Gold Cup: Pieres' day at Cowdray
Gold Cup: Pieres' day at CowdrayGold Cup: Pieres' day at Cowdray

Gold Cup: Pieres' day at Cowdray

Habtoor and King Power made their way into the semifinals

July 16, 2017
July 16, 2017
By International Polo Academy

The third quarter-final of the 2017 Gold Cup saw Habtoor defeat RH Polo 12-10 at Cowdray Park Polo Club. Habtoor used efficient 12 for 14 shooting from the field, led by Francisco Elizalde’s perfect 6 for 6 shooting on the day, to overcome their 0 for 6 shooting on penalty attempts. Playing without Adolfo Cambiaso, who was injured in RH Polo’s previous game, RH Polo missed his defensive proficiency as they were unable to slow down the attack of Habtoor. Nico Pieres was efficient in the back position, using both Elizalde and Paco O’Dwyer downfield to extend the RH Polo defense.

Cambiaso’s replacement, 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa, was effective throughout the game offensively, scoring four goals but the team performance from Habtoor was the difference in the victory. Habtoor converted all three shots in the opening chukka with Pieres and Elizalde scoring two goals and one goal respectively. Possession was in favour of Habtoor throughout the opening chukka and two missed penalties from Pieres kept the lead from extending even further. RH Polo was still adjusting to the change of line-up as they managed two shots at goal, unable to put either one in between the posts.

RH found their stride in the following chukka with Ulloa scoring his first two goals of the game, along with Beresford converting a penalty 2, to cut the deficit from three to one. Habtoor only generated three more shots at goal the remainder of the first half but converted all three chances to maintain a slim 6-5 lead at halftime.

The loss of Cambiaso changed RH Polo’s style of play and resulted in more individual attacks but they were playing Habtoor even through the 4 th chukka, with Andrade and Beresford scoring to match the two goals put up by Habtoor in the chukka. The game changed in the 5 th chukka as Habtoor pulled away from RH Polo using a balanced team attack with Pieres controlling the flow of the game from the #4 position. Behind 3 for 4 shooting, Habtoor’s Pieres, Elizalde and Paco O’Dwyer scored one goal each to extend their lead to four.

RH Polo was unable to overcome the four goal deficit in the final chukka as Habtoor held on for the 12-10 victory, knocking out the Queen’s Cup champions to advance to Wednesday’s semi-finals.

Habtoor: 12/14. RH Polo: 6/12.
Habtoor: 0/6. RH Polo: 4/6.
Habtoor: 8. RH Polo: 8.
Habtoor: 13. RH Polo: 13.

Score Habtoor: 3-0, 4-3, 6-5, 8-7, 11-7, 12-10.
Scorers Habtoor: Fran Elizalde 5, Nico Pieres 3, Paco O’Dwyer 4.
Scorers RH Polo: Rodrigo Andrade 4, Tomás Beresford 3, Hilario Ulloa 3.

The last quarter-final of the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup featured three 10-goal players as King Power Foxes used a dominant second half to defeat Talandracas 10-6 at Cowdray Park Polo Club. In a closely marked game early on, both teams played a two-man game creating little space for either team. However, King Power Foxes adjusted to their play in the second half, transitioning from defense to offense with quick backhands and stretching the field to allow Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres to attack goal. An impressive 5 th chukka from Facundo Pieres saw him convert all three shot attempts and control possession throughout the chukka, to change a one goal deficit to a three goal advantage for King Power Foxes as they would not relinquish that lead in the final chukka on the way to victory.

The combination of Guillermo Caset and David Stirling was effective for Talandracas in the 1 st chukka as they each attacked individually, pressuring the Pieres’ brothers and preventing any counter-attacks. Stirling scored twice and Hugo Lewis added one goal as Talandracas converted all three shot attempts to take an early 3-1 lead.

However, just as Talandracas controlled possession in the 1 st chukka, King Power Foxes replied in the 2 nd chukka with a similar attack of their own, with Facundo Pieres scoring his first two goals of the game to tie the game at 3-3. The style of play for both teams continued in the first half as a physical game was being played with plenty of picks and blocks to free up the nine and ten goal players. A late goal in the 3 rd chukka for Caset gave Talandracas the one goal lead at halftime. 

After a 4 th chukka that mirrored the play in the first half, King Power Foxes made some adjustments in the 5 th chukka, as they extended the Talandracas defence, finding James Fewster with the pass and giving Facundo Pieres more space to attack. That change allowed King Power Foxes to win the 5 th chukka 4-0 and put Talandracas in a three goal deficit with little time remaining.

Throughout the second half, Talandracas dominated the throw-ins, winning seven of the nine throw-ins but were unable to get past the defence of King Power Foxes, that continued to mark Stirling and Caset tightly. Facundo Pieres’ 6 th goal of the game in the final chukka sealed the victory as King Power Foxes grabbed the final spot in Wednesday’s semi-finals.

King Power Foxes: 9/18. Talandracas: 6/10.
King Power Foxes: 1/3. Talandracas: 0/2.
King Power Foxes: 6. Talandracas: 6.
King Power Foxes: 8. Talandracas: 16.

Score King Power Foxes: 1-3, 3-3, 4-5, 4-5, 8-5, 10-6.
Scorers King Power Foxes: Facundo Pieres 6, Jimbo Fewster 2, Hugo Taylor 1, Gonzalo Pieres 1.
Scorers Talandracas: Sapo Caset 2, Pelon Stirling 2, Hugo Lewis 2.

The Gold Cup for the British Open will resume on Sunday with the two semifinals:
12pm: King Power Foxes vs Habtoor.	 
4pm: Sommelier vs El Remanso.

All matches will be streamed live on Pololine.TV, produced by Polocam.

Picture Galleries:
RH Polo vs Habtoor
King Power Foxes vs Talandracas