(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Defending champions Abu Dhabi Polo Team won the prestigious Emirates Open Polo Championship for the second successive year to cement their position as one of the top polo teams in the UAE.
The winners were off the blocks the fastest as they stunned their rivals, Maserati Polo Team, with a snap goal in the first chukker before pumping in three more in the second at the Ghantoot Polo Club. All goals were struck by the mercurial Santiago Cernadas, the Man-of- the-Match from Argentina.
In a game of many heroes, fellow Argentinian professional Santiago Gomez Romario was outstanding alongside the ever supportive Patricio Cieza 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 gallant efforts of Ahmed Bin Dasmal, who played through the pain barrier after picking up an inuring 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 Camp, 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.
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