28 February 2013
Abu Dhabi Come Off Best In 6-5 Clash
Dubai, 28th of February 2013: Ghantoot Polo lost a close game in the second round of the Dubai Gold Cup to their bogey team, Abu Dhabi Polo at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club this afternoon.
It was Abu Dhabi Polo who denied Ghantoot Polo a place in the final of the Silver Cup earlier this month and the Royal club would have been hopeful of a strong showing after beating the 2012 Gold Cup champions, Habtoor Polo in a charity match on home turf over the weekend.
But it was not to be. Ghantoot, who defeated Saudi Arabias Zedan Polo in theor opening Gold Cup clash on Monday, were unable to sustain a three-goal advantage gained in the first-chukker which also saw star player, Facundo Sola receive treatment after sustaining a knock to the leg.
Abu Dhabi’s JJ Storni pulled back a goal in the second chukker but at half-time Ghantoot were still leading 3-1.
In the third chukker Abu Dhabi Polo scored twice more while Ghantoot answered once and the sides went into the final period with a 4-3 lead. The fourth chukker saw Manuel Elizalde level the score for Abu Dhabi only for Sola to drive home a penalty giving Ghantoot the lead again.
But with less than 30 seconds left on the clock, Storni buried the ball between the posts in open play to take the teams to a golden goal fifth chukker and it was Storni who scored the penalty, sealing the win for Abu Dhabi.
Ali Al Marri, Ghantoot’s Emirati player was disappointed.
“An extra-time penalty is one of the most frustrating ways to lose an important game,” he said. “We had a lead in the beginning and obviously things didn’t go our way after that and we are very disappointed.
“But that is not the end of the Gold Cup for us, we play Mahra on Tuesday next week so we will be going away and analysing our performance today in order to concentrate on that match.”