RH Polo vs Sommelier
The 13th game of the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup saw RH Polo display a dominant performance over Sommelier to finish with the 10-6 victory at Manor Farm.
Possession throughout the game was controlled by RH as they utilized strong team defence to thwart the Sommelier attack. Combined with losing the throw-in battle, Sommelier was unable to consistently maintain possession and the result was a convincing victory for RH Polo. After they gained momentum in the 2nd chukka due to four Sommelier fouls, RH Polo raced out to a 6-2 lead and extended that lead further after holding Sommelier to zero shots in the 3rd and 4th chukkas. RH never looked back as they cruised to their 2nd victory in the Gold Cup.
The 2nd chukka was key for RH as Sommelier found themselves in foul trouble, committing four fouls which turned into three penalty goals for RH Polo, two from Adolfo Cambiaso and one from Tommy Beresford. After Beresford added his 3rd goal of the game, this time from the field, RH put Sommelier in a four goal deficit, a tall order against an elite defence anchored by Cambiaso and Rodrigo Andrade.
That defence was on full display in the 3rd and 4th chukkas as Sommelier failed to record a single shot or penalty attempt, as RH converted three of six shots, with Andrade scoring both goals in the 4th chukka. The extra possessions gained by RH Polo from winning nine of ten throw-ins over that span, resulted in a 9-2 lead with Sommelier in a big hole with two chukkas remaining.
Sommelier attempted to come back in the final two chukkas, with Fred Mannix scoring his 4th goal of the game and shooting at goal eight times as a team, but RH Polo had built up a large enough lead that they were able to cruise to the 10-6 victory.
Monterosso vs Murus Sanctus
The 14th game of the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup saw Monterosso produce a decisive comeback to beat Murus Sanctus 9-8 in an overtime victory at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
This was a must win game for both teams having lost a game each. Having already stunned RH Polo earlier in the tournament, Monterosso are fast proving they are the real deal by beating a team with two elite players in 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa and Facundo Sola.
After Murus Sanctus only scored two goals in the first half, they used a team attack in the 4th and 5th chukkas, to take a two goal lead, which they later extended to three goals with minutes remaining. However, a loss of focus and missed opportunities allowed Monterosso to score three goals in quick succession to tie the game with seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. After a missed penalty 4 attempt from Hilario Ulloa to win the game and send Murus Sanctus to the quarter-finals, Monterosso marched downfield and Ignacio Toccalino finished off the attack with a neckshot to complete the comeback and give Monterosso the overtime win.
A back and forth game in the first half saw Murus Sanctus only convert one of five shot attempts and one of three penalty attempts as they were fortunate to still be within reach of Monterosso heading into halftime. A goal each from Ignacio and Santiago Toccalino, an effective combination throughout the game, gave Monterosso the two goal edge.
However, Murus Sanctus found their footing in the 4th chukka, outshooting Monterosso 5-0 and winning the chukka 3-1 thanks to nice neckshot goal from Martin Podesta and a goal from nearly 100 yards out for Ulloa. Murus Sanctus found the momentum they were looking for and used an effective team attack with a strong performance from Podesta leading the way.
After Facundo Sola scored his 3rd goal of the game to give Murus Sanctus a three goal lead in the 6th chukka, Monterosso was running out of time to make a comeback. However, with only three minutes remaining, Alessandro Bazzoni scored a goal to cut the lead to two and back-to-back goals from Santiago Toccalino, the final goal coming via a penalty 3 with time expiring, sent the game to overtime.
A quick foul early in the overtime chukka gave Ulloa a penalty 4 chance to end the game but the shot was sent wide, giving Monterosso life. As was the case all game, the combination of Ignacio and Santiago Toccalino was difficult for Murus Sanctus to defend against and after a drive from Santiago Toccalino left the ball in front of goal, it was Ignacio Toccalino who finished off the play to eliminate Murus Sanctus from the tournament and hand Monterosso their second victory in three games.