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Mon 21st Dec 2020

Argentine Opens Culminate

Wins for La Dolfina Saudi & El Overo UAE Z7

On Saturday 19 November, the most anticipated day in the Argentine polo calendar, saw both the Final of the 127th HSBC Argentine Open and the IV Women’s Argentine Open at Palermo. 
The day began with the women’s Final between La Dolfina Brava and defending champions El Overo UAE Z7. Neither team are strangers to the Women’s Argentine Open Final, with La Dolfina Brava boasting two previous titles and El Overo UAE Z7 having taken the title in 2019. With two 10 goal players in their line-up (Lia Salvo and Hazel Jackson-Gaona) El Overo UAE Z7 dominated the first half, and by half-time held a 6-2 lead. Any attempts made by La Dolfina Brava to get back into the game were quickly shut down by the defending champions, resulting in a goalless three chukkas; Fátima Balzano put one last goal through the posts of La Dolfina Brava but it wasn’t enough to close the yawning gap between the two teams and with one chukka remaining the scores sat at 9-3 in favour of El Overo UAE Z7. Balzano doggedly persisted, adding another goal to the tally, but Salvo retaliated with a converted penalty and a field goal to take the win, 11-4. Salvo, the top goal scorer of the Final with seven goals, was named Most Valuable Player. 
Attention now turned to the 127th HSBC Argentine Open Final, another clash between La Dolfina Saudi and Ellerstina. For both teams there was all to play for; with Ellerstina the only unbeaten team of the season and with The Tortugas and Hurlingham Opens under their belts, also the only team eligible for the 2020 Argentine Triple Crown, while for La Dolfina Saudi this would be their last Argentine Open Final together. 
It was an incredibly closely fought Final, with both teams eager to make their mark, la Dolfina Saudi took advantage of each penalty opportunity available, but Ellerstina fought back and by half-time the scores rested at 6-5 in favour of La Dolfina Saudi. The fifth chukka was goalless for both sides and the sixth chukka resulted in just one goal for Ellerstina, levelling the scores at 6-6. La Dolfina Saudi had not managed to score since the third chukka, but Pablo Mac Donough converted a 40 yard penalty to take the lead once again, however this was swiftly returned by Ellerstina and as tensions rose Ellerstina managed to take the lead, 8-7, with just one chukka remaining. The final chukka was nail-biting stuff, with just two minutes left on the clock Juan Martín Nero levelled the scores at 8-8 and a converted penalty by Mac Donough put La Dolfina Saudi back in the lead. As the minutes ticked down, Adolfo Cambiaso picked up the ball, sprinted to goal and scored the winning goal, securing his team their eighth Argentine Open Final. 
The 127th HSBC Argentine Open Final Teams:
La Dolfina Saudi (40): Adolfo Cambiaso (10), David ‘Pelon’ Stirling (10), Pablo Mac Donough (10) & Juan Martín Nero (10)
Ellerstina Johor (39): Facundo Pieres (10), Hilario Ulloa (10), Gonzalito Pieres (9) & Nico Pieres (10)
The IV Women’s Argentine Open Final Teams: 
El Overo Z7 UAE (33): Clara Cassino (8), Milly Hine (5), Hazel Jackson-Gaona (10), Lía Salvo (10) 
La Dolfina Brava (28): Mía Cambiaso (7), Milagros Fernández Araujo (7), Fátima Balzano (6) & Candelaria Fernández Araujo (8)
 
Photograph: La Dolfina Saudi, winners of the 127th HSBC Argentine Open Final. By Matias Callejo/AAP
 

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