Ghantoot team crowned Emirates Polo Association Cup champion
Ghantoot Polo Team Crowned as the Emirates Polo Association Cup Champion
Led by Nasser Al Shamsi of the Ghantoot Polo Club team, the match started with offensive control and a strong game performance. He showed an advanced performance level right from the beginning of the season and after an aggressive attack and wasting no chances to score, Nasser Al Shamsi scored the first goal of the match in the third minute against the Abu Dhabi team — 0.5/1. With the continued pressure of the Ghantoot Polo Club team from the starting few minutes of the polo match, even after making some efforts, Cesar Crespo missed the opportunity for the second goal, and with the intense attacks of the Ghantoot team, the Abu Dhabi players only defended their own goal without initiating the attack. Perhaps, this is one of the Abu Dhabi team’s methods to study the gameplay of their opponent, and then they attack the team. In the seventh and last minute of the match, the referee announced the end of the first half after Santos Iriart snatched the ball, taking it solo and scoring the second goal for the Ghantoot Polo Club team leading by 0.5/2.
The Abu Dhabi Polo players appeared more determined to compensate and return to the spirit of the polo match, during the start of the second half but the Ghantoot Polo Club team was determined for something else as they have tightened their control of the game to neutralize the Abu Dhabi team’s strength so that Manuel Tokalino could score the third goal for the team after a ball pass by Cesar Crespo and take a lead by 0.5/3. After multiple attempts by both polo teams, the Ghantoot pro player Manuel Tokalino outperformed as usual, scoring the second and fourth goals for the team (0.5/4). After their rapid performance, the game was stopped to replace the horses as they were facing fatigue. When the game was resumed, the Abu Dhabi team rose to snatch the polo ball after throwing it by the referee which led them to score the first goal by their player Batista Garcia (1.5/4). The excitement of the match continues and it went on igniting with strength, speed, and the outstanding performance of the polo players all throughout the match.
When the whistle blew, the third half have witnessed, a solid rebound for the players of the Ghantoot polo team and the scorer Manuel Tokalino. He set off in a quick, singular offense move, yet had no luck getting it, and after numerous frictions, Manuel Tokalino was injured by a slight physical injury. Because of this, he needed to stop playing. The emergency vehicle interceded in the competition, and afterward he continued playing with similar fervor, speed, trade of assaults, and solid execution. And once again the game was stopped to replace horses.
The injury didn’t keep him from scoring, so Manuel Tokalino progressed to score the third (full go-around) and 6th goal objective for Ghantoot from a penalty kick at 30 yards, and the difference in score increased to (1.5/6). Ghantoot squandered one opportunity after a speedy attack by Nasser Al Shamsi to strongly attack the Abu Dhabi team and from a solitary attack by a polo expert.
The fourth half witnessed many quick attacks, legal frictions and many opportunities, and this half characterized the calm, anticipation and caution from both teams. And as usual, Manuel Tokalino shows his skills by playing the ball with the buck to reach his colleague Santos Iriart and control it quickly heading to the goal, scoring his second and seventh goal for Ghantoot (2.5/7).
Because of the speed and strength of the game, the referee stopped again to replace the tired horses. Then Ghantoot lost an opportunity from a penalty kick played 60 yards away by Manuel Tokalino to bounce and attack the Abu Dhabi team through the player Hugo Barbucci and pass it to Batista Garcia, who scored the third goal of the Abu Dhabi team, with the announcement from the referee of the end of the fourth inning, with a score (3.5/7), for Ghantoot.
The final and the fifth inning of the game was filled with the tactical performance of the Ghantoot players to maintain their lead and strive to win the title. The Ghantoot team took the initiative to attack quickly from the start but missed an opportunity for the Ghantoot captain, Nasser Al Shamsi. The attacks continue to push the ball to make a goal. The pressure from the Ghantoot players and their good control over the game, in the presence of defensive efforts for Abu Dhabi players, and from a penalty kick at some 40 yards for the Ghantoot team, striker Manuel Tokalino scored the fourth and eighth goal for his team 3.5/8.
The difference increases further, and the two teams exchange attacks; friction and direct contact is done, but within the limits of the law. And from a quick, organized attack and a strong shot by the Ghantoot team, the scorer Manuel Tokalino returns and scored his fifth goal and ninth for the 3.5/9 team. A minute later, his colleague Santutz Ariart added the tenth goal for Ghantoot 3.5/10.
At the end of the final match of the championship, His Excellency Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi – President of the Emirates Equestrian and Racing Federation, His Excellency Saeed bin Hofan Al Mansoori Naei, President of the Club, accompanied by His Excellency Zayed Khalifa Zayed Al Aboudi Al Zaabi, Executive Director of the Club, and Mr. Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Executive Director of the Emirates Equestrian and Racing Federation, The Abu Dhabi team’s players were honored with the second-place silver cups, while the champion, the Ghantoot Polo Team, was honored with the Gold Cups for its players, while Nasser Al Shamsi, captain of the Ghantoot Polo Team, received the Emirates International Polo Championship Cup amid applause and joy from the champion team’s players.
His Excellency Zayed Khalifa Zayed Al Aboudi Al Zaabi presented the trophy of the Ghantoot Horse Racing and Polo Club memorial to His Excellency Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, for their care, support and participation in the championship activities.