By Gonzalo Etcheverry
Julius Baer Team by Habtoor Polo and Zedan Polo will play the great Julius Baer Gold Cup final, the most prestigious tournament of the Middle East, after winning their respective semifinals at Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club.
Julius Baer by Habtoor defeated Abu Dhabi 9-8, while Zedan edged Bin Drai 7-6 in OT.
Both games were thrilling, with highlights courtesy of Julius Baer's Nico Pieres and Zedan's Pablo Mac Donough.
In the first semi, Julius Baer Team by Habtoor made a great comeback in the third chukka. Abu Dhabi had a commanding 6-2 lead in the second period, but Mohammed Al Habtoor's team managed to cut the margin down to one goal by the end of the third.
Nico Pieres showed his best polo in the fourth chukka, and scored a couple of good goals to give Julius Baer their first lead. A very close last chukka followed, with both teams fighting hard; Julius Baer managed to hold Abu Dhabi back and take the 9-8 win to qualify for the final.
Score Julius Baer: 1-3, 2-6, 5-6, 8-6, 9-8
Julius Baer Team by Habtoor: Nicolás Pieres 5, Juan Zubiaurre 2, Tomás Beresford 2
Abu Dhabi: Alfredo Cappella 5, Faris Al Yabhouni 1, Kian Hall 1, Joaquin Pittaluga 1
The second semifinal saw Zedan take on Bin Drai. Bin Drai kept the lead over the first two chukkas, but Zedan tied the game 5-all in the third.
There was another tie (6-6) in the fourth, and after a scoreless fifth chukker, the match went into OT. Pablo Mac Donough came through for his team and scored the winning goal for Zedan to secured a spot in the final.
Score Zedan: 1-4, 3-4, 5-5, 6-6, 6-6, 7-6
Zedan: Pablo MacDonough 6, Martin Gandara 1
Bin Drai: Francisco Elizalde 1, Gregorio Gelosi 3, Saeed Bin Drai 1
The Julius Baer Gold Cup final between Julius Baer Team by Habtoor and Zedan will take place on Friday, March 10. Prior to that, Mahra and Wolves will play the final of the Bentley Cup.
Julius Baer vs. Abu Dhabi, by Ana Clara CozziZedan vs. Bin Drai, by Ana Clara CozziSemifinals, by Gonzalo Etcheverry