Wellington, Fla. – April 13, 2018 – Despite heavy rains, the first semi-final qualifying round of the U.S. Open Championships took place at Valiente Polo Farm. Audi (Marc Ganzi 2, Mike Azzaro 6, Nic Roldan 8, Polito Pieres 10) challenged Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz 2, Tommy Beresford 4, Facundo Pieres 10, Adolfo Cambiaso 10) to see who would advance to the semi-finals. From the start of the game, it was clear that Valiente came out strong and with a game plan that would secure their 13-8 win against Audi.
Valiente came out strong scoring three easy goals that would keep them in the lead for the entirety of the first chukker. During the second chukker, both teams continued to score but Cambiaso put in an impressive breakaway goal in the final seconds of the chukker to continue Valiente’s lead. At the end of the first half Valiente held a steady 7-4 lead after scoring two back-to-back goals.
The second half began with a quick goal from Azzaro and it seemed that Audi would potentially make a comeback. However, their momentum was halted after a handful of impressive breakaway goals from 10-goaler Cambiaso in the final minutes of the fourth chukker. During the last two chukkers, Valiente continued to score despite defensive attempts from Audi team members. Audi made one last final push during the last chukker by scoring two goals, but at the end they were unable to catch up to Valiente’s 13 goals.
On Thursday, April 12 the postposted game between Daily Racing Form (Jared Zenni 5, Agustin Obregon 5, Hilario Ulloa 10, Mariano Obregon 6) and FlexJet (Melissa Ganzi A, Nico Pieres 8, Gonzalito Pieres 9, Rodrigo Andrade 9) took place at the International Polo Club with Daily Racing Form coming out on top 14-11, meaning they will advance directly into the semi-final games.
The game began strong for Daily Racing Form with Mariano Obregon scoring twice immediately, while FlexJet did not manage to score during the first chukker. In the second and third chukker, Daily Racing Form continued to dominate the game with impressive control of the ball and strategic goals, especially from 10-goal player Hilario Ulloa, who collected a total of nine goals throughout the game. At the end of the second half, Daily Racing Form held the lead 10-6, with all of FlexJet’s goals coming from penalty conversions.
During the second half of the game it was clear that Daily Racing Form lost no momentum as Ulloa continued his scoring streak with three easy goals in the fourth chukker. Flexjet continued to gather goals, but continually from penalty shot conversions. During the fifth chukker Gonzalito Pieres and Rodrigo Andrade worked closely to finally put in two impressive goals for FlexJet. The final chukker ended with another skilled goal from Ulloa to make the final score 14-11, with Daily Racing Form dominating the majority of the game.
Quarterfinal games will take place at the International Polo Club on Sunday, April 15. The first game will be at noon between Audi and FlexJet and the second game will take place at 3:00pm between Colorado and US Polo Assn. Winners of each match will dictate who will join Valiente and Daily Racing Form in the semifinal games on Wednesday, April 18.