By Gonzalo Etcheverry
Julius Baer Team by Habtoor Polo defeated UAE Polo in their last qualifying match, and made it to the semifinals of the Julius Baer Gold Cup together with Abu Dhabi and Bin Drai Polo.
Julius Baer Team defeated UAE 12-9, while Desert Palm took a 9-6 win over Wolves.
Julius Baer and UAE Polo played an exciting match, which was very important in order to earn a spot in semifinals. Mohammed Al Habtoor's team showcased deep concentration and displayed their best team play from the start.
A three goal lead gave them enough confidence in the third chukker, but UAE made a great comeback in the next period. HH Sheika Maitha Al Maktoum´s team put enough pressure to cut the margin to one goal, but Julius Baer Team, led by Nico Pieres' 10-goaler skills, managed to hold them back and take a very well deserved win and the ticket to semifinals.
Score Julius Baer Team by Habtoor: 2-1, 4-2, 8-5, 9-8, 12-9
Julius Baer Team by Habtoor: Nicolás Pieres 6, Tomás Beresford 4, Juan Zubiaurre 2
UAE: Matias Benoit 4, Jack Hyde 3, Guillermo Terrera 2
Next up, Desert Palm claimed their first victory in the tournament, after defeating Wolves 9-6.
Both teams played a thrilling game. Tariq Al Albwary's fourso,e tookman early lead and widened chukker after chukker, while Wolves tried their best to get closer in the scoreboard.
Score Desert Palm: 2-2, 5-3, 7-4, 9-6, 9-6
Desert Palm: Alejo Taranco 4, Santiago Laborde 4, Martin Valent 1
Wolves: Manuel Crespo 5, Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario 1
The Julius Baer Gold Cup will continue on Saturday, with the last qualifying games: Mahra vs. AbuDhabi, at 2pm and Zedan vs. Bangash, at 4pm.
Julius Baer vs. UAE, by Ana Clara CozziDesert Palm vs. Wolves, by Ana Clara CozziMatch photos, by Gonzalo Etcheverry