Players of IFZA Habtoor Polo and AM Polo in action during their Dubai Open 2023 match.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The Dubai Open 2023 is slowly whittling the line-up for the quarter-finals and semi-finals. The fifth day featured two matches with the first one between Bangash by Dodson & Horrell Polo and Mahra by AIX Investment Group Polo, and the second match between AM Polo and IFZA Habtoor Polo.
The initial game commenced with a goal scored by Ignacio Negri from Bangash Dodson & Horrell Polo. However, the score was levelled by Felix Carlos Esain in the first chukker, resulting in a tie of 1-1. Until the third, the game was predominantly in favor of Mahra by AIX Investment Group Polo, who maintained a one-goal advantage. Just before halftime, Tomas F. Llorente Jr. struck the ball, extending his team’s score to three.
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Regrettably for Bangash, Mahra’s team players — Ricardo Garros Jr. and Felix Carlos Esain led their team to a score in the double digits, resulting in a final score of 10 – 5 in favor of Mahra, and ending the first match.
IFZA Habtoor Polo team took an early lead in their game against AM Polo, as Muhammed Al Habtoor, the team’s patron, scored the opening goal.
With Bautista Bayugar taking three penalty shots for IFZA Habtoor, it was Isidro Strada and Patron of AM Polo Sheikha Alia Al Maktoum, who both scored two goals, narrowing the gap between the two teams.
Isidro Strada succeeded in equalizing the scores halfway through the third chukker. However, with less than a minute remaining, Bayugar scored a long-range goal, providing a one-goal advantage to IFZA Habtoor Polo. In the subsequent chukker, Bayugar — one of the top scorers of the game, scored four consecutive goals for IFZA Habtoor Polo, leading to a total score of 12-7. Despite Isidro Strada’s efforts to increase the score with three goals in the last chukker for AM Polo.It was IFZA Habtoor Polo, one of the dominant teams of the tournament, who ultimately emerged victorious and secured their spot in the semi-finals with a 12-10 score.