Chapaleufu vs Ellerstina
Hurlingham Open champions Ellerstina began their 2017 pursuit of the Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo title defeating Chapaleufu 21-7 on Field 2 in Palermo.
Continually getting in behind the Chapaleufu defence, Ellerstina’s offence shot at goal 28 times, converting at an efficient 61% as they ran away with the game early. The combination of Gonzalito and Polito Pieres pressured the back line of Julian de Lusarreta and Eduardo Heguy throughout the game, resulting in numerous scoring chances for an Ellerstina team that looks as dangerous as ever. Ten goals from Polito Pieres and four goals from Facundo Pieres, returning from his fall in the Hurlingham Open final, led Ellerstina to the convincing victory.
Opening the game, de Lusarrata completed a long run, finishing under pressure to give Chapaleufu the quick 1-0 lead. That was the only lead Chapaleufu would see in the game, as Facundo Pieres scored on the following throw-in to even up the score. From that point forward, it was all Ellerstina as Chapaleufu was unable to prevent breakaway runs for Polito and Gonzalito Pieres. The relentless pressure of Ellerstina forced Chapaleufu into three fouls in the 2nd chukka as Polito Pieres converted both penalty attempts, while also adding a field goal to complete a 4-0 chukka.
The remainder of the first half displayed the proficiency of the Ellerstina offence as they scored seven goals in the 3rd and 4th chukkas on 7 for 9 shooting, with Gonzalito Pieres making his presence felt, scoring four of those goals. In Chapaleufu’s attempts to create their own offence, the duo of Facundo and Nico Pieres quickly turned those chances into offence of their own and it left Chapaleufu helpless as Ellerstina ran to a 13-4 lead at halftime.
The start of the second half showed Ellerstina’s defensive ability as Chapaleufu were 0 for 2 shooting in the 5th, 6th and 7th chukkas combined as Ellerstina continued to stretch their lead from nine at halftime, to thirteen by the end of the 7th chukka. With just four penalty goals for the game, the majority of Ellerstina goals came via field goals, as Polito and Facundo Pieres both scored three field goals each in the second half.
Chapaleufu added two late goals in the 8th chukka, one each from Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario and Julian de Lusarreta, but Ellerstina had already sealed the game and put a stamp on an impressive opening performance as they look to win their first Argentine Open title since 2012.
Alegria vs Cria Yatay
In a close, physical game, Alegria survived a scare from Cria Yatay, finishing with a 14-11 victory to improve to 2-0 in the 2017 Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo.
Cria Yatay kept themselves in the game due to accurate 9 for 13 shooting, but Alegria was able to limit their opportunities, using the defence of Fred Mannix and Hilario Ulloa to control the play. A back and forth first half provided ups and downs for both teams, but Alegria was able to maintain their slim lead late in the game, thanks to controlling possession and winning the throw-in battle over the final few chukkas, to complete the narrow three goal victory.
Alegria jumped on Cria Yatay early in the game, with Sapo Caset scoring two of Alegria’s three goals in the opening chukka as they raced out to an early 3-0 lead. With time expiring in the 1st chukka, a penalty 4 from Joaquin Pittaluga was going wide but was tipped in by Christian Laprida to cut the deficit to two.
The energy from Christian Laprida was evident throughout the entire game as he was active defensively and creating offence for his teammates. Behind four throw-in wins in the 2nd chukka, Pittaluga and Laprida combined for perfect shooting on three shot attempts, helping Cria Yatay tie the game at 4-4, giving them hope as they fought for an upset. The 3rd chukka was instant offence from both teams as they combined for 5 for 5 shooting from the field but it was Alegria that gained they edge as they scored four goals, two from Facundo Sola and one each for Ulloa and Caset. Three missed shot opportunities for Cria Yatay in the 4th chukka prevented them from tying the game before the end of the half, yet they were within striking distance, trailing 9-7.
With Cria Yatay giving Alegria all they could handle, the game tightened up in the second half, with all eight players on the field working hard to mark their opponents. The result was neither team was able to go on any runs as they traded goals throughout the second half, scoring one goal each in the 5th, 6th and 7th chukkas. Cria Yatay cut the deficit to one goal after Christian Laprida’s fifth goal of the game opened the 6th chukka but it was Alegria’s Mannix that kept his team in the lead. Coming forward from the back position on two occasions, Mannix scoring two of his three goals on the game, restoring Alegria’s two goal lead.
Cria Yatay pushed toward goal to open the 8th chukka, trailing 12-10, but just as they got within 10 yards of the goal, a steal from Sapo Caset began a 290 yard breakaway run that Caset completed as he ran the ball through the goal, turning a potential Cria Yatay goal into an Alegria goal and three-goal lead with time remaining. Caset added another goal, bringing his total to six for the game and sealing a 14-11 victory for Alegria.