Habtoor vs La Indiana
The 8th game of the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup at Cowdray Park Polo Club featured the debut of Habtoor, as they faced off against Queen’s Cup finalist La Indiana. In a closely marked game throughout the first half, La Indiana used a fast paced passing attack in the second half to pull away for the 12-8 victory.
La Indiana pressured Habtoor early, holding their opponents to zero shots in the first chukka, while Agustin Merlos and Michael Bickford each converted their one shot attempt from the field. A foul ridden first chukka with five fouls combined, resulted in one penalty goal each for La Indiana and Habtoor as La Indiana took an early 3-1 lead.
Habtoor found their footing over the next two chukka’s, outshooting La Indiana 8-2 over that span. However, Habtoor was only able to convert two of those eight shot attempts with Nico Pieres accounting for both goals. Throughout the first half, La Indiana were not able to generate as many scoring chances, only shooting four times, but they converted all four shot attempts and used a balanced attack with Merlos, Roldan and Bickford all scoring at least two goals. Pieres added two more goals from the penalty line for Habtoor to finish with five goals in the first half but it was the inability of Habtoor to convert from the field that had them trailing 6-5 at halftime.
Play opened up in the 4th and 5th chukka and it favoured the playing style of La Indiana as they used a fast-paced pass and run attack to win the two chukkers 5-1 and extend their lead to 11-6. Merlos scored all three goals from the field for La Indiana in the 4th chukka, bringing his goal total up to six for the game. Habtoor countered with the duo of Pieres and Francisco Elizalde but an active La Indiana defense along with the shooting struggles for Habtoor prevented them from shrinking their 5-goal deficit.
Habtoor made a late push in the 6th chukka with Pieres scoring his 6th and 7th goals of the game, but it was too little, too late as La Indiana made the adjustments they needed to at halftime to limit their fouls and speed up the pace of play finishing with the 12-8 victory, thanks to efficient 8 for 11 (73%) shooting from the field.