Habtoor, UAE draws first blood in Emirates Open Polo Championship International
Habtoor, UAE draws first blood in Emirates Open Polo Championship International.
Dubai: The much-anticipated Emirates Open Polo Championship International got off to a thrilling start under brilliant sunshine and perfect playing conditions at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club.
The opening day’s action in the 15-handicap tournament, featuring five star-studded teams, saw Habtoor Polo Team take on Desert Palm Polo Team in the first match of the afternoon, while UAE Polo Team clashed with hosts Ghantoot Polo Team in the second match.
Both Habtoor and Desert Palm looked well prepared, but it was the latter who grabbed the early advantage when they led by two goals to one at the end of the first of six chukkers.
However, Habtoor raised the stakes in the second with Justo Cuitino and Marcos Araya scoring a brace.
Well-struck goals by Juan Pedro and Ramiro Cordero ensured Desert Palm stay in the hunt as the second chukker ended with Habtoor up 5-4.
Pedro and Cordero were also the goal scorers in the third as Habtoor failed to find the target.
Rashed Al Bawardi opened his account for the tournament when he struck in the fourth chukker, with the match looking evenly poised.
The turning point came in the fifth chukker when Habtoor Al Habtoor and Araya, pumping in a brace as Desert Palm drew a blank.
In the sixth and final chukker, with the second tied at 8-8 Argentinian Araya showed why he is regarded as one of the best players on the circuit when he scored the match-winner that clinched a thrilling victory for Habtoor Polo Team.
Argentinie’s Federico Von Potobsky was the star as the Shaikha Maitha Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Polo Team dominated Ghantoot for a two goal victory.
Potobsky pumped in five goals in all, including three beauties in the fourth chukker, to ensure his team would go away with the winner.
Although he was outscored by Martin Donovan, who scored six goals, the hosts Ghantoot had to settle for defeat, which means that they must defeat Habtoor Polo Team in their second league match on Friday, to keep their title hopes alive.
Desert Palm will also be looking to beat Abu Dhabi Polo Team when they play their second match on Wednesday, a day when the opening day’s winners, UAE and Habtoor meet in a much-anticipated game.
Match 1. Habtoor Polo Team beat Desert Palm Polo Team by 9 goals to 8
Match 2, UAE Polo Team beat Ghantoot Polo Team by 8 goals to 6
- Wednesday, December 12
- 2:00pm Desert Palm vs Abu Dhabi Polo Team
- 4:00pm UAE Polo Team vs Habtoor Polo Team
- Umpires: P.W Wright/ M. Lopez Vargas
- Referee: Santiago Torreguitar
- Governing Partner: Abu Dhabi Sports Council
- Official Car: Premier Motors – Maserati
- Official Hotel: Golden Tulip Al Jazira
- Official Sponsor: Sobha Realty
- Official Sponsor: Ahmed Al Maghribi
- Official Sponsor: Acacia Advanced Medical Center
- Official Supporter: Noor Al Wasl Clinic
- Official Supporter: Beverly Hills Medical One Day Surgery
- Official Supporter: Bin ham Travels
- Official Supporter: Premier Events & Management
UAE Polo Team
- Shaikkha Maitha Binto Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
- Nacho Acuna 4
- Tommy Panelo 4
- Feck Potobsky 6
Abu Dhabi Polo Team
- Faris Al Yabhouni 0
- Santiago Gomez 4
- Guy Gibrat 5
- Hugo Barabucci 5
Ghantoot Polo Team
- Yousef Bin Dasmal 1
- Bautista Beguerie 4
- Cesar Crespo 4
- Martin Donovan 5
Al Habtoor Polo Team
- Habtoor Al Habtoor 1
- Tomas Iriarte 4
- Justo Chitinio 3
- Tomas Beresfor 6
Desert Palm Polo Team
- Rashid Al Bawardi 2
- Juan Pedro Marty Heguy 2
- Maxi Malacalza 3
- Ramiro Cordero 5