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2023 Argentine Open final Cambiasos last?

©RB Presse

The final of the 130th Argentine Open, to be played on Saturday (weather permitting) in Palermo’s emblematic ‘cathedral’, will be the third edition of what could have become the new ‘clásico’ between La Dolfina and La Natividad, but with the change of generation, nothing is less certain. In any case, this will be the third meeting between the two cousin teams, and so far, each has won a match (La Natividad in 2021 and La Dolfina last year).

If there’s one man who will be happy once again and won’t lose on Saturday, it’s Adolfo Cambiaso, the first of the name, who will see his son and one of his grandsons, Adolfo ‘hijo’ and Adolfo ‘nieto’, aka Poroto, face off against two other grandsons, Barto and Jeta Castagnola, the sons of Camila, Cambiaso’s sister and wife of Lolo Castagnola.

For the ‘great’ Adolfo, at the age of 48, this will undoubtedly be his last. In any case, there are whispers that he may well announce this at the end of the match that could consecrate him for the eighteenth time in his career since he was 19. A final in which he will give his all, just as he did in the semi-final against Hilario Ulloa’s La Hache… in which he mischievously sought out his opponent’s fouls. Sixteen penalties were converted during the match, which also saw five yellow cards handed out. That’s a lot. But the main thing was there: twentieth final for La Dolfina.

With Poroto (only 18 since Sunday and already in his second final), the Cambiasos have been practicing penalty kicks particularly this week. This gives you an idea of the kind of game La Dolfina intend to play in this final.

La Natividad’s victory over a flamboyant La Ensenada side in the other semi-final was clearly more impressive. Fluid play, great actions from both sides, golazos, notably two from Juan Martin Zubia, eight penalties converted and only two yellow cards.

The day was also marked by a feeling of sadness towards the Pieres. Sure, they won all their games, but not together. Nico and Gonzalito had fought hard before this semi-final on Field #2 to ensure that Ellerstina would remain in the Open 2024. Mission accomplished, but it was a shame to see this team on cancha 2 for its final match of the 2023 Open to ensure its survival, when it had been a finalist thirteen times against La Dolfina (with three wins). Facu, but with La Natividad, won the right to face Cambiaso in the Abierto final for the fourteenth time in his career, but without their brothers. At the end of the match, only his petisero was there to give him a hug, while the Castagnola family rejoiced.

There will be more family hugs on Saturday evening, but it is hard to say whether they will be from the green Castagnola side or the blue Cambiaso side. And no doubt, if Aldofo announces his retirement as is widely expected, the cousins will probably be wearing the same jersey in 2024. So which team will be able to stand up to them in the years to come? That will be the big question after Abierto 2023. In the meantime, there’s a great final to enjoy next Saturday.


The semi-finals

La Dolfina Saudi: Adolfo Cambiaso 10 (6 goals, including 2 penalties and 1 corner), Pelon Stirling 10 (1), Poroto Cambiaso 10 (7 penalties) and Juan M. Nero 10 (2). Total score: 40.

La Hache La Roca: Polito Pieres 9 (8, 4 penalties), Hilario Ulloa 9 (1), Sapo Caset 9 (1 Penal 1) and Fran Elizalde 9 (2, including 1 penalty and 1 Penal 1). Total: 36.

Yellow cards: Juan M. Nero (Chukker 1), Adolfo Cambiaso and Polito Pieres (Chukker 5), Poroto Cambiaso (Chukker 7) and Polito Pieres (after match)

La Dolfina Saudi: 1-2, 2-2, 5-3, 7-4, 9-8, 11-9, 12-11 and 16-12.

La Natividad: Facundo Pieres 9 (3 goals), Jeta Castagnola 10 (9, including 2 penalties and 1 Penal 1), Pablo Mac Donough 10 (2) and Barto Castagnola (h) 10 (3). Total score: 39.

La Ensenada Brubank: Juan Britos 9 (3, including 1 penalty), Alfredo Bigatti 9, Juan M. Zubía 9 (3) and Jeró del Carril 8 (8, including 5 penalties). Total: 35.

Yellow cards: Juan M. Zubia (Chukker 5) and Barto Castagnola (h) (Chukker 6).

La Natividad: 3-0, 5-3, 6-4, 8-7, 11-9, 14-10, 16-13 and 17-14.

Match for the “survival”:

Ellerstina Yellow Rose: Bautista Bayugar 8 (4 goals including 2 penalties), Gonzalito Pieres 9 (4, including 2 penalties), Nicolás Pieres 9 (4) and Nachi du Plessis 9 (1). Total score: 35.

La Irenita Clinova: Facundo Fernández Llorente 8 (6), Tomás Fernández Llorente 8, Matías Torres Zavaleta 8 (1) and Isidro Strada 8. Total score: 32.

Ellerstina Yellow Rose: 3-1, 5-2, 6-2, 7-2, 8-4, 10-5, 11-5 and 13-7.

NB: La Esquina and La Irenita Clinova are not automatically qualified for the 2024 Open and will have to play the qualifiers again, while El Overo Z27 (Lukin Monteverde 7, Victorino, Ruiz Jorba 7, Cruz Heguy 7 and Teodoro Lacau 7), 8th in the rankings, will have to play a play-off match against the winners of the Copa Camara, a team from La Irenita, to qualify.

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