Abu Dhabi: Ghantoot ADS Securities Polo Team strengthened their chances of qualifying for the final of the HH The President of the UAE Cup when they defeated Desert Palm 10-9 on an entertaining day at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club.
Argentine star Facundo Solo continued his fine goal-scoring form to help his side, representing the hosts, to a second successive victory in the four-team +18 handicap tournament.
Solo, who holds an 8-goal handicap, scored four times including from a well-taken free-hit from 40 yards, to lead the hosts to a battling win.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi, winners of the Emirates Open Polo Tournament at the end of last year, returned to winning form to outplay UAE Polo Team 11-7.
In a game between two high-handicappers, Abu Dhabi’s Alfredo Cappela Barabucci (+9) and UAE’s Pablo Polito Pieres (+10), it was Barabucci who came out on top with a tally of eight well-struck goals.
Ghantoot top the four-team table in the +18 handicap event with four points and will meet Abu Dhabi in their final qualification match on January 16.
Desert Palm, who shocked Abu Dhabi in the opening match on January 11, face twice-beaten UAE Polo Team.
The final is scheduled for Friday, January 19.
Both Ghantoot ADS Securities Polo Team and Desert Palm looked evenly matched for the most part although the lead changed hands on a couple of occasions. The hosts grabbed the early advantage with two well-struck field goals by James Fewster, who scored in the very first minute, and Solo adding to the tally less than a minute later.
However, Desert Palm regrouped through goals by Camilo Castagnola and Santiago Laborde, who would go on to play a big game for the losers.
The first chukker was a flurry of activity and resulted in seven goals in total before ending in favour of Desert Palm who led by 4 goals to 3.
The second chukker was tight and yielded just the one goal, scored by Solo to help Ghantoot draw level at 4-4.
At the end of the third chukker, the scoreline was locked at six goals apiece.
Abu Dhabi Polo Team beat UAE Polo Team 11-7
Ghantoot ADS Securities Polo Team beat Desert Palm Polo Team 10-9
Next matches (Qualification):
• Tuesday, January 16
2:30pm Abu Dhabi Polo Team vs Ghantoot ADS Securities
4:00pm Desert Palm vs UAE Polo Team