Valiente and The Daily Racing Form-DRF Bets Improve to 2-0 in the USPA Gold Cup
The second round of games in the 2018 USPA Gold Cup at the International Polo Club Palm Beach saw Valiente defeat Colorado 11-9 and The Daily Racing Form-DRF Bets (DRF) defeat Tonkawa 11-9 as both teams improved their records to 2-0.
The opening game saw a rematch of the first two 26-goal finals and resulted in the same outcome as Valiente put forth another dominant performance led by the seven-goal performance from Facundo Pieres. Using a strong defence that limited Colorado to difficult shots throughout the game, Valiente was able to utilize their counter attack, passing up to Tommy Beresford who was active down field, contributing three goals of his own. The inability of Colorado to consistently break through the back line of Valiente ultimately proved to be the difference in an open flowing game that saw just five fouls.
The one goal provided to Colorado on handicap quickly disappeared in the first chukka as the duo of Pieres and Beresford worked seamlessly together to score one-goal each. With Beresford active both defensively and offensively, Adolfo Cambiaso was able to anchor the defense for Valiente as Colorado was unable to respond to the Valiente attack in the first half. Pieres added four more goals in the second and third chukkas, three of which coming from the field, as Valiente built a 7-3 lead before the end of the half as Colorado shot just 2 for 7 from the field.
With few fouls in the game, Valiente maintained their defensive positioning, protecting their goal rather than continuing the relentless attack that was seen in the opening half. Colorado was able to reduce the deficit to two but the attention of the game shifted in the fifth chukka as a collision between Tommy Beresford and Juan Britos resulted in double yellow flags given to both players leaving the game 3 on 3 for two minutes. Unable to continue, Britos was replaced by Santi Torres but Colorado was not able to get any closer to Valiente with Pieres once again taking the game into his own hands by scoring two more goals in the final chukka to seal the 11-9 victory for Valiente.
The second game of the day saw a dominant team performance from start to finish by DRF as Hilario Ulloa played one of his best games to date by running into open space and attacking the goal from distance. Despite scoring eight goals for the second consecutive game, Sapo Caset was pressured throughout the game as he took on the weight of the Tonkawa offense. After struggling from the penalty line in his first game in the USPA Gold Cup, Ulloa was much more effective from the penalty line, converting 4 of his 6 attempts to take advantage of Tonkawa’s fouls in the defensive half of the field.
An even first chukka saw both teams tied at 1-1, until DRF exploded for a 4-0 second chukka, all of which coming off the mallet of Ulloa, who converted all three penalty attempts and added one from the field as DRF built an early four goal lead. The first half ended with a high scoring chukka as both teams converted from the field and the penalty line as DRF maintained their four-goal advantage. Although, Ulloa led the way with five goals in the opening half, Agustin and Mariano Obregon were both effective, contributing two and one goals respectively in a balanced DRF attack.
Converting just 3 of their final 11 shot attempts, Tonkawa was unable to mount a comeback, with Julian de Lusarreta and Mariano Aguerre held to a combined one goal in the game. The DRF offense was slowed in the second half as Tonkawa pushed to close the deficit, but effective shooting and the performance of Ulloa kept a commanding lead for DRF as late goals from Tonkawa weren’t enough as DRF finished with the 11-9 victory.