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IPC 26-Goal Season
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IPC 26-Goal Season

Valiente retains USPA Gold Cup

April 2, 2018
April 2, 2018
Driven by an ambitious desire to sweep the Triple Crown of Polo, powerhouse Valiente rode for the second consecutive year into the USPA Gold Cup Final on Sunday, April 1, at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. Untouchable throughout tournament play, Valiente faced a strong offensive drive by Flexjet in their second matchup, but ultimately defended their title 12-11.

Claiming two immediate goals in the first, Facundo Pieres set the pace for a fast, competitive final. As the first half progressed, both teams relentlessly traded goals back and forth, Flexjet strategically taking every available opportunity to intercept the ball and capitalize from the penalty line. Demonstrating excellent control, Adolfo Cambiaso propelled the ball downfield, expertly weaving it between Flexjet’s defenders to pick up his first goal in the second. Staying in position and making key plays happen, Valiente’s optimal teamwork secured two additional goals, keeping them ahead by two at the end of the second. Missing several opportunities to score, Flexjet allowed Cambiaso to get on another breakaway to goal, doubling the scoreboard. Just before Facundo Pieres could score another goal, Rodrigo De Andrade managed to steal the ball and move it downfield, ending the half 6-3 in favor of Valiente.

Benefiting from gaining possession from the initial throw-in at the start of the fourth, Flexjet’s De Andrade made an effective team play with Nico Pieres for a fast field goal. As both teams began to play a more open style of polo, the goals also began to stack up with increasing speed. Valiente acted quickly in retaliation with a goal each by Cambiaso and Beresford, preventing Flexjet from making up any ground and maintaining a three-goal lead. Explosive in the fifth, Nico Pieres played his strongest chukker yet, hitting a giant neckshot to goal and converting a Penalty 4 and 6 in an effort to derail Valiente in the second half. Consistent throughout, Valiente anticipated the plays and followed through with their team strategy, using Beresford to protect Facundo Pieres and allowing him to have the open shots to goal. Valiente still in the lead 11-9 as the final chukker began, Cambiaso grabbed his fifth goal of the game, determined to prevent another uprising from Flexjet. Charging up and down the field, De Andrade finally managed to score two consecutive goals bringing his team within one, but the 30-second horn ended Flexjet’s final drive. Valiente claimed their second consecutive USPA Gold Cup with a final score of 12-11.

The detail on the match was as follows:

USPA GOLD CUP FINAL: VALIENTE 12-11 FLEXJET

Valiente: Bob Jornayvaz 2, Tommy Beresford 4 (2 goals), Facundo Pieres 10 (5), Adolfo Cambiaso 10 (5). Total: 26.
Flexjet: Melissa Ganzi A, Nico Pieres 8 (8 goals), Gonzalito Pieres 9 (1), Rodrigo Andrade 9 (2). Total: 26.
Score Valiente: 2-1, 5-3, 6-3, 9-6, 11-9, 12-11.
MVP: Nico Pieres.
BPP: Macarena, played by Adolfo Cambiaso. Owner: Mariano González.
Top scorers: Facundo Pieres 33, Sapo Caset 25, Nico Pieres 19, Hilario Ulloa 17, Nic Roldan 16.

USPA GOLD CUP SUBSIDIARY FINAL: AUDI 12-11 COLORADO

AUDI: Marc Ganzi 2 (2 goals), Nic Roldan 8 (7), Polito Pieres 10 (2), Mike Azzaro 6 (1). Total: 26.
Colorado: Rob Jornayvaz 1, Magoo Laprida 8 (3 goals), Juan Britos 7 (5), Diego Cavanagh 9 (2). Total: 26.
Score AUDI: (0-1) 2-2, 4-5, 5-5, 8-6, 8-9, 11-11, 12-11.
MVP: Nic Roldan.
BPP: Hormiga, played by Diego Cavanagh, owned by Adolfo Cambiaso.

The order of play at the International Polo Cup for the upcoming days is as follows:
US OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP (26 Goals)
Wednesday:
12pm: U.S. Polo Assn. vs. Audi
4pm: Colorado vs. Daily Racing Form

Picture Galleries:
USPA GOLD CUP FINAL: Valiente vs Flexjet
USPA GOLD CUP SUBSIDIARY FINAL: AUDI vs Colorado

USPA GOLD CUP: Fixture & Teams

CARLOS GRACIDA CUP: Fixture & Teams