Zacara and Valiente have advanced to the finals of this years Gold Cup. The mid-week double header opened with a hard fought battle between Lechuza and Zacara in what turned out to be one of the best games of the season. Lyndon Lea (1), still suffering from a hip injury from the quarterfinals, was replaced by teenager Matias Gonzalez (1).
The game was tied at 2-all after the first and 3-all after the second period. Zacara took control of the game in the third on an outstanding performance by Magoo LaPrida (8) and an amazing 120-yard goal from Facundo Pieres (10) in the 4th. During the 6th it was Magoo again with a 200-yard run, under pressure as he knocked in the “goal of the game”.
Lechuza got within a goal with only two minutes left in the game but they couldn’t get a break to tie the match. Polito Pieres (8) with six goals on the day but it was not enough to take down Zacara as they squeaked out an 11 to 10 victory.
The second semi final contest was Alegria against Valiente. Alegria jumped out to an early 2 to 1 lead that would soon vanish as Valiente pulled ahead 5 to 3 in the second and maintained at least a two to four goal lead for the remainder of the match.
Cambiaso with Bob Jornayvaz
Cambiaso fans were not disappointed as he demonstrated his ten goal prowess with a goal in the 5th while working the ball along the back line with two taps in the air, above his horses head for a goal, and an end-to-end 300 yard run for another great goal late in the 6th. Facundo Obregon (6) had seven goals for Alegria but Adolfo scored nine on the day for a 15 to 10 win for Valiente.
Sunday’s showdown for the Gold Cup has all the elements for excellent polo as both teams have been winning this season on speed and power with some of the best horses in the sport.
Ron Allen is the television polo correspondent for Pololine and ESPN