Lechuza (Will Harper, Julian de Lusarreta, Juan Martín Nero and Camilo Castagnola) recorded a win in their first Gold Cup match against Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Martin Valent, Pablo MacDonough and Josh Cork) in Wednesday’s action at Spain’s Santa Maria Polo Club on Wednesday, but it took an overtime goal with which to do it.
The powerful Lechuza team charged out to a 4-1 lead in the opening chukker as Dubai was trying to throw off their opening loss to Ayala in hopes of having the opportunity to defend their 2016 title.
Dubai scored twice in the second period while holding Lechuza scoreless. Lechuza continued to lead, but Dubai closed to within a goal of the lead, 4-3.
The two teams matched one another goal for goal in the third chukker. Two goals for Dubai and two goals for Lechuza. At the end of the first half the lead remained in the hands of Lechuza, 6-5.
A determined Dubai took the field in the fourth, scoring twice while holding Lechuza to a single goal. After four chukkers of play, the score was all even at 7-7.
Lechuza took back control of the game in the fifth. This time it was Lechuza who got the best of Dubai, outscoring them 2-1 and taking back the lead, 9-8.
A sixth chukker Dubai rally had them put three goals on the scoreboard. Lechuza managed to score twice. Lechuza took an 11-10 lead late in the sixth chukker before a goal from Argentine 10-goaler Pablo MacDonough tied the game at 11-11, forcing sudden-death overtime.
Lechuza harnessed the energy from their recent Maserati Silver Cup title in the overtime chukker, but it was a Dubai foul that sent 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero to the penalty line where he converted a 40-yard penalty shot for the 12-11 victory.
The loss was the second for Dubai (0-2) in as many games while Lechuza opened their 2017 Gold Cup campaign with a win for a 1-0 record.
Gold Cup play continues on Thursday when Ayala (Iñigo Zobel, Peque Gonzalez, Facundo Pieres and Santiago Laborde) faces La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Juan Martin Zavaleta, Tincho Merlos and Byron Watson), with both teams carrying 1-0 records to the field.