted all five penalty attempts in the opening half and were able to use a strong 4-0 fourth chukka to retake the lead. For the third time in the game, Park Place failed to score from the field as they struggled to create scoring opportunities around goal. That changed in a fifth chukka where Park Place shot a perfect 3 for 3 from the field, led by two goals from Britos and one from Hilario Ulloa to trail by just one goal entering the final chukka. Ultimately, the efficiency of RH Polo throughout the second half proved to be the difference as they finished the game shooting 11 for 18 from the field. Two final goals from Caset, along with a goal each from Martin Podesta and Ben Soleimani sealed the 15-11 victory for RH Polo.
The second game of the day saw El Remanso continue their impressive run through the King Power Gold Cup, using another strong team performance where each player contributed in the win over ALFI Investments. Charlie Hanbury and Oliver Cudmore were effective pulling the team forward while James Beim marked the Pieres duo of Nico and Polito Pieres throughout the game, pressuring them constantly to limit their possession. The balanced offense of El Remanso provided difficulties for ALFI Investments in the game as El Remanso finished with 22 shots and accurate 64% shooting in the victory.
The first half contained just six combined fouls as the two teams battled in open play. Neither team was able to separate themselves with El Remanso utilizing a balanced team offense while ALFI Investments countered with Nico and Polito Pieres. The closely fought first half saw El Remanso hold a narrow two-goal lead due to the additional shot attempts, but once the second half began, ALFI Investments was unable to match the proficient El Remanso offense that has run rampant throughout the tournament. The fourth chukka saw El Remanso shoot a perfect 6 for 6 from the field, led by two goals each from Hanbury and Beim, while ALFI Investments were left on the defensive, unable to consistently mark all four El Remanso players. Holding a commanding seven-goal lead, El Remanso matched ALFI Investments throughout the fifth chukka to maintain their lead. With just one chukka remaining, ALFI Investments was unable to close the large deficit and fell to an El Remanso team that looks as strong as any team heading into the semi-finals.