Players of Habtoor Polo and AM Polo in action during the opening match of the 13th edition of the Silver Cup.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter`
Defending champions Habtoor Polo defeated AM Polo in a thriller as the 13th edition of the Silver Cup made a perfect start at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club on Saturday.
In the opening match of the prestigious Silver Cup, AM Polo go head to head with the Habtoor Polo team.
Benjamin Urquiza for AM Polo nicked the opening goal for AM Polo, and the team took the initial lead by the end of the first chukker.
The next chukker saw a flurry of goals from Habtoor Polo, with Bautista Bayugar ensuring the game was tied at four goals.
AM Polo took and kept the lead all the way to the end of the penultimate chukker with back-to-back penalty goals from Isidro Strada.
The last minutes of the game saw a string of goals from Bayugar for Habtoor Polo, and ultimately sealed the win at 13 goals to 12.
The next match took off to a fast start as the formidable UAE Polo played against the Dubai Wolves by CAFU.
Carlos Ulloa delivered the first goal for the Wolves only to be matched by Martin Podesta. The UAE Polo team carved a two-goal advantage by halftime and increased their lead by up to four goals by the end of the fourth chukker.
The young Lucas Monteverde Jr. showed some skill at the final chukker with three consecutive goals and the game ended with a commanding win for UAE Polo team at 13 goals to 5.
Silver Cup is the first tournament of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series (DPGCS) being played at a 20-goal handicap for the first time since its inception 13 years ago.
Five tournaments fall under the umbrella of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series including Silver Cup Gold Cup, Dubai Challenge Cup, Polo Masters Cup, and Dubai Cup.
The World Polo Tour (WPT) recognises all the tournaments played under the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series and ranks them amongst the top polo competitions in the world.
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series started in 2009 with tournaments carrying a handicap of 10-12 goals and has grown to host teams playing in 20-goal handicap matches, which are on a par with world-class polo events held in Argentina, USA, UK, and Spain.
The final of the Silver Cup will take place on Feb.4. Five teams are taking part in the competition include UAE Polo Team AM Polo Team, Bangash Polo Team, Dubai Wolves, and Habtoor Polo Team.
The Silver Cup 2023 is being played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), with strict international supervision according to the HPA rules and provision of its umpires.
The tournament falls under World Polo Tour’s WPT Cup Category, where winners will be awarded 60 points, finalists with 30 points, semi-finalists with 15 points and remaining players with 8 points.