The third day of play in the 2021 Gold Cup for the British Open Championship began with a thrilling back-and-forth contest between Murus Sanctus and Park Place that was ultimately decided in the final chukka at Cowdray Park Polo Club. Scoring four goals in the sixth chukka, Facundo Pieres led Park Place from one goal behind to capture the 10-8 victory.
Leading their respective teams on the offensive end, Facundo Pieres and Sapo Caset treated spectators to impressive scoring performances, finishing with eight and six goals respectively in the evenly matched game. Converting just three of their first 13 shots, Park Place had difficulty finding the mark against a tough Murus Sanctus defense, but the penalty accuracy of Pieres allowed them to match their opponents stride-for-stride. Holding the narrow advantage from open play, Murus Sanctus will lament their 2 for 6 penalty shooting, which proved to be the difference in the 10-8 defeat.
Trading goals over the first seven minutes, Murus Sanctus received field goals from Caset and Facundo Sola, while Park Place responded with a well-balanced team effort that resulted in goals from Pieres and Will Harper, along with an assist from Juan Britos. A fast pace was set on both sides of the ball over the remainder of the half with few fouls and Murus Sanctus pulling ahead on consecutive goals from Caset. However, scoring chances were difficult to come by with each team providing defensive stands as possession continued to switch in the middle of the field. Holding Murus Sanctus without a goal in the third chukka, Park Place took the lead after two Penalty 4 conversions from Pieres left the score at 5-4.
Consistently within one goal of each other, neither team was able to pull away in the game, but Murus Sanctus continued to provide an organized defense that limited the potent Park Place offense to just one goal over the fourth and fifth chukkas. Scoring from the field, Caset kept Murus Sanctus within one, but two missed Penalty 4 attempts prevented them from taking the lead. Driving the determined Murus Sanctus team forward, Caset added two crucial goals in the fifth chukka, one each from the field and the penalty line to grab the one-goal lead with one chukka remaining. Scoring on the first two plays of the sixth chukka, Pieres’ impressive stretch allowed Park Place to retake the lead and he carried the momentum through the final five minutes. Converting a Penalty 2 along with a Safety completed the dominant sixth chukka and led Park Place to the come from behind 10-8 victory to begin their tournament.