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Mon 4th Dec 2017

La Dolfina Secures a Fifth Argentine Open Victory

Nail-biting 14-13 win for Cambiaso’s team

As thousands gathered at the iconic Palermo grounds, Buenos Aires, on Saturday 2 December, for the highlight of not only the Argentine high goal season, but the global polo calendar, four-time champions La Dolfina Sancor Seguros and their rivals Ellerstina Johor took to the field. 

Both teams came out fighting with Ellerstina first out the blocks, firing three shots on goal with only one in return from Cambiaso. As the second chukka began 3-1 in Ellerstina’s favour, La Dolfina evened the scoreboard to 3-3, but Polito Pieres scored another strong goal to make it 4-3 back in Ellerstina’s favour once again. La Dolfina were not going to give Ellerstina an inch, let alone a mile, as Cambiaso turned the scoreboard, 5-4, for a La Dolfina lead. As the match continued, the teams continued to exchange the goal scoring hat, with La Dolfina each time notching the important goal to take them one ahead. Polito Pieres scored twice in the fifth chukka, once from the halfway line, putting Ellerstina back in the lead until Cambiaso scored his fifth penalty, once again bringing the scores to an even keel, 8-8. As Ellerstina gave away two more penalties, La Dolfina took advantage of their mistakes, putting a two-point gap between them and their rivals, 10-8 during the sixth chukka. As the game interchanged to and fro, Ellerstina’s successful penalty brought them closer to La Dolfina, 10-9, with a field goal in return from Pablo Mac Donough, 11-9. La Dolfina had winning in their eyes as the seventh chukka drew to a close, scoring a further two goals and bringing their lead to 13-10. 
But, as has now become customary for Ellerstina, they came back fighting, managing to once again even the scoreboard, 13-13, at the end of the eighth chukka and forcing the match into overtime. This was where, unfortunately, Ellerstina momentarily lost concentration, as Polito went for a mid-air shot, which was foiled by Cambiaso. The ball was expertly passed up field to Juan Martín Nero who scored the winning goal, 14-13, and with it the 124th Argentine Open HSBC Polo Championship. 
For his monumental final goal, Juan Martín Nero was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award and Dolfina Clone 09 Cuartetera, owned and played by Cambiaso, was awarded not one, but two Best Playing Pony awards; the Lady Susan Townley and the Breeders Association. 
A full report from the historic Palermo tournament will be in the next issue of Polo Times. Subscribe here now so you don’t miss out!
124th Argentine Open HSBC Polo Championship Final:
La Dolfina Sancor Seguros (40): Adolfo Cambiaso (10), David Stirling (10), Pablo Mac Donough (10) & Juan Martín Nero (10)
Ellerstina Johor (39): Polito Pieres (9), Gonzalito Pieres (10), Facundo Pieres (10) & Nicolás Pieres (10)
 
The Women's Argentine Open was also played on Saturday 2 December. A report will follow online later today.
 
Photograph: La Dolfina Sancor Seguros won their fifth consecutive Argentine Open on Saturday 2 December. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com

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