Dominican Republic – March 27, 2017 – The definitions stage of the Copa de Oro, the third trophy of the Polo Challenge RD 2017, kicked off yesterday with a match between Cinque Terre and HB Polo.
The latter, that had a great campaign during the tournament, seems to have lost confidence after their first defeat against Lechuza Caracas last Saturday. Cinque Terre played at its best form, counting with Cubi Toccalino as a coach, and took over the lead from the first chukka onwards. By the end of the second period, they had widened the difference by three goals, 6-3. This continued throughout the match, and by half time, they were 7-4 on the lead. The match ended 11-8 in favor of the Italian team.
The match on Friday had a very rowdy start, both teams were determined to attack and there were several goal situations for both. Suddenly, Lechuza, the defending champion stepped up 3-0 over Casa de Campo thanks to two goals by Victor Vargas and one by Juanma Nero, and steadily, they started to turn the game around on their favor. For when they reached halftime, Lechuza was leading 7-5. The actions were defined on the 5th chukka, when Victor Vargas’ team shot three goals, and the local’s chances to secure a spot in the finals, were shut off. The match finalized on 12-6 in favor of Lechuza.
This past Saturday, the final of the Copa de Oro on the 22-goal category took place at Casa de Campo. The finalists were two of the most regular and dominant teams of the qualifiers: Lechuza and Cinque Terre. It was a very popular day at Casa de Campo, the spectators showed up with enthusiasm, and several car clubs from the region attended to show their best vehicles. The final match was a fair and open game right from the start. Victor Vargas took care of inaugurating the scoreboard with a goal, and Lechuza took the lead quickly. However, Cinque Terre was determined to not give up and they proved it during the chukkas that followed. Santiago Toccalino had one of his best performances on the season on this game, and started reducing the difference between his team and the Venezuelans. It was such a great game for Toccalino, that he was the top scorer in the finals. Unfortunately for the Italian team, Lechuza was resilient and the La Dolfina duo, Nero-Stirling showed again the extraordinary connection they have and kept on scoring for their team. Before the game ended, a couple of goals by Toccalino and a great run by Victor Vargas set the definitive final score and Lechuza, the only undefeated team so far, won the Cup by 12-8.
The Polo Challenge RD continues next weekend with the kick-off of the Caribbean Open that will see teams of up to 26 goals fighting for the title.
After Lechuza claimed the Copa de Oro in the 22-goal category on Saturday, the 12-goal finals took place on Sunday. Costasur and Casa de Campo played on Casa de Campo’s field #1 for the Subsidiary Finals.
The locals kicked off the match in a very solid form and they quickly took the lead thanks to Francisco Bensadón and Jesús Arredondo. It was a disputed but open match, Costasur was the great protagonist of the second chukka, closing the period by 3-1. During the third period, Casa de Campo widened the difference to a point where it was impossible to catch up for their rivals. Juan Villamil and Jesus Arredondo took their team to lead by 6-3 at halftime. On the second half of the match, goals were exchanged between both teams but Costasur was not able to recover, and Casa de Campo won by 8-5.
Later on, on Field 3, the Finals of the Copa de Oro were to be defined by Pitirri El Palenque and La Potranca, who had already kept the Silver and Bronze cups, respectively. In front of a crowded audience and with Martín Aguerre and Gastón Dorignac as referees, the first two chukkas were very even, rowdy but the game was flowing. During the third chukka, La Potranca showed off their great skills, reaching half time leading by 6-4. The second half of the game kept La Potranca’s performance up, but little by little, everything began to change. Pitirri-El Palenque showed great teamwork, confirming this team’s reputation as one of the best ones on its category. Tolito Fernandez Ocampo was relentless from the penalties to the plays. During the sixth chukka, the team stepped up and scored four goals in a row, to secure a new title on the Polo Challenge 2017, as they have done some weeks ago, at the Silver Cup. Final score was 12-10.