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The first semi finalists are set

At the weekend the polo action at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club continued and the 14th HH President of UAE Polo Cup neared its peak, the grand final on Friday, January 24th, 2014. All three preliminary matches of group A are completed and the first semi finalists are set: With two wins and one loss each, the Bin Drai Polo Team and the UAE Polo Team are among the four best teams. The Abu Dhabi Polo Team is the first team of group B to get hold of a place in the semi final.

Already being successful on the first day of the tournament, Mohammed Bin Drai (0), Tomas Iriarte (+4), Manuel Llorente (+6) and Raul Laplacette (+6) of team Bin Drai defeated team Al Habtoor Polo as well. From the beginning, Bin Drai dominated the match and at the end of the third chukka they led by a large margin, 7-2. Al Habtoor did not surrender without a fight and gave its all in the fourth and final chukka. But in spite of three more goals the team of Habtoor Al Habtoor (0) had to admit defeat and in the end the superior Bin Drai Polo Team won by 8-5.

In its last preliminary match against the UAE Polo Team of Sheika Maitha (0), team Bin Drai played with a lot of passion and competitive spirit. Lucas Montverde (+9) of team UAE scored the first goal, but then Bin Drai took the lead in the first chukka by scoring three times. Bin Drai preserved the two-point advantage during the second chukka (6-4). In the third chukka UAE narrowed the gap to 5-6 and in the first minute of the fourth chukka the team equalized, 6-6. But this was only for a brief moment: Tomas Iriarte (+4) scored for Bin Drai, 7-6. In the fourth chukka this was meant to be the pace: Lucas Monteverde levelled for UAE, moments later Raul Laplacette (+6) scored and Bin Drai took the lead once again, thereafter Lucas Monteverde tied it up once more. This could have continued endlessly, if not the chukka bell would have put an end to the match with a score line of 8-8. This meant an extra chukka and a decision by Golden Goal. The UAE Polo Team took the chance and made short work: Immediately in the first minute Tomas Gagliardi (+2) scored and thereby earned the victory for his team UAE.

Yesterday’s preliminary match was the second win for HH Sheikha Maitha (0), Tomas Gagliardi (+2), Ollie Cudmore (+5) and Lucas Monteverde (+9) of UAE Polo Team. By this the team made it to the semi final. In the opening match of the tournament the foursome had to admit defeat against Al Habtoor, but on Friday, January 17th, the team had already won against Ghantoot Al Basti Polo Team by a large margin, 11-5.

Today the last preliminary matches of group B will take place. Team Abu Dhabi Polo with Faris Al Yabhouni (0), Victorio Monteverde (+3), Juan Storni (+7) and Alfredo Cappella (+6) has already qualified for the semi final. At first the foursome defeated Desert Palm and on Saturday, January 18th, the team won against the ADCB Team from Ghantoot by 9-8. From the beginning as well as throughout the whole match the ADCB Team from Ghantoot had led (except for one short-time lead by Abu Dhabi in the third chukka), but Abu Dhabi narrowed the gap again and again. In minute three in the fourth chukka the ADCB Team from Ghantoot led by 8-6. Victory was within its reach – but Abu Dhabi got started once more. With the ADCB Team from Ghantoot scoring not anymore and Abu Dhabi scoring two more times, the match ended 8-8, which meant extra time. And Abu Dhabi took the chance: Victorio Monteverde (+3) scored and Abu Dhabi won by 9-8.

Despite this loss the ADCB Team from Ghantoot still has a chance for a place in the semi final. Thanks to its victory over Zedan Polo on the second day of the tournament, the ADCB Team goes head to head with the Desert Palm Polo Team. Both teams have won one match each and were defeated once. Today at 3.00 pm (local time) both teams will meet to fight for the remaining place in the semi final on Wednesday, January 22nd. Zedan Polo does not have a chance to make it to the semi finals anymore after being defeated twice. Today they will meet Abu Dhabi Polo Team at 5.00 pm (local time) and will nevertheless definitely give their best.

The HH President of UAE Polo Cup is being organised by the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club (GRPC) and is hosted under the patronage of HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the GRPC. The event is presented by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and the Official Partner is Al Basti Equiworld. Until January 24th a total of eight teams with a team handicap of 16-goals will compete against each other at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, located at the gates of Abu Dhabi. As an exclusive polo media partner and new media partner of the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, POLO+10 reports from one of the most renowned and prestigious clubs in the region.

The teams:
Group A
Bin Drai Polo (+16)
Mohammed Bin Drai (0)
Tomas Iriarte (+4)
Manuel Llorente (+6)
Raul Laplacette (+6)

Ghantoot Al Basti Polo (+16)
Nasser Al Shamsi (+1)
Diego Cossio (+4)
Juan Zavaleta (+7)
Oscar Colombres (+4)

UAE Polo (+16)
HH Shaikha Maitha (0)
Tomas Gagliardi (+2)
Ollie Cudmore (+5)
Lucas Monteverde (+9)

Al Habtoor Polo (+16)
Habtoor Al Habtoor (0)
Santiago Romero (+3)
Francisco Elizalde (+7)
Guillemo Cuitino (+6)

Group B
Abu Dhabi Polo (+16)
Faris Al Yabhouni (0)
Victorio Monteverde (+3)
Juan Storni (+7)
Alfredo Cappella (+6)

Desert Palm Polo (+15)
Tariq Albwardy (0)
Matias Machado (+4)
Santiago Laborde (+5)
Alejo Taranco (+6)

Zedan Polo (+16)
Amr Zedan (0)
Luis Gagliardi (+2)
Felipe Viana (+4)
Pelon Stirling (+10)

ADCB Team from Ghantoot (+16)
Ali Al Merri (0)
Juan Zubiaurre (+4)
Facundo Sola (+8) / Juan Zavalita
Pelayo Berazadi (+4)

Further information:
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