USA Takes Down the Home Team

The XI FIP World Polo Championship Sydney 2017, organized by the Sydney Polo Club continued on Tuesday, October 24. In the first match of the day, Argentina versus Spain, Jaime Serra replaced Tonete Ayesa for the European team. Spain started off great, in fact they scored the first goal of the match, adding to their one-and-a-half goal advantage due to handicap. After chukker one, Argentina stepped it up and controlled the match. The South American team took some time to get warmed up, but in the end they were able to dominate. The game ended 12-2, without a doubt, Argentina has great chances of winning Zone A.

USA's Jim Wright on a breakaway. Photo by - USPA
USA’s Jim Wright on a breakaway. Photo by – USPA

Spain: Jaime Serra Diez (2), Mario Gomez (4), Pelayo Berazadi (5), Jose TreNor (2)
Argentina: Lucio Fernandez Ocampo (2), Hector Hernando Guerrero (5), Valentin Novillo Astrada (5), Tomás Panelo (3)

Later on, Australia met USA in what was to be a very long, nearly two-hour match. USA’s determination to rebound from their initial loss was evident as they took a quick two-goal lead with back-to-back field goals from Jesse Bray.

USA's Jesse Bray with a deep neckshot to goal. Photo by - Marcos Derdelra for Pololine
USA’s Jesse Bray with a deep neckshot to goal. Photo by – Marcos Derdelra for Pololine

“It’s always tough playing against the home team no matter where you are, they know their horses and they know our horses. We got off to a slow start against Argentina, so it was Carlucho [Arellano]’s idea to put us on our best horses first so we would come out hungry.” –Jesse Bray

Jack Archibald put Australia’s first goal on the board with a penalty conversion, but Felipe Viana closed out chukker one with another field goal for USA. Australia would then change up their strategy in the second and third, scoring twice and successfully containing the USA offense, to tie the game 3-all. USA once again rallied to take back the lead at the end of the fourth, outscoring Australia by one in each of the final two chukkers. In the end USA defeated Australia 7-5.

Team USA's Felipe Viana Photo by - USPA
Team USA’s Felipe Viana Photo by – USPA

“There are always things you can do better; you cannot miss so many backshots, turn quicker, get more balls… We’ll watch the tape and point out the mistakes to keep improving. It is always good to win, it’s something important that we have been working on, we couldn’t do it with Argentina. Due to the result today, we are not eligible for the finals anymore, because it will come down to goals, but it’s good for the team’s morale to win. I would love another crack at Argentina now that we are figuring out our horses!” – Jesse Bray (Team USA)

FIP USA vs Australia. Photo by - USPA
FIP USA vs Australia. Photo by – USPA

USA is looking forward to the opportunity to play Spain on Saturday, October 28. “Their 5-goaler [Pelayo Berazadi Rozpide] is really good and well mounted, he has everything which will make him a tough opponent,” said Bray.

Australia: James Lester (3), George Hill (2), Jake Archibald (5), Jake Daniels (4)
USA: Matías González (2), Jesse Bray (5), Felipe Viana (5), Jim Wright (2)

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