Ghantoot team crowned Emirates Polo Association Cup champion
Ghantoot team crowned Emirates Polo Association Cup champion
The Ghantoot Polo Team was crowned champion of the Emirates Polo Association Cup after its victory in the final match over the Ancora Polo Team with a score of (3.5/8) after a strong match which showed speed, exciting performance and the struggle of the players of the two teams to win the championship cup that took place at the host’s Desert Palm Stadium attended by His Excellency Saeed Hareb – Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council
The final match was attended by His Excellency Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi – President of the Emirates Equestrian and Racing Federation, His Excellency Saeed bin Hofan Al Mansoori – Deputy Chairman of the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club, 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 Federation and Race.
The match was more than interesting and exciting. Full detail on the rounds during the match was as follows: the first half 0.5/2 for Ghantoot, the second half 5/1.5 for Ghantoot and the third inning 2.5/6 for Ghantoot, and the fourth inning ended 3.5/7 for Ghantoot, and the fifth and final innings ended 4.5/10 For the well-deserved Ghantoot team.
The First Half
The match started with offensive control and a strong performance by the Ghantoot team led by Nasser Al Shamsi, who showed an advanced level performance from the beginning of the season, and after an aggressive attack and waste chances, Nasser Al Shamsi scored the first goal of the match in the 3rd minute after a very defensive lapse from the Abu Dhabi team to open the goals. .05/1. With the continued pressure of the Ghantoot team from the starting few minutes of the match, Cesar Crespo missed the opportunity for the second goal even after making some efforts, 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 methods that the Abu Dhabi team uses to study the opponent, then they attack the team. In the seventh and last minute, from a counterattack, Santos Iriart snatched the ball taking it solo, scoring the second goal for Ghantoot, and with this Referee announced the end of the first half, with the Ghantoot team leading by 0.5/2.
The Second Half
With the start of the second half, Abu Dhabi Polo players appeared more determined to compensate and return to the spirit of the match. But the Ghantoot team was determined for something else, as they tightened their control to neutralize the strength of the Abu Dhabi team, so that Ghantoot’s professional Manuel Tokalino could score the third goal after a pass by his colleague Cesar Crespo to lead the Ghantoot team (0.5/3). After many attempts by both teams, he outperformed, as usual, the Ghantoot pro Manuel Tokalino, scoring the second and fourth goals for the team (0.5/4). The game was stopped to replace the horses as they were facing fatigue after their rapid performance.
After the return, the Abu Dhabi team rose up to snatch the ball after throwing it by the referee, and Batista Garcia scored the first goal for Abu Dhabi (1.5/4). The excitement of the match continues, and it went on igniting with speed, strength and the outstanding performance of the players. And before the end of the second half, with individual skill and good control of the ball, Nasser managed Al Shamsi scored the second goal for him and the fifth for his team, to end the second half in favor of Ghantoot 1.5/5, amid everyone’s astonishment.
The Third Half
As soon as the whistle blew, the third half witnessed, a strong comeback for the players of the Ghantoot team and the scorer Manuel Tokalino. He set off in a swift, solitary attack, but had no luck catching it, and after many frictions, Manuel Tokalino was injured by a slight injury. Due to this he had to stop playing. The ambulance intervened in the tournament and then he resumed playing with the same excitement, speed, exchange of attacks and strong performance. And once again the game was stopped to replace horses.
The injury did not prevent him from scoring, so Manuel Tokalino advanced to score the third (hat-trick) and sixth goal for Ghantoot from a penalty kick at 30 yards, and the difference in score increased to (1.5/6). Ghantoot wasted one opportunity after a quick attack by Nasser Al Shamsi to attack the Abu Dhabi team strongly and from a solitary attack of the expert. Hugo Barbucci leads it quickly and successfully to score the second goal for his team, and the referee announces the end of the third inning, with Ghantoot leading by a score (2.5/6).
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 half of excitement and decisiveness
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.
The Abu Dhabi team did not give in to the captain of the team Faris Al-Yabhouni, before the end of the match, so he could with a powerful shot scoring the fourth goal for his team. With this the referee blew the whistle announcing that the Ghantoot Polo Team won the Emirates International Polo Championship in its version 20.
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.