La Indiana and Valiente Victorious on Opening Day of 2018 King Power Gold Cup
The opening day of the 2018 King Power Gold Cup saw Cartier Queen’s Cup champions La Indiana narrowly defeat ALFI Investments 10-9, while Valiente defeated Emlor 16-10 at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
In the first game of the tournament, La Indiana utilized a quick defense to offense transition, scoring numerous goals from backhands that started a break away run. Despite trailing in total throw-in wins, La Indiana were able to use their wins effectively, scoring two goals directly from the throw-in, while also adding a knock-in goal to win the set play battle. Scoring three consecutive goals early in the game built a lead for La Indiana that they didn’t give up the remainder of the game to finish with the victory.
After the two teams traded goals in the opening chukka, La Indiana displayed a quick offense in the second chukka to break the tie, scoring three consecutive goals with a goal each from Facundo Pieres, Alec White and Nic Roldan. A penalty conversion from Nico Pieres cut the deficit to two by the end of the second chukka, as La Indiana controlled possession in open play. ALFI Investments continued to close the deficit after Nico Pieres converted a long run to open the third chukka but Facundo Pieres converted a penalty attempt of his own to restore the two-goal advantage leading into halftime.
The balanced offense of La Indiana continued in the second half with Roldan and White scoring in quick succession to increase their lead to four. ALFI Investments pushed back with a run of their own, holding La Indiana off the scoresheet in the fifth chukka, while reducing the deficit to two. Despite scoring three goals in the final chukka, La Indiana scored two of their own to hold off the late ALFI Investments attack to win their opening game of the tournament.
The second game off the day saw a dominant offensive performance from Valiente, finishing with 16 goals in a foul ridden game that saw a combined 23 fouls. The efficient passing attack of Valiente generated offensive chances throughout the game, with Adolfo Cambiaso and Magoo Laprida combining for 15 goals. Despite being tied 6-6 at halftime, Valiente ran away with the game in the second half, scoring 10 of the first 12 goals in the half to finish with the convincing six-goal victory.
Just minutes into the game, Valiente claimed a four-goal advantage, scoring two goals from the penalty line and two from the field as Emlor was unable to match the fast pace set by Valiente. Before the high scoring first chukka was over, Emlor reduced the deficit to two, with Agustin Merlos and Diego Cavanagh scoring a goal each. Settling into the game, the Emlor attack forced Valiente into difficult positions defensively, resulting in six fouls and perfect 4 for 4 shooting from the penalty line by Merlos in the first half. Along with a nice goal from Spencer McCarthy, Emlor brought the game into a tie at the conclusion of the opening half.
The momentum switched to begin the second half with Valiente scoring five goals in the fourth chukka, converting all three attempts from the field and two from the penalty line to restore the four-goal lead from the opening chukka. Cambiaso was crucial to Valiente’s success with four goals in the chukka, while Emlor was left on the defensive and unable to produce a shot on goal. The duo of Cambiaso and Laprida continued to produce offense, combining for three more goals in the fifth chukka to extend the lead to six with just one chukka remaining. Emlor was unable to get within reach despite late goals from Merlos and Nacho Gonzalez, as Valiente completed the 16-10 victory.