Final Teams Determined For Ylvisaker Cup
The semi-finals of the 2019 Ylvisaker Cup saw Pilot continue their dominance at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, defeating La Indiana 12-6, while Dutta Corp got the best of Patagones for the fourth time this season in the 11-9 victory.
The highly anticipated opening semi final saw Pilot continue their strong play, overwhelming the La Indiana defense with a persistent offense that displayed the talents of Facundo Pieres and Lucas James. La Indiana struggled with efficiency throughout the game, converting just 33% of their shots from the field, while missing the mark on all three penalty attempts, resulting in an uphill battle against a Pilot team that once again played at an elite level. While excelling in open play, Pilot also gained a consistent source of offense from the penalty line due to foul trouble for La Indiana throughout the game, including three yellow cards in the defeat.
Conceding one goal by handicap, Pilot quickly erased the deficit, scoring four goals in the opening chukker led by tournament scoring leader Facundo Pieres. After converting a penalty 3, Pieres assisted on two of the next three Pilot goals, with a proficient passing attack that opened the field for Lucas James. Pilot had their opportunities to build a large lead in the second chukker due to five La Indiana fouls, but a determined La Indiana defense held them to just one goal. The frustration of La Indiana carried over into the final chukker of the opening half, going scoreless after three missed shot attempts from the field. With Pieres contributing from the penalty line with three penalty goals, he was content to set up James, who scored his third goal of the half to give Pilot the 7-3 lead.
A fast-paced fourth chukker saw La Indiana score both shot opportunities from the field but were unable to slow Pilot’s attack that saw them control the throw-in line, allowing them to quickly respond to La Indiana’s goals. Trailing by five goals, La Indiana was desperate for a strong fifth chukker, but were left on the defensive, as Pilot continued to attack with pace. James scored two goals, to finish with a game-high six goals in his best performance of the tournament. Pilot cruised in the final chukker to claim the 12-6 victory and secure the first spot in the final.
The second semi-final saw Dutta Corp get the better of Patagones due to a strong opening half that saw all four players find the scoresheet. The game began with a double yellow for Lucas Diaz Alberdi on a dangerous use of the mallet call that forced him to the side-line for two minutes. Despite being down a man in the opening chukker, Dutta Corp still claimed the 3-2 lead with a balanced offensive attack. Committing seven fouls in the opening, Dutta Corp escaped with just one conceded penalty goal, using an organized defense to protect against the penalty 5’s in favor of Patagones. The duo of Gringo Colombres and Alberdi combined for five goals to end the half and give Dutta Corp the 8-4 advantage.
A strong second half comeback for Patagones, led by Santiago Toccalino’s three goals, saw them quickly erase the four-goal deficit to just one, thanks to a strong defense limited Dutta Corp to zero shots. Quickly transitioning into offense, Patagones caught Dutta Corp off guard, leaving the final game of the day to be decided in the final two chukkers. Converting a penalty 2, Tomas Garcia del Rio tied the game at 8-8, but Patagones’ offense was quieted in the rest of the chukker, failing to record a field shot, while Gringo Colombres and Kris Kampsen brought Dutta Corp’s lead back to two. Excitement grew after Toccalino narrowed the deficit to one, but a final goal from Kampsen secured the victory, sending Dutta Corp into a rematch against Pilot on Sunday at the U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1.
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