La Indiana and Lechuza Caracas Advance to Finals of 2018 Copa de Plata
The semi-finals of the 2018 Copa de Plata Alto saw La Indiana defeat Dubai 14-12, while Lechuza Caracas used a strong start to defeat Bardon 12-10 at Santa Maria Polo Club.
The opening semi-final saw La Indiana and Dubai clash in an evenly fought game where the lead changed hands multiple times. With both teams shooting nearly identical percentages from the field, it was the ability of La Indiana to generate more scoring chances, outshooting Dubai 19-11 in the game that proved to be the difference. Facundo Pieres led the La Indiana attack late in the game, scoring all three La Indiana field goals in the final chukka to secure the victory.
Early in the game, it was Dubai that took advantages of their opportunities from the field and the penalty line, with Camilo Castagnola scoring three goals in the opening two chukkas. A high scoring second chukka saw both teams score three goals, with La Indiana missing their opportunities to take the lead. Three Dubai fouls resulted in three penalty 4 attempts for Pieres but he was able to convert just one attempt as his team continued to trail by just one goal. La Indiana continued to attack goal in the third chukka, but their inaccuracy allowed Dubai to maintain their lead, due to their perfect 2 for 2 shooting in the chukka. Camilo Castagnola displayed a strong offensive performance, leading his team with four goals and a 7-6 halftime lead.
The second half saw La Indiana finally break through in the fourth chukka, converting three of their four attempts, while holding Dubai to zero shots. Dubai quickly responded in the fifth chukka, this time with Bartolome Castagnola scoring his first two goals of the game to bring his team back into a tie. The penalty shooting of Alfredo Cappella, converting five of his six attempts, kept Dubai in the game, but a strong second half for La Indiana was highlighted by a sixth chukka that saw them outscore Dubai 3-1. Ten-goaler Pieres took over late in the game, scoring all three goals from the field for La Indiana to lead his team to victory and claim the first spot in the Copa de Plata final.
The second semi-final saw Lechuza Caracas overcome a second half comeback from Bardon to hold on for the two-goal victory. Bardon were the conductors of their own defeat, building up a high foul count of 13 fouls while Lechuza Caracas committed just four fouls throughout the game. David Stirling returned to the Lechuza Caracas line-up and produced a four-goal performance, while working effectively with Juan Martin Nero to control the possession. Late throw-in dominance for Bardon wasn’t enough to complete their comeback, as their slow start was too much to overcome in the 12-10 victory for Lechuza Caracas.
Lechuza Caracas raced out to an early lead by holding Bardon off the scoresheet in the opening two chukkas, limiting them to just one shot at goal. Stirling was the key offensive player, scoring all of his team’s field goals in the opening half, including three in the opening two chukkas to open up a 4-0 advantage. Lechuza Caracas were far more clinical in attack, carefully controlling the speed of the ball and the accuracy of the delivery from Nero for Stirling, while Bardon finally found the scoresheet in the third chukka. Despite committing four fouls in the chukka, Bardon managed to outscore Lechuza Caracas 3-2, led by two goals from Alejo Taranco to reduce the deficit to 6-3 at halftime.
In a crucial start to the second half, it was Lechuza Caracas that separated themselves in the game, converting both penalty attempts from two Bardon fouls to extend their lead further. Trailing by five, Bardon made a late push in the game, using strong set play performance that saw them win 18 of 28 throw-ins to gain the additional possessions needed. Matias Machado scored three goals in the final two chukkas to help bring Bardon within two goals but they weren’t able to get any closer as Lechuza Caracas held on for the 12-10 victory, setting up a match-up against La Indiana in the Copa de Plata final.