Second Round of Play Concludes in 2018 USPA Gold Cup
The last game in second round of the 2018 USPA Gold Cup at the International Polo Club Palm Beach saw Flexjet defeat Audi 9-6 in an open, flowing game that saw three Pieres’ on the field with Nico and Gonzalito playing for Flexjet, and Polito Pieres making his 2018 USA debut with Audi.
A very clean game from start to finish, both teams were able build their attacks in open space but found numerous shots from distance that resulted in Flexjet and Audi shooting 41% and 31% respectively on a combined 38 shot attempts. With neither team attacking aggressively in front of goal, the outcome of the game was decided in the sixth chukka by the interplay between Nico and Gonzalito Pieres, who were better able to maintain possession of the ball in a 4-1 final chukka. The work of Melissa Ganzi downfield, who finished with two goals in the game, also provided the edge to Flexjet in an otherwise close contest.
It was Audi that started the game strong with 10-goaler Polito Pieres making his presence known early, scoring two goals in the opening chukka to give Audi the two-goal advantage, as Nic Roldan and Mike Azzaro were content to maintain their defensive positioning to prevent the Flexjet attack. The second chukka saw Flexjet find their offensive rhythm behind the work of Rodrigo Andrade who set up Gonzalito Pieres for Flexjet’s first goal and then followed it up with a goal from 70 yards out to close the deficit to one goal. Audi held on to their one goal lead until the fifth chukka when they were held scoreless and Nico Pieres scored his second goal of the game to bring the game into a 5-5 tie.
An explosive sixth chukka from Flexjet saw them convert four of their six shot attempts, once again led by the efforts of Andrade, who completed a run of his own for his lone goal in the chukka along with finding Nico Pieres downfield to put the game out of reach and complete the 9-6 victory. Flexjet improves to a 1-1 record, while Audi falls to 0-2. The final three group games of the 2018 USPA Gold Cup resumes on Saturday as Tonkawa squares off against undefeated Valiente.