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Hosts Ghantoot rally late for exciting victory over Bangash

HH President of the UAE Cup 2020 gets off to a busy start.

Hosts Ghantoot Polo Team went on a blistering attack in the fifth and final chukker to overcome a two goal deficit and defeat Bangash 9-8 on an action-packed opening day in the 2020 HH President of the UAE Polo Cup on Wednesday.

Ghantoot trailed their rivals 6-8 with less than seven minutes to play, but two goals each by their Argentinian professionals, Pablo LLorente and Marcos Araya, helped them turn impending defeat into a highly rewarding victory.

Both Llorente and Araya totally four goals each for the match played on a 18-handicap format over five chukkers. The star player for Bangash was the irresistible Manuel Elixalde who scores six of his team’s eight goals in a dominating display of high-quality polo at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club. All the six participating teams were in action on a fun-filled opening day featuring competitive matches. Meanwhile, Al Habtoor’s Facundo Solo was in red-hot form scoring as many as 11 times in his team’s 14-13 victory over UAE Polo Team. The top scorer for the UAE was veteran Tomas Beresfors who struck eight goals in a match that could have gone any way.

The UAE were led by Her Highness Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and also featured Benjamin and Tomas Panelo. In the day’s third match Abu Dhabi Polo Team dominated Desert Palm for most of the 35 minutes of action for a 8-3 victory. The leading scorer for the winners was Martin Donovan with four goals while Ramiro Cordero, Martin Valent and Manuel Toccalino scored a goal apiece for Desert Palm. The ‘President of the UAE Cup’ offers a lucrative purse of AED 500,000. The final of the tournament scheduled for March 27.

All games are being held at the state-of-the-art Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club in Abu Dhabi which was founded by HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and is run under the patronage and directives of his son, HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Mr Zayed Alaboudi Al Zaabi, Ghantoot’s Managing Director congratulated the winners and wished the losers good luck for the remaining matches. “We could not have hoped for a better start to this prestigious tournament, which is held in the name of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE.



What: HH President of the UAE Polo Tournament

When: March 11-27

Where: Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Abu Dhabi

Teams: 6 Polo Teams

Tournament Handicap: 18 Handicap

Watch it Live:

Notes: Crowd Cancelled




Governing Partner: Abu Dhabi Sports Council

• In association with: Emirates Polo Association

• Event Sponsors:

• YAS Capital Investments

• YAS International Properties LLC

• YAS International Development

• YAS International Holding

• YAS International Investment

• La Roche Pharmacy

• Official Car:

• Premier Motors – Maserati


Official website:
Official social media:


© Thomas Wirth
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