The first round of matches has passed: Germany, Ireland, Austria and France victorious
On Sunday the much awaited XI. FIP European Championship kicked off in the Preussiche Polo & Country Club, on the outskirts of Berlin, where the qualifications phase is being played.
There has been a lot of work from the club to have the fields on top conditions for the eight teams taking part of the tournament, and it really showed: most players remarked the high quality of the pitches and how easy it made the games.
The hosting country, Germany, was the one to kick off the tournament taking on Slovakia. Germany immediately took the lead and didn’t allow Slovakia to score until the third chukka, when Justo José Santamarina managed to do so. The match ended on 10-3,5 (1/2 goal was awarded to Slovakia by handicap) and the local team, formed by Heinrich Dumrath, Caesar and Caspar Crasemann and Nico Steinle achieved their first victory. Later on, it was France’s turn to come after Poland. Even though the French didn’t have time to practice together due to their tight schedules – for instance, Louis Jarrige was in Sotogrande until almost the start of the Championship – they managed to absolutely neuter their opponent that could merely score two goals, while les bleus scored 7. Final result was 7 – 3,5 (1,5 goals of handicap were awarded of handicap to Poland).
Today on Monday, it was the time for The Netherlands and Ireland to saddle up. Even though both teams were very strong, Ireland had a great advantage: most of the horses they were playing were in Beaufort before and even some took part of high goal matches, and even though they travelled long, they adapted perfectly and their performances were top notch. The result? 9-2 for the Irishmen.
Finally, Italy and Austria closed this first round: through the first three chukkas the Italians leaded the game, even doubling their opponents on goal difference, but a great performance by the only scorer of the contrary team, Diego Braun, managed to turn the results around, scoring three goals on the third chukka, and the match finally ended on 6-5 favoring the Austrians.
The European Championship qualifiers continue with the following games:
Tuesday August 30th:
15 hs: Germany vs. Netherlands
16:30 hs: France vs Italy
Wednesday August 31st:
15 hs: Ireland vs. Slovakia
16:30 hs: Austria vs. Poland