Dubai Defeats Bardon to Open 2018 Copa de Oro
In the opening game of the 2018 Copa de Oro, Dubai defeated Bardon 9-6 in a defensive battle at Santa Maria Polo Club.
In a tight match, both teams struggled to find their scoring edge in the first half, with neither team recording a field goal over the opening three chukkas. Dubai relied heavily on scoring from their penalty opportunities as they converted 7 of 9 attempts to separate themselves in the game. Despite shooting just 14% from the field on 14 shot attempts, Dubai’s performance pressured the Dubai defence and resulted in six penalty 2 attempts in the game, which proved to be the difference. Bardon was unable to find their offensive stride in the game, scoring just three goals before the final chukka and ultimately failing to contain the trio of Alfredo Cappella, Bartolome and Camilo Castagnola, who led Dubai to the three-goal victory.
The opening chukka saw both teams concede penalty opportunities with Dubai grabbing the early 2-1 lead behind two penalty conversions from Camilo Castagnola. The remainder of the first half saw both teams struggle to break down each other’s defence with the ball primarily remaining in the middle of the field. Dubai missed all six shots at goal in the opening half, while Bardon missed their four attempts in the low-scoring game that was being decided from the penalty line. It was Dubai that were able to better convert their opportunities with Cappella converting a penalty in the 2nd and 3rd chukka, while Bardon missed their two attempts to trail by three goals. The 4-1 score at half time was the result of a back and forth game that saw 10 missed shots and the teams unable to produce high quality scoring chances at goal.
The second half produced a more offensive style of play, with both teams finally finding the goal in open play. A goal each from Alejandro Muzzio and Matias Machado brought Bardon back within two goals as Bardon started to control possession. That momentum abruptly ended in the fifth chukka as Dubai took advantage of three Bardon fouls in a 3-0 chukka that extended their lead to five. Missed chances from Bardon was a factor throughout the game and a missed shot and penalty attempt left them trailing by a large margin with little time remaining. Comfortable with their five-goal advantage, Dubai sat back while Bardon scored three goals but were never able to threaten the Dubai lead in the final chukka as Dubai cruised to the 9-6 victory to open play in this year’s edition of the Copa de Oro.