Continuing their winning ways in the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship, UAE Polo Team defeated Park Place 13-9 in the second quarterfinal on the Lawns Ground at Cowdray Park Polo Club. Advancing to the semifinals, UAE Polo Team set their sights on capturing their second 22-goal title of the season.
Producing an efficient performance from the field, UAE Polo Team shot 61% on 18 shots to hold the advantage over Park Place. A decisive fourth chukka ultimately was the difference in the match as UAE Polo Team built a four-goal lead and maintained the advantage for the final two chukkas. Scoring five goals while also adding three assists, Tomas Beresford was a key player in UAE Polo Team’s victory, shooting 100% from the field, but it was a complete team effort that resulted in all four players finding the scoresheet that propelled UAE Polo Team to the victory.
An early foul committed by Park Place in the first chukka led to a Penalty 2 conversion for Polito Pieres, but that was the only scoring UAE Polo Team could produce as Park Place took the lead on field goals from Juan Britos and Will Harper. In a match full of momentum swings, possession switched back in favour of UAE Polo Team in a 3-0 second chukka that saw the trio of Polito Pieres, Beresford and Tomas Panelo all score one goal each. The efficient shooting of UAE Polo Team proved to be crucial as they took advantage of each opportunity around goal, but Facundo Pieres led Park Place back to even, scoring two goals to end the half and leave the game tied at 5-5.
In what was ultimately the chukka of the match, UAE Polo Team raced out of the halftime break to dominate possession in the fourth chukka to separate themselves from Park Place. Winning four of the five throw-ins in the chukka, UAE Polo Team continued to hold possession and converted four of their five opportunities at goal with Polito Pieres contributing two goals and an assist during the run. Facing a four-goal deficit, Park Place turned to their 10-goaler Facundo Pieres to try and lead them back into the game. Despite three goals from Pieres, Park Place were only able to inch one goal closer as UAE Polo Team’s Beresford responded with two goals of his own. With a focus on defense in the final seven minutes, UAE Polo Team held Park Place off the scoreboard for the first few minutes as time began to run out for a Park Place comeback. Facundo Pieres’ sixth goal left the difference at two but it was as close as they could come with UAE Polo Team scoring the final two goals of the game to join Great Oaks LL as the second team in the semifinal.