Chapaleufu vs La Dolfina Polo Ranch
Both teams were searching for their first win in the 2017 Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo, and it was La Dolfina Polo Ranch defeating Chapaleufu 10-8 on Field 2 in Palermo.
Limiting Chapaleufu to just one field goal in the first six chukkas, La Dolfina PR used their defensive positioning and effective backhands to maintain possession in a defensively-minded game. Scoring chances were few and far between for both sides, but La Dolfina PR converted five of their first seven shots, building a four-goal lead, which was enough to withstand the late push from Chapaleufu and finish with the two-goal victory.
Despite winning all four throw-ins in the opening chukka, La Dolfina PR conceded the first goal to Chapaleufu’s Julian de Lusarreta, but were able to control play for the remainder of the chukka. After Guillermo Terrera converted a penalty 2, Alejo Taranco scored La Dolfina PR’s lone field goal late in the chukka, giving his team the early one goal lead.
A quick goal from Taranco to open the second chukka further extended La Dolfina PR’s lead, but it was the 100-yard strike from Ignatius Du Plessis shortly after, that highlighted the four-goal run by La Dolfina PR, as they built an early three goal advantage. The two teams combined for a total of three shots for the next two chukkas as the play remained in neutral territory with neither team able to produce a consistent offensive attack. That changed in a foul ridden 4th chukka, with five combined fouls leading to two penalty goals for Chapaleufu’s Eduardo Heguy, and one penalty goal for Diego Cavanagh. With just one field goal on four shot attempts in the first half, Chapaleufu found themselves trailing 6-3, and needing an offensive adjustment against a La Dolfina PR team that was winning the possession battle.
The low-scoring defensive style of play continued with La Dolfina PR scoring one goal in the 5th chukka and Chapaleufu scoring one goal in the 6th chukka, with Chapaleufu still trying to score their first field goal since the first minute of the game. Finally breaking through in the 7th chukka, de Lusarreta scored two goals from the field, but Chapalefu as unable to close the deficit, as three fouls resulted in two penalty goals for Cavanagh, as La Dolfina PR maintained their three-goal lead heading into the final chukka.
A late flurry from Chapaleufu wasn’t enough, with goals from de Lusarreta and Eduardo Heguy, getting their team within two goals at different times in the 8th chukka, but La Dolfina PR controlled possession early in the game to build their lead and hold on for the 10-8 victory.
Cria Yatay vs Ellerstina
Behind a strong second half performance, Ellerstina defeated Cria Yatay 14-6 on Field 1 in Palermo, improving their record to 3-0 in the 2017 Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo.
Overcoming first half foul trouble, Ellerstina dominated the second half, displaying an elite team defence that limited Cria Yatay to just two shot attempts over the final four chukkas, while converting six of their ten shot attempts during that span. Despite converting only four of their nine penalty attempts, Ellerstina limited the offensive chances for Cria Yatay throughout the game, holding their opponents to zero shots in three of the eight chukkas, to finish with the convincing eight goal victory.
Ellerstina’s Gonzalito Pieres started the game on a high note, scoring on the opening throw-in to give his team the quick 1-0 lead. The defensive proficiency of Ellerstina was on full display in the 1st chukka as Nico and Facundo Pieres intercepting their opponent’s attacks, preventing any shot attempts for Cria Yatay. A penalty 4 attempt for Polito Pieres was blocked in front of goal, but Facundo Pieres jumped on the ball, tapping it through to extend the lead to two.
After the two teams conceded a goal each in the 2nd chukka, the fouls began to catch up with Ellerstina. Committing five fouls in the opening two chukkas, Ellerstina would commit four more fouls over the following two chukkas, resulting in three penalty goals for Cria Yatay, their only source of offence in the 3rd and 4th chukkas. Joaquin Pittaluga’s second penalty conversion in the 4th chukka had Cria Yatay down just one goal with minutes remaining in the half, until Nico Pieres scored from nearly 120 yards away from the goal to restore Ellerstina’s two goal lead at 6-4 heading into halftime.
After surviving a scare in their previous game against La Dolfina Polo Ranch, Ellerstina left no doubt in this game, dominating the second half with effective passing and a smothering defence that left Cria Yatay unable to produce a consistent attack. Committing nine fouls in the first half, Ellerstina committed zero fouls in the 5th and 6th chukkas, taking away Cria Yatay’s only source of offence as they were once again held to zero shots in the 5th chukka. Polito and Facundo Pieres scored two goals each, accounting for Ellerstina’s four goals in the two chukkas to open the half, extending the Ellerstina lead to 10-5.
Looking for offence, the duo of Christian Laprida and Joaquin Pittaluga were unable to get past the backline of Facundo and Nico Pieres, as Ellerstina created offence from their defence, as Cria Yatay saw the deficit widen with time remaining. Perfect three for three shooting in the 8th chukka, with one goal each from Gonzalito, Facundo and Nico Pieres, sealed the victory as Ellerstina ran away with the game and the 14-6 victory, setting up a rematch with Alegria, with the winner advancing to this year’s final.