Dos Lunas (James Fewster, Paul S. de Vicuña, Facundo Sola and Martin Podesta) scored twice in the opening chukker of Friday’s Gold Cup game with Lechuza (Victor Vargas, Pelon Stirling, Juan Martín Nero and Will Harper) but couldn’t stem the sixth chukker rally as they came up on the losing end of a 9-8 Lechuza win at the Santa Maria Polo Club.
Shutout defense was supported by two Dos Lunas goals in first chukker action as they attempted to avoid a second straight Gold Cup loss. Lechuza appeared to stumble offensively in the first period, falling behind, 2-0.
Lechuza added two goals in the second period as their offense began to click. A single goal from Dos Lunas kept them in the lead at the end of the chukker, 3-2.
Dos Lunas and Lechuza exchanged goals I the third period, with each side scoring twice. At the end of the first half, the lead belonged to dos Lunas, 5-4.
Led by aggressive play from 10-goalers Pelon Stirling and Juan Martin Nero, Lechuza outscored Dos Lunas 2-1 in the opening period of the second half. The two teams entered the fifth chukker all even at 6-6.
Disciplined defensive efforts limited to a single Dos Lunas goal. Lechuza trailed by a single goal, 7-6, going in to the final chukker of regulation play.
Two goals from Lechuza and a goal from Dos Lunas had the score all even at 8-8 with under two minutes left in regulation play. Once again it was the teamwork of Stirling and Nero who came through for Lechuza as they combined for the winning goal, 9-8.
The win is the second for Lechuza and should boost them into the semifinals. Dos Lunas sits at 0-2 and will need some help if they home to stay in the competition.
Gold Sup play will continue on Saturday at Spain’s Santa Maria Polo Club with La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Juan Martin Zavaleta, Tincho Merlos and Byron Watson) looking for a second win that would send them to the tournament semifinals while an 0-2 Dubai polo team (Rashid Albwardy, Martin Valent, Pablo MacDonough and Hugo Lewis) will battle to stay alive.