Abu Dhabi win Emirates Open Polo for second year
Abu Dhabi: Defending champions Abu Dhabi Polo Team won the prestigious Emirates Open Polo Championship for the second successive year defeating Maserati Polo Team by 8-3 on Friday evening.
The winners began strong and stunned their rivals with a snap goal in the first chukker before adding three more in the second.
All goals were struck by the Santiago Cernadas, the Man of the Match from Argentina.
In a game of many heroes, fellow Argentinian professional Santiago Gomez Romario (3 goals) was outstanding alongside the ever supportive Patricio Cieza (1) and team patron Faris Al Yabhouni.
Maserati, who have been through ups and downs in the five-team tournament, were simply no match for Abu Dhabi.
Despite the spirited efforts of Ahmad Bin Dasmal, who played through the pain barrier after picking up an injury during the game, to even score once, Maserati had to bow to an overall superior outfit.
But to have the large crowd at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club applaud them as they did, it must have felt special, even in defeat.
For Al Yabhouni’s team it was a fairy-tale finish as they played a clinical game of polo, by attacking relentlessly and backed by a solid defence.
“The team spirit was at it best in the final,” said a triumphant Al Yabhouni.
“It is a fantastic feeling to win this prestigious tournament for the second successive year, and it feels even better second time around.
“I’m very proud of the way all my team mates played, not just in the final, but all through the tournament,” he added.
“This trophy is for the whole team and we hope to be back next year to have another crack at the title.”
Maserati mainstay, Felipe Llorene from Argentina, acknowledged that Abu Dhabi were the better team on the day.
“I think we played a good game, but it was not good enough against a team as strong as Abu Dhabi,” he said.
“They deserve to be champions as they did not drop a single game throughout the tournament.”
The third place play-off match between Desert Palm Polo Team and Wolves Mahra Polo Team was decided in the over-time chukker with a golden goal scored by the brilliant Matias Macado.
“It was a tough game, Wolves played well,” said Machado. “The Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club is a great stage for a prestigious event like the Emirates Open Polo Championship.
“We enjoyed every match in a tournament that has always been fiercely competitive.”
Special guests at the final were Shaikh Zayed Bin Thanoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Suhail Al Maktoum and Shaiikh Ahmad Bin Maid Bin Ali Al Nuaimi.
Five teams with a handicap of +14, played in the tournament hosted by the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club and supported by Premier Motors Maserati, the club’s pillar partner.
Abu Dhabi: Defending champions Abu Dhabi Polo Team won the prestigious Emirates Open Polo Championship for the second successive year defeating Maserati Polo Team by 8-3 on Friday evening. The winners began strong and stunned their rivals with a snap goal in the first chukker before adding three more in the second.