Page 28

Julio Arellano and Gonzalo Pieres Jr

Lechuza lineup. Facundo Obregon accentuated a great effort with the winning goal one minute and twenty seconds into overtime. For the second straight game, Facundo Pieres scored ten goals, and the Zacara team remained the only undefeated team in Open play with a hard-fought 14-13 win over ERG. The foul-laden game had sixteen goals scored on penalty shots with AgustĂ­n Merlos scoring only two of his game high 11 goals from the field. Pieres scored seven of his goals on penalties. Zacara took an early lead and managed to hold on for the win. The final showdown was threatened by overcast skies coming on the heels of overnight rainfall. No less than three helicopters took to the field in the horning to hover over the vast green expanse in an effort to speed up the drying process that was receiving some assistance from an easterly wind. Early money was on Lechuza Caracas, the defending Open champion. Returning with 10-goalers Sapo Caset and Juan MartĂ­n Nero the core of its 2011 team with the added assistance of a talented young Facundo Obregon and the depth of the Victor Vargas stables, they were certainly impressive. The slight rub might have been the trouble they had in their 9-7 loss to a lightly regarded Coca-Cola team, but they were still a team to be respected. Valiente I, however, took them to the breaking point before Obregon managed to break loose 26 | PQ

with the ball in the opening 90 seconds of the extra chukka to score the winning goal, 9-8. The Zacara team rolled into the finals with the only unblemished record in Open play (4-0). Wins over Alegria (15-10), Orchard Hill (15-12) and Valiente I (11-9) had them ready to play, and the easy romp over Coca Cola (13-7) in the quarterfinals had them peaking at the proper time. The finals looked like they would be highlighted by Lechuza Caracas 10-goalers Caset and Nero and Zacara’s Facundo Pieres, but veterans of the game know that it takes a team to win a championship, and every member would have to contribute. Facundo Pieres scored the opening goal of the game in the first two minutes, but Lechuza responded with goals from the field from Nero and Caset for a 2-1 lead. Lechuza Caracas maintained the single goal lead after the second period with the teams exchanging goals. Pieres tied it up, 2-2, to open the chukka with Caset converting a penalty shot for a one goal Lechuza Caracas advantage. Mike Azzaro had it all even again with 1:25 left in the chukka, but a goal from Victor Vargas in the waning seconds put Lechuza back in the lead, 4-3. The Zacara defense took it to another level in the third, shutting down the offensive punch usually supplied by Caset and Nero. Shots at goal went wide or were cleared out of danger. Former 10-goaler Azzaro

PQ international | Spring Issue 2012 #79  

The English Polo Magazine

PQ international | Spring Issue 2012 #79  

The English Polo Magazine

Advertisement