Monterosso Impresses While Park Place Wins Thriller in Overtime
On the eighth day of the 2018 King Power Gold Cup saw Monterosso display a strong performance to defeat Talandracas 12-7, while in the second game saw Park Place win an overtime thriller 11-10 over La Bamba de Areco at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
The opening game saw a fast, clean and open game of polo between the two teams with only seven fouls committed in total. Monterosso controlled open play throughout the game and although both teams created goal scoring opportunities, it was Monterosso that produced a higher attacking accuracy in the victory. Ignacio Toccalino was a key player in the Monterosso attack, converting 83% of his shots from the field to finish with six goals. Capitalizing on just 30% of their shot attempts, Talandracas were unable to match Monterosso as they fell behind early and were never able to close the deficit.
The opening chukka saw Talandracas be decisive in the attack, shooting at goal four times to take the early 2-1 lead, but Monterosso found their stride in a dominant second chukka, outscoring Talandracas 4-0. The quick pace as a result of very few fouls favoured the accurate Monterosso attack, that built an 8-4 lead at half time, with all four players finding the scoresheet. The usually efficient Talandracas offense was forced into shooting low-percentage shots from distance as they were unable to generate effective scoring chances against the organized Monterosso defence.
The second half saw more of the same from Monterosso, piling the pressure on Talandracas in attack, while scrambling on defence to stop Talandracas from making their comeback. Content to maintain their lead, Monterosso matched Talandracas goal for goal as Ignacio and Santiago Toccalino linked up well on defence along with beginning an attack that saw Juan Martin Zubia and Alessandro Bazzoni score five goals between them. Holding a five-goal lead into the final chukka, Monterosso sat back as Talandracas looked to fight back in the game, shooting at goal six times, but were only able to find the goal once in a game where their inaccuracy kept them from closing the deficit. The strong team performance from Monterosso led to the convincing 12-7 victory.
The second game featured a thrilling conclusion, with Park Place trailing throughout the entire game only to defeat La Bamba de Areco in over time. Very little separated the two teams with La Bamba de Areco gaining the early edge only to let Park Place build a consistent attack over the final two chukkas, led by Hilario Ulloa. After only recording five shots in the first four chukkas, Park Place converted seven of their final nine shots in the game, including the overtime goal from Juan Britos to remain undefeated in the King Power Gold Cup.
The opening chukka saw La Bamba de Areco dominate possession, winning all three throw-ins and building their attack on the work of David Stirling to grab the early 2-0 lead. Park Place were unable to generate enough scoring chances of their own to match La Bamba de Areco on the scoreboard, with their opponents holding a 4-1 lead at the end of the second chukka. Foul trouble for La Bamba de Areco in the third chukka provided an opportunity for Park place to close the deficit slightly and they were able to close the deficit to two, as La Bamba de Areco failed to increase their lead further despite continuing to control possession.
After La Bamba de Areco restored their three-goal advantage, Park Place stormed back into the game with an impressive fifth chukka, converting four of their five shot attempts to draw within one goal. A goal from Byron Watson looked to put La Bamba de Areco ahead for good, but a steal by Hilario Ulloa set up a quick goal for Park Place, which was quickly followed by a goal on the following throw-in by Tommy Beresford to tie the game and send it into overtime. A long run by Charlie Tighe, playing in place of Andrey Borodin, left the ball in front of goal and Juan Britos completed the play, sending Park Place to the exciting 11-10 victory.