A thrilling day of matches in the 2020 Ylvisaker Cup featured an exciting 9-8 overtime victory for Coca-Cola over Aliano Realty/Horseware, while the second game of the day came down to the final seconds with La Indiana narrowly defeating Palm Beach Equine 11-10 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Tied after four of the six chukkers in the game, Aliano Realty/Horseware and Coca-Cola needed overtime to determine the victor. A game decided by the smallest of margins, Coca-Cola captured the victory behind 50% shooting from the field compared to just 31% for Aliano Realty/Horseware. While Mariano Obregon and Hugo Lloret combined for all eight goals for Aliano Realty/Horseware, Coca-Cola utilized a balanced offense that saw all four players find the scoresheet, including the game-winner from Will Johnston in overtime.
The opening chukker from Aliano Realty/Horseware featured a strong start from Mariano Obregon, who converted a penalty two along with a field goal to give his team a quick 2-0 lead. Scoring on an impressive nearside neckshot, Gillian Johnston began a run of three unanswered goals, pushing Coca-Cola into the lead by the end of the second chukker. A persistent Aliano Realty/Horseware offense continued to pressure the Coca-Cola defense, keeping them pinned in their own half, until Joaquin Panelo found Hugo Lloret with a pass for his first goal of the game. Trading goals inside the final minute of the half, Coca-Cola and Aliano Realty/Horseware remained deadlocked 4-4 at halftime.
Continuing to be active offensively, Aliano Realty/Horseware looked to take the lead, but missed opportunities from the field and the penalty line kept them even with Coca-Cola. In a relatively clean match, the offense from the field slowed, leaving both Coca-Cola and Aliano Realty/Horseware to generate goals from the penalty line as Miguel Novillo Astrada and Mariano Obregon converted a penalty goal each. Pushing for the lead, Coca-Cola began the final chukker with two consecutive goals, minutes away from their first victory. A penalty conversion for Obregon brought Aliano Realty/Horseware within one and on the following throw-in, drove downfield to score his fifth goal of the game, sending the result to overtime. After nearly three minutes, Will Johnston broke free in behind the Aliano Realty/Horseware defense and converted the opportunity to give Coca-Cola the exciting 9-8 victory.
A second close match at IPC between La Indiana and Palm Beach Equine had spectators on the edge of their seats with seven goals scored in the final chukker. Overcoming inaccurate 29% shooting, a relentless La Indiana attack generated enough chances at goal to narrowly defeat Palm Beach Equine. Nine Palm Beach Equine fouls resulted in five penalty goals for La Indiana, including three in the final chukker, in the one-goal defeat. A two-goal lead for Palm Beach Equine after goals from Gringo Colombres and Gonzalo Ferrari was quickly erased on consecutive goals for La Indiana to finish the opening chukker. Making just one of their final five shots in the chukker, La Indiana was unable to keep pace with Palm Beach Equine, who took a 5-3 lead into halftime behind the duo of Colombres and Ferrari, who combined for three more goals on six shot attempts.
Watching their deficit grow to three, La Indiana responded with a persistent attack that produced three straight goals, two from Facundo Obregon to tie the score at 6-6. Similar to the opening game of the day, the match seemed destined to go into overtime as the two teams traded goals back and forth over the fifth chukker. An electric final chukker had end-to-end action with the outcome yet to be decided inside the final minute. Three consecutive penalty conversions for Facundo Obregon gave La Indiana a one-goal lead with two minutes remaining, but unwilling to concede defeat, Palm Beach Equine tied the score at 10-10. In his first game of the season, Esteban Panelo played the hero for La Indiana, running the ball in to secure the third straight victory for La Indiana.
Play continues tomorrow with a 10am game on field 4 between Daily Racing Form vs. Patagones, followed by the feature match of the week on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1 with Pilot and Stable Door Polo. To purchase tickets for the game, click here.