Trailing 5-4 after the first half of play, Dos Lunas (James Fewster, Paul S. de Vicuña, Facundo Sola and Martin Podesta) rallied to outscore previously undefeated Ayala (Iñigo Zobel, Peque Gonzalez, Facundo Pieres and Santiago Laborde) 9-4 in the final three periods of play for a 13-9 win at Spain’s Santa Maria Polo Club.
Ayala took the early 2-1 lead after the opening chukker and held on for a 5-4 halftime advantage.
The two teams traded goals in the fourth with each side coring twice. The narrow one-goal lead remained with Ayala, 7-6.
The Dos Lunas attack came alive in the fifth. Outscoring Ayala 4-2, Dos Lunas boasted a 10-9 advantage going into the final period of play.
Dos Lunas continued to dominate in the final seven minutes of the match, scoring three unanswered goals for the 13-9 win.
Behind the high-scoring Argentine 10-goaler Facundo Pieres, Ayala was thought to be the favorite going into the game, but their determined attack carried the day for Dos Lunas. The victory boosted Dos Lunas into the final of Sunday’s Maserati Silver Cup.
Lechuza 9, Brunei 8 OT
In the second semifinal game of the day, Lechuza (Alejo Taranco, Camilo Castagnola, Juan Martín Nero and Will Harper) remained unbeaten in three games, but needed a goal in overtime to defeat the defending Silver Cup Championship Brunei polo team (Bahar Jeffrey, Martin Valent, Pablo MacDonough and Hugo Lewis) of Prince Jeffrey.
Lechuza took early control of the game with 1-0 and 2-0 leads in the opening two chukkers before leaving the field at the end of the first half on top of a 4-2 score.
Brunei scored three times in the fourth while holding Lechuza to a single goal. After four periods of play, the score was all even at 5-5.
Brunei maintained their momentum going into the fifth as they added two more goals. Lechuza was held scoreless for the first time all day, and found themselves trailing 7-5 with one chukker remaining in regulation play.
Argentine 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero rallied the Lechuza attack in the sixth period for three goals while the team’s defensive efforts held Brunei to a single goal. At the end of regulation play, the score was level at 8-8, forcing a sudden-death overtime.
Following a brief intermission that allowed the players to bring in fresh mounts, the competition continued. This time it was the Lechuza momentum that carried the day, scoring the game-winning goal, 9-8, and earning a berth in the tournament final on Sunday where they will face Dos Lunas.